President John Evans Atta Mills says the NDC wil triumph in 2012 general elections.

The leading contender in the presidential primary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Professor John Evans Atta Mills, told party faithful yesterday, that in spite of the internal wrangling ahead of the Sunyani polls, the NDC would succeed the 2012 general election. “We have a very formidable task ahead of us, but I want to assure everybody that with God holding our banner, we shall succeed.” His comment came immediately after going through a successful vetting process at the party’s headquarters, located on Adina Street, Kokomlemle.Surrounded by some party bigwigs and sympathisers, President Mills appealed to each and every member of the NDC family to exercise self-control, and ensure that there was unity in the party, before, and after the presidential primary, which is scheduled to take place in Sunyani on July 8, 2011.

“I have just gone through my vetting, and I am very much satisfied. This whole exercise is not about a winner or a loser. We are all members of one family. I would, therefore, want to appeal to each and every member of our family to exercise restraint, and to remain calm. At the end of this exercise, there is the need for unity within our party.

“That is how we have always operated, and I am really hopeful that members of our party will regard this (referring to the internal wrangling in the NDC) as a passing phase,” he said, amidst cheers from the teeming crowd that trooped to the party’s headquarters to lend him support.

A day before the President’s vetting, when his main competitor, former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, appeared for a similar exercise, a group of people, believed to belong to the Get Atta Mills Endorsed (GAME) faction, besieged the party headquarters and engaged Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings (FONKAR) in a scuffle, leading to a number of injuries.

President Mills arrived at the party headquarters for vetting without the usual presidential convoy at exactly 10:30 a.m., amidst drumming and dancing by his supporters and sympathisers, who had gathered there to lend their support. He was in his own private car with registration number GT 8938 R, and was accompanied by three security guards and a back-up vehicle.

Immediately after reaching the first floor of the NDC head office, where the conference room venue for the vetting is located, President Mills asked his security detail to leave him alone.  “Now you can leave. I believe I’m in safe hands,” he said.

It took President Mills almost one hour and ten minutes to go through the vetting process. The Chronicle is reliably informed that the Associate Law Professor was taken through a number of questions on his plans to unite the party, after a potentially explosive Sunyani polls, in the event that he loses or wins the mandate of the delegates.

Whilst the vetting was ongoing, jubilant supporters were on the ground floor singing and dancing to various songs composed to project the image of the party.

No violence was recorded, as witnessed on Tuesday during the vetting of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings. Security was very tight around the party headquarters.

As early as 6 O’clock a.m., the security agencies, made up of the National Security, Police and Army, had secured Adina Street and the party headquarters.

Before the start of the vetting itself, the Chairman of the Vetting Committee, Alhaji Issifu Ali, expressed worry about the nature of campaign by the candidates, which had sometimes degenerated into mudslinging and name-calling. He advised the two candidates to comport themselves and prevent the party from dividing, after the primary.

On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, the Vetting Committee of the NDC started vetting its candidates ahead of the party’s presidential primary. Former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, was first to be vetted. She was taken through a series of questions bordering on her suitability and preparedness to lead the party in the 2012 general elections.

The failure of Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Chief Executive of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), to submit his nomination forms on June 1, 2011, put Nana Konadu and Prof. Atta Mills in the spotlight, as the only contenders for the flagbearership slot of the NDC.
To ensure transparency, free and fair vetting, as stipulated in the NDC’s constitution, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, in consultation with the Council of Elders, constituted a five-member Vetting Committee.

The party’s vetting committee is chaired by a former co-Chairman of the party, Alhaji Issifu Ali. Other members are Majority Leader Cletus Avoka, Member of the NDC legal team, Larry Adjetey, Dr. (Mrs.) Mary Grant, Chris Ackummey and Lionel Mobila, a former Upper West Regional Minister.

Over 3,000 delegates, including foreign branch representatives, are expected to cast their votes during the Sunyani polls.

The Founder of the Party, Leader of the Party and President of the Republic, the Vice President, National Executive Committee Members, Ministers of State, selected Regional Executives, Committee Members, Parliamentarians and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) who are members of the party are part of the delegates.

For the first time, the Council of Elders and representatives of the Tertiary Education Institution Network (TEIN), who form a vital component of the party’s constitution, have also been included in the number of delegates expected to vote at the Congress. Their inclusion was approved by the National Congress in Tamale.

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