Contrary to traditions and public expectations, former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings has “jumped bail” mourning the late ex-President Jerry John Rawlings and has hit the campaign trail to chase her presidential ambition as the flagbearer of the National Democratic Party (NDP).
Earlier today, November 23, 2020, speculations had hit various media platforms indicating that Ms. Rawlings’ will shelve her political ambition this year to mourn the passing of her iconic husband, but her political party, the NDP, has said she is seriously lacing her boots to hit the campaign trail for a presidential ambition that is unrealistic, giving the virtual monopolisation of the political space in Ghana by the governing NPP and the main opposition NDC.
General Secretary of NDP, Alhaji Mohammed Frimpong said the speculations that Konadu has abandoned her campaign to mourn her loss is “Fake News”. He reiterated that the NDP flagbearer has no intention of vacating her race and has therefore not initiated any discussions with the Electoral Commission over a possible withdrawal from the race as being speculated.
“This is fake news and it should be regarded as such. Our leader has not given any information to that effect,” Alhaji Frimpong said.
“We will like to inform the general public that our campaign is ongoing and our parliamentary candidates are out there canvassing for votes and our regional and constituency executives as well as supports and sympathizers are still campaigning and should remain resolute. Indeed, we intend not to glorify the wishes of our detractors,” he said.
This news has come as a shock to many Ghanaian given Konadu’s inseparable closeness to her bigger-than-life husband, Rawlings and the fact that traditionally, as an Ashanti woman, customary rites require that a widow mourn her deceased husband for about one year. Within this period, there are many restrictions to their movements, food taboos and activities that will draw scorn towards her.
Certainly, political campaigning trails are the most unforgiving to the image of political aspirants, particularly ones whose chances of winning an election are almost impossible.
Nana Konadu is also seen as playing close to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDP’s campaign is postured along challenging the NDC which was founded by the late Jerry Rawlings with “his blood”.
Konadu’s sudden parley with the Akufo Addo-led NPP has come as a surprise to political watchers, giving the fact that there has been bad blood and an antagonistic history between the Rawlings and the NPP for a long time.
Indeed, the current flagbearer of the NPP and incumbent Nana Akufo Addo, had personally harassed Nana Konadu and put her to trial for corruption when he was the Attorney-General and Foreign Minister under the erstwhile John Agyekum Kufuor administration.
Perhaps, Konadu’s crushing defeat in 2011 when she contested then-NDC flagbearer, John Evans Atta Mills, has played a role in her leaning towards the NPP after she formed her NDP out of the frustration she suffered from her husband’s party.
Meanwhile, in the past two years, Konadu would be the third widow that will use the loss of her husband as a stepping stone for their political ambitions. Late 2018 when the NPP’s Boakye Agyarko (the Party’s parliamentarian for Ayawaso West-Wuogon) died, his obscure wife, Lydia Alhassan mounted the podium to take her husband’s seat. It resulted in one of the bloodiest bye-elections in Ghana. She eventually won the seat.
Recently, another obscure wife stepped to the fore when Ekow Quansah Hayford, the NPP Parliamentarian for Mfantseman in the Central Region was shot dead by suspected armed robbers.