Hundreds of National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters who converged on the Victoria Park in the capital of the Sunyani East Constituency in the Brong Ahafo Region on Monday afternoon for a rally to be addressed by former President Jerry John Rawlings were disappointed as he did not turn up.
The supporters, some clad in party T-shirts, clothes and other paraphernalia and perched on top of some storey buildings, both completed and uncompleted around the venue for the rally, in order to catch a glimpse of the former President, finally left at about 7:30 p.m. disappointed as there was no sign of him.
Earlier in the afternoon, the jubilant supporters who had gathered at the park waiting for the former President danced to loud popular songs composed for the party’s presidential candidate, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and the party, as well as some hip-life music that was being churned out by the spinning group hired by the party to provide music at the rally grounds, as well as that of a brass band music.
The party’s supporters who waited for well over six hours left for their various homes after 7:30 p.m. when rumours went round at the rally grounds that the former President was at Nkrankwanta in the Dormaa Municipality and at Berekum addressing similar rallies.
Although invitations were not sent to the various media houses based in the Sunyani Municipality, newsmen were also present, including this reporter.
There were announcements on some local FM stations in the municipality about the rally scheduled for Monday, November 3, 2008.
Sources within the party told the Daily Graphic that the rally was not sanctioned and also not part of the former President’s itinerary.
Other sources also said earlier in the day the former President’s convoy was stopped at Atronie, a town in the Sunyani East Constituency, where he was not supposed to address any gathering but was asked to do so and so he warned the organisers of such impromptu events to do away with such unannounced meetings.
However, on Monday night, the former President rather addressed a rally at Odumase, the capital of the Sunyani West Constituency, where thousands of enthusiastic party supporters gathered and waited till 9.30p.m.
Former President Rawlings urged Ghanaians to vote the New Patriotic Party (NPP) out of power in the December 7 polls because they had created difficult economic conditions in the country.
He called on Ghanaians, especially the supporters of the party, who cheered him at the rally, to be vigilant on the voting day so as not to allow the NPP and their agents to rig the election.
Former President Rawlings told the people that it was under the PNDC and the NDC regimes that the nation witnessed massive infrastructural development in terms of extension of electricity, good drinking water and roads to every part of the country, as well as the provision of hospitals in all the regional capitals.
He, therefore, urged the people not to give in to the lies and vain promises of the NPP in order for them to retain power but to vote massively for the NDC and Prof. Mills to bring about total transformation in the economy.
Mr Rawlings also urged the people to vote massively for the NDC Parliamentary candidate for Sunyani West, Mr Nyamekye Maafo, to represent them in Parliament since he had served them before as the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sunyani during the NDC administration.
Mrs Cecilia Johnson, a former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development under the NDC, Mr Johnson Aseidu Nketiah, NDC General Secretary and Alhaji Collins Dauda, NDC Member of Parliament and Parliamentary candidate for Asutifi South, who took turns to address the rally, called on Ghanaians to reject the NPP in the December polls since they had used deception and lies to rule the nation.