Former Youth and Sports Minister and a General Secretary hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has revealed ex-President Rawlings did not speak to him for three years after announcing John Dramani Mahama as the party’s running mate for the 2008 elections.
Afriyie Ankrah, speaking during an interview on Joy News, revealed the ex-President felt he was ‘swerved’ by the party bigwigs for choosing the relatively inexperienced Mahama over more ‘ready’ choices like Betty Mould Iddrisu.
“As for JM [John Mahama], he’s my brother, my friend…we have worked very closely together. But I announced him as running mate even though at that time my mentor Rawlings was not happy about that. In fact, we didn’t speak for about three years. The circumstances of announcing it…he thought that we dribbled him. Indeed, we dribbled him. This was in 2008,” Ankrah said.
Afriyie Ankrah has announced his intention to contest for the party’s General Secretary position at its upcoming national delegates congress.
According to him, he is running for the position because he believes he has garnered the necessary experience over the years to take over from the “venerable” Asiedu Nketia, unite the party and move it forward.
“I want to be General Secretary of the NDC because I believe over time, I have garnered a lot of experience, I understand the party, I have a passion for the party and I have been at the forefront of many developments in the party and where we are now as a country…after 17 years of the venerable Asiedu Nketia, I think that I am in pole position to take over that position and move the party to the next level,” he said.
“Our party has evolved overtime. We have the Rawlings people. Everybody knows that I am a big fan of Rawlings even though at the latter part of his years, I didn’t agree with him because I thought he was too cozy with President Akufo-Addo but that’s a different story,”
“So, the Rawlings so-called people, I am close to them. I was like a son to President Mills. We worked very very closely together. When he came back in 2001 for the primaries, I was the deputy campaign coordinator…took him round the whole country so I know key people that he worked with and some of them…not all of them, have sat back.” he added.
Afriyie-Ankrah indicated he has the right connections to all perceived factions in the party to help keep the party together going forward.