I’ll not stand with ‘Saint’ Rawlings in comradeship - Nii Lante Vanderpuye

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo, Nii Lante Vanderpuye has responded to former President Jerry Rawlings June 4 anniversary address and said Mr Rawlings has “deviated” from the principles of the revolution.

According to him, he cannot stand with Mr Rawlings in comradeship and that is why he has decided not to attend any June 4 commemoration because he [Rawlings] has in principle, “deviated from the principles we all set ourselves for.”

“The revolution was not for one person… he [Rawlings] was the icon of the revolution but he may not the brain and the mind of the revolution, the brain and the mind of the revolution has evolved around so many other people.”

Appearing on the television programme, AM Show on Joy News Tuesday morning, Nii Vanderpuye suggested Mr Rawlings wants people to believe that, “he is the only saint among them [all NDC people], and the rest are all evil.”

Mr Rawlings who founded the opposition National Democratic Party (NDC) in addressing 39th anniversary of June 4 on Monday blamed factionalism within the party as the root cause of the party’s humiliating defeat in the 2016 general elections.

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Similarly, he said, the growing division within the party is also attributable to the increasing element of factionalism amongst members of the party.

Related: Jerry John Rawlings is not a faction and will never be - Rawlings

Asked by the host of the AM show, Roland Walker what he makes of the address on Monday, Nii Vanderpuye said: “It is possible he [Rawlings] may be the person who has veered, and not those people, because he cannot always be right and all of us wrong, he cannot claim sainthood in this situation."

"All of us may have made mistakes that may have culminated in what we have today, but then the situation where you always want yourself not blamable and blame others is not right, it is against the principles we all set ourselves…I don’t care what he calls me, I don’t care what name he gives me, he has already called me several names, that Chorkor, Bukom boy, so many names,” he added.

Nii Vanderpuye argued that they believe the revolution thought them the need to be together, to succeed together, to move together and be able to achieve together, but “I believe that in that vein, I have not been happy and I’m not happy and I will never be happy with his [Rawlings] continuous vilification, washing our dirty linen in public, breaking the code of comradeship and the comraderies that I expected between cadres and people who are of the values of the revolution, because comradeship is also part of the values of the revolution.”

“…if you [Rawlings] who is the main proponent of these values, break norms of those values, then you don’t expect me to be able to stand with you in comradeship, so that is why I have taken a personal stand never to attend this [June 4 anniversary] thing. I will say it, I’m not a baby with sharp teeth, I’m a full grown man, I’m grown, I’m mature, I’m a grandfather and I said no one can call me a baby with sharp teeth. The truth must be told all the time.”

Adding Nii Vanderpuye disagreed with Mr Rawlings’ assertions that he and his colleagues have strayed from the values of the revolution which made the NDC what it was and said: “the principle is that, train the children the way they should grow, and when they grow they would not depart from it.

“If his children are breaking away, all of us are breaking away from the core values that he talks about, then it is because he has not properly led us through the core values. When his own actions do not bring about solidarity, it becomes difficult for the children to move along with him."

Related: Rawlings' written address at 39th June 4 Anniversary

The law maker said Mr Rawlings contradicted himself with his speech when he talked about people within the AFRC (Armed Forces Revolutionary Council) who were saboteurs of the system.

"But today, you get up and blame John Dramani Mahama, forgetting that when you were head, there were people within your government, who were not properly adhering to the principles, so why do you blame somebody? he quesioned and insisted that Mr Rawlings was not pivotal in the winning of the 2008 elections by the NDC.

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