NPP Government not hijacking Rawlings’ funeral – Egyapa Mercer

The Member of Parliament for Sekondi, Andrew Egyapa Mercer has rejected claims that the governing New Patriotic Party is sidelining the opposition National Democratic Congress in the processes leading up to the burial of late former President Jerry John Rawlings.

Speaking on Citi FM/TV‘s current affairs show, the Big issue on Saturday, Egyapa Mercer who is also the Vice-Chair on Parliament’s Communications Committee said the state will give reverence to the former president as a statesman and not necessarily as a party figure.

“They [NDC] don’t have a choice in the former president being given a state funeral. You heard him [Asiedu Nketia] say they will hold their own as well. It is mere politics, otherwise what is the problem if a former president has passed and the state is giving him a burial?”

“It is interesting how they say that they would have wished that the death of the late Rawlings will unify us and at the same time, they want an NDC burial,” he added.

The NDC has accused the government of commandeering the funeral preparations of their founder without due regard to the party he founded.

The NDC also accused the NPP government of preventing its flagbearer John Dramani Mahama from signing a book of condolence opened in memory of Mr. Rawlings.

General Secretary of the NDC, Asiedu Nketia directed officials of the party to open books of condolence at its offices nationwide. He also announced that the party will hold a vigil on Sunday, November 15, 2020, to honour Mr. Rawlings.

Mr. Egyapa Mercer, however, questioned the rationale behind the vigil.

“We don’t even have an idea of the funeral date, but they plan on holding a vigil tomorrow. They think they can make political capital out of it. These guys see nothing but politics.”

Jerry John Rawlings died in the early hours of Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

Already, many leaders around the world and other Ghanaian personalities have poured in their tributes to mourn the former President.

Akufo-Addo trying to hijack Rawlings’ funeral – Asiedu Nketia

The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has accused President Akufo-Addo of trying to exert control over the funeral processes of the former President.

According to him, President Akufo-Addo has so far assumed a posture of sidelining the National Democratic Congress, the political party the late ex-president founded, from his funeral processes.

Speaking on Eyewitness News on Friday,  Mr. Nketia said the conduct of President Akufo-Addo is completely different from how the NDC and NPP have always engaged when any leading member of either party dies.

According to him, President Akufo-Addo has so far assumed a posture of sidelining the National Democratic Congress, the political party the late ex-president founded, from his funeral processes.

The NDC General Secretary also said besides the failure to mention the NDC in the president’s statement, the government gave instructions that ostensibly prevented John Mahama from signing Rawlings’ book of condolence at the Accra International Conference Centre.

The NDC will on Sunday, November 15, 2020, hold a special vigil in memory of the late former President at the Obra Spot in Accra from 5 pm to 12:00 midnight.

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