Former President Jerry John Rawlings has released an over 4,300-word response to some of the details captured in Professor Kwamena Ahwoi’s ‘Working with Rawlings’ book.
Prof. Ahwoi wrote about his time as an appointee in the Rawlings government but the former president says the book contains “fabrications and grapevine accounts.”
Mr. Rawlings also said the book was meant to “paint a denigrating picture” of him.
Find below the full statement from Rawlings
THE INTEGRITY OF TRUTH – STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT RAWLINGS
The Office of Former President Jerry John Rawlings, has noted with concern contents of a book titled ‘Working with Rawlings’, authored by a former appointee of the PNDC and NDC who now calls himself Professor Kwamena Ahwoi.
The book attempts to chronicle the history of the role Kwamena Ahwoi played as an appointee of the former President, but disappointingly employs fabrications and grapevine accounts to paint a denigrating picture of President Rawlings and his colleagues.
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. President Rawlings has over the past four decades tolerated various views, recognizing the fact that as a public figure one will not be immune to such, even when said opinions are vicious and derogatory.
However, the public deserve to be served the truth as far as some of the contents of the book are concerned.
The book is generously economical with the truth given that President Rawlings supported President Mills consistently from the year 2000, much to the chagrin of many of those who morphed into his post-victory supporters in 2006.
MILLS’ PRIVATE CALL TO RAWLINGS
After his landslide victory in the 2006 NDC Primaries, candidate Mills travelled to South Africa for medical treatment. While in South Africa, Mills put a call through to President Rawlings and indicated his desire to forego the candidature for the presidential election owing to his medical state. Following this conversation, President Rawlings held a meeting with some leading members of the Party to express concern about the state of candidate Mills’ health, and urged them to identify recognizable party members who could step in. President Rawlings is on record as having suggested that some known personalities in the party should position themselves to demonstrate that the NDC had enough Presidential material.
Bizarrely, Kwamena Ahwoi has written a lengthy diatribe about how Rawlings coerced his brother (Ato Ahwoi) to contest Mills ahead of the primaries, leading to the breakdown of their healthy relationship. It should be stated on record, that President Rawlings took the responsible and pragmatic approach after he received that politically unnerving call from Professor Mills. He consulted the Party leadership to take strategic steps to fill the gap which by Professor Mills’ account was imminent.
Urging some members of the Party to position themselves for a potential contest, was in no way an attempt to undermine, sabotage, betray or malign Professor Mills as the author shamelessly infers in his book. More disappointing is the impression created that he was and is unaware of that critical phone call from Professor Mills (while in South Africa) to President Rawlings. It is rather telling of him to deny this well-known crisis merely in his bid to deride and denigrate the genuine efforts of former President Rawlings to arrest a crisis.
When Professor Mills returned to Ghana, meetings were held with him without the knowledge or participation of President Rawlings, where Professor Mills was convinced by those present, not to withdraw his candidature and actually made to believe that President Rawlings was working to undermine him. That, was when the mistrust begun, and Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi was and is well-known to be one of the master-architects of that manipulative agenda that pushed a very unwell candidate Mills into the 2008 General Elections.
It must be noted, that at no point did President Rawlings support Professor Mills in his bid for presidency, with the aim or intention to manipulate Professor Mills should he become President, despite the attempts of various individuals to peddle falsehoods and sow disunity.
Having worked with Professor Mills on various policy and manifesto achievements during his presidency, the aim was to support him and the NDC party back into government, for the good work of the pre-2000 NDC Administration to continue. After nineteen (19) years of working alongside various individuals with different motives and political beliefs including his political opponents, President Rawlings had acquired enough experience in people management to not be as unsophisticated in his relationship with Professor Mills as the book seeks to misinform.
President Rawlings was critical of President Mills’ administration, there is no denying that, in usual manner, this was done openly and with the best of intentions. He had meetings with President Mills offering counsel and suggestions strictly to the good of Mills’ presidency and that of his government. Rawlings has always remained consistent in his open and bona fides criticisms of President Mills’ administration which, to date, are still outstanding matters. These include:
1. The failure of the Mills Government to investigate the assassination of the Yaa-Naa and forty (40) of his elders;
2. President Mills’ inability to look into the death of Alhaji Issa Mobilla, the late Northern Regional Chairman of the CPP;
3. The failure of the Mills Government to investigate and prosecute genuine fraudulent activities within President Kufuor’s administration; and
4. The lack of dedication to the Party ideals of probity and accountability, as well as the monetization of the NDC internal electoral processes.