Former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has accused Professor Kwamena Ahwoi of twisting events in his (Prof Ahwoi’s) book Working with Rawlings.
According to him, Prof. Ahwoi did not present the true state of events, especially his (Rawlings) relationship with the late President Prof. John Evans Atta Mills to make him look bad.
He took particular exception to a claim by Prof. Ahwoi in the book that he (Rawlings) was working behind the scenes to have the late President lose the bid to become the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2008 general elections.
The former President made the comments when a delegation of chiefs and queenmothers from the Ave Traditional Area in the Volta Region called on him at his office last Wednesday.
This is the third time former President Rawlings has expressed his displeasure about the book by Prof. Ahwoi, who served as minister during his 19- year rule and was a member of his inner circle.
Working with Rawlings
In the book, Prof. Ahwoi said former President Rawlings asked Mr Ato Ahwoi, his elder brother, to contest for the NDC flag bearer position for the 2008 elections, and even asked him (Prof. Ahwoi) to convince Mr Ato Ahwoi to accept the proposal.
Professor Ahwoi described the move by former President Rawlings as treacherous, adding that the former President knew the relationship the Ahwoi brothers had with the late President Mills and also the fact that it was through them that the late President became the running mate to former President Rawlings in the 1996 general election and subsequently, the Vice-President of Ghana.
However, former President Rawlings accused Prof. Ahwoi of twisting the facts to make him look bad.
He said he only suggested the names of certain presidential hopefuls after Prof. Mills told him that he was not well and, therefore, wanted to step aside.
“He called me one mid-morning to say he could not continue and that he wanted to step aside. I asked him to wait till he returned and I also sought to know if he had mentioned it to anyone. He was silent and did not answer so I assumed that he might have done so.
“The next day or so, I invited the elders, some former ministers, and other seniors for a meeting during which I attempted to put across the condition of the Professor without being specific.
“Towards the end of the meeting, I did however suggest that names of presidential hopefuls should be floated. The point is, the NDC party was looking visually and politically vulnerable while the NPP looked like a party with more presidential potential than it could handle or contain.
“These were my personal observations. My next intervention was to ask who came second at the last congress. I was not sure whether it was Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu or Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah. I did not know or think that an attempt to ensure that we were prepared for any eventuality would cause an affront to his handlers.
“The following day or so, I spoke to Ato Ahwoi on the phone insisting that they must publicise names of presidential potentials and hopefuls among our people and to include their own names — they the Ahwois.
“I later realised that they were preparing to receive Professor Mills with a huge crowd at the airport, which was okay for morale. But as the days went by, the language took on an unpleasant tone creating the impression I was up to some ill motive.
“The Prof. arrived and was debriefed, I hear by his handlers and the meeting, I was hoping and waiting for never took place. He was in the meantime being publicised in subsequent days doing a house-to-house campaign.
“In spite of the developments that took place, my wife and I did not hesitate to campaign vigorously towards the 2008 elections. After all, I had backed Mills since 1998 and was not going to back down in the middle of a crucial election,” the former President said.
The former President said what had sustained him in politics was his integrity and abhorrence to thievery and lies.
“I did not come to public office to steal and never did. We had to go through a lot of sacrifices to get to where we are today as a country, and there’s no way I was going to compromise on my integrity.
“What has sustained some of us is our attachment to the principles of truth, justice and fair play — it is not a vulgar quest for materialism, a trait which has sadly perpetuated itself into the leadership structures of our society,” the former President stated.
Flt Lt Rawlings said it was unfortunate some abandoned the positive principles along the way in spite of the fact that, “we won all our elections and survived some of the most trying times of our nation’s history for as long as we did, bringing hope and relief to our people because of those solid values and principles”.
According to him, the refusal to reinstate truth, transparency, and most of all justice into the fabric and psyche of the nation led to the institutionalisation of crime and corruption, eventually resulting in NDC’s electoral loss in 2016.