Hannah Bissiw, Anita DeSouso And Others Ready To Face Konadu Rawlings

The campaign team of President John Evans Atta Mills, Get Atta Mills Endorsed (GAME), seems to have changed their campaign strategy from busing people to locations to shore up support for their candidate for the flagbearership position of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), as the president prepares to meet Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings for the control of the soul and heart of the party. The last time the President stormed the party’s Kokomlemle headquarters to pick nomination forms, hordes of people were bused from various locations across the length and breadth of the country to the place, thereby causing a huge vehicular traffic jam in Accra. It was also his first visit to the NDC headquarters since he won the 2008 presidential polls. The last time he was asked why he had distanced himself from the party headquarters at a meeting with party gurus at the Peduase Lodge, President Mills said he was not the Welfare Officer of the NDC and therefore it was not necessary to visit the party office. When he finally filed his nominations yesterday, the Mills campaign team decided to keep it on a low profile to avoid the wide condemnation that greeted the picking of forms which brought the entire capital city to a standstill as ministers jockeyed to upstage each other in catching the president’s attention. This time around, the party foot-soldiers were conspicuously absent as was the candidate himself, meaning that the previous road show that characterized the picking of forms was stage-managed, contrary to assertions by the GAME team that it was a spontaneous action. The only people present were a couple of government officials including Minister of State at the office of the President and a close ally of the former President Jerry John Rawlings, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Environment Minister Sherry Ayittey, Central Regional Minister Ama Benyiwa Doe, Deputy Works and Housing Minister Hannah Bissiw, Greater Accra Regional Minister Nii Armah Ashitey, NADMO boss Kofi Portuphy, Presidential aide Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Accra Mayor Alfred Oko Vanderpuije and a handful of party supporters who followed them. They accompanied Deputy Youth Organizer of the NDC now turned spokesperson for GAME, Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, who went to submit the forms on behalf of the President. At the time, President Mills was said to be in neighbouring Nigeria attending the investiture of the re-elected Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan. Barbara submitted the forms together with the GH˘20,000 filing fee and was issued a receipt in that regard. The completed nomination papers included the names of 468 delegates of the party and their constituencies, and the profile of President Mills with his photographs. President Mills, together with former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, and former Education Minister Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, collected nomination forms.