The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has reacted to Professor Kwamena Ahwoi’s book, “Working with Rawlings” and the part that talks about young politicians in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) being recruited to ‘talk back’ at former President Rawlings.
According to Mr Ablakwa he was neither forced to defend the late President John Evans Atta Mills nor attack former President Rawlings.
“Respectfully, I am an avowed devotee of the politics of principle and conviction. I have a mind of my own and I am not one to be “recruited” to say or do what I do not believe in or consider dishonourable.”
“For the record, I have at no time been drafted to “talk back” at the Founder of the NDC, former President Jerry John Rawlings neither have I needed prodding to defend the unblemished record and exemplary virtues of the iconic Asomdweehene – Prof. John Evans Atta Mills,” he said in a statement he posted on Facebook on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.
His reaction was in response to an interpretation on that part of the book which has been said that the young politicians Professor Ahwoi referred to were the likes of Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Edward Omane Boamah and Felix Kwakye Ofosu.
Prof Kwamena Ahwoi had stated in his book that former President Rawlings had fallen out with former President John Evans Atta Mills and was constantly attacking the personality of Mills, which even culminated in Mills onetime deciding to resign as President, but they [Kwamena Ahwoi, Captain [rtd] Kojo Tsikata, Totobi Quakyi] took about four hours to talk him out of it.
Prof Ahwoi indicated that their solution was to train and engage a group of young politicians, who were purposely to respond to and “talk back” at former President Rawlings for the latter’s attacks on the personality of Mills.
Those young politicians have been mentioned as Felix Kwakye Ofosu, Edward Omane Boamah and Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
“Any time former President Rawlings attacked or insulted President Mills publicly, one of the younger members of the party would take him on publicly not with insults but logic,” Prof Ahwoi indicated.
They, the young politicians are the ones Mr Rawlings is said to have later referred to as “babies with sharp teeth.”
Speaking on Footprints on Citi TV, Prof. Ahwoi said the late President Mills called him while he was at an IEA workshop at Aburi to inform him of his decision to leave office.
“There was one particular incident which caused President Mills nearly to resign. In fact, he resigned, the only thing that saved this country was that he called to tell me that he was resigning. I was at. [an] IEA workshop at Aburi. He said ‘have you heard what Jerry [Rawlings] has said about me in Tamale?’ he said, ‘get the tape and listen to it because I have resigned and I don’t want anybody to try and stop me.”
Prof. Ahwoi said he asked then-President Mills to give him time to consult a few people and get back to him.
“I said to him, ‘Mr. President, I believe that you have decided to resign, but I also believe that you are not sure whether you have taken the right decision. You want a second opinion, otherwise, you would not have called to tell me. I would have heard about it in the media.”
Prof Kwamena Ahwoi indicated that the following day [a Sunday] he, Captain [rtd] Kojo Tsikata and Totobi Quakyi visited President Mills on “Sunday evening at his residence and at the time, he [President Mills] had actually packed his things in suitcases, ready to leave.”
“So we talked for about four hours which ran into 12 midnight and we managed to convince him to stay because we were taking certain corrective measures,” he revealed.
“We were successful in those measures and as a result, he stayed. Otherwise, he was going to resign on an account of the way Jerry Rawlings was treating him,” he added.
Below is a copy of Ablakwa’s reaction
FOR THE RECORD
It has become necessary to react to vilifications targeted at my person and other young members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a consequence of portions and misleading interpretations by sections of the media and the public of the book titled: Working with Rawlings as authored by NDC stalwart, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi.
The claim by several media reportage that some of my colleagues and I were “recruited and groomed to attack the founder of the NDC during the Atta Mills’ administration” are false, malicious, offensive and most unfair. It is worth pointing out that the media renditions are not contained in the aforementioned book.
Respectfully, I am an avowed devotee of the politics of principle and conviction. I have a mind of my own and I am not one to be “recruited” to say or do what I do not believe in or consider dishonourable.
For the record, I have at no time been drafted to “talk back” at the Founder of the NDC, Former President Jerry John Rawlings neither have I needed prodding to defend the unblemished record and exemplary virtues of the iconic Asomdweehene – Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, particularly, having been spurred on at all times by unwavering personal conviction added to the fact that I had responsibility to serve as Deputy Minister for Information at the time and for which I had amongst others, the core duty to defend and protect the image of the government.
In more than a decade of public life, the reverence and respect I have for our elders and forebears within and without the NDC cannot be questioned. I have always been greatly indebted to our venerable elders for their generous wise counsel and mentorship in shaping my career.
Everything within me abhors the politics of insults and denigrating our elders knowing that affronts our much cherished traditions. Indeed, the distinguished author himself acknowledges at page 211 that in speaking for Prof. Mills, we did not resort to insults but logic.
I am in politics for the pursuit of nobler and higher objectives; that in our collective struggles we can build for ourselves a fair, just and egalitarian society. We cannot waste precious time on anything to the contrary.
It is instructive to note that the malicious interpretation of page 211 cannot be reconciled with page 179 where the author concedes that long before Prof. Mills won the 2008 election and therefore much earlier than the erroneous claim of a 2010 “recruitment” – “a pro-Mills group of talented youthful intellectuals and activists emerged. They were dedicated to upholding the attributes and promoting the values of Professor Mills and defending him against vicious and unprovoked attacks.”
Let the younger ones coming after us not be misled by the rather unfounded aspersions and innuendos in media circles and elsewhere to assume that there’s any glory in lending themselves to conspiracies targeted at disrespecting or disparaging the elders of this Republic.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
[MP, North Tongu]
Issued in Accra on the 5th of August, 2020
Writer’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org