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Re: Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi on "Working with Rawlings

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Re: Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi on "Working with Rawlings

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, we watched you told Bernard Avle on Citi Breakfast Show on Monday 27th July that former President Rawlings, ahead of the 2008 elections, did try to get you to undermine Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, the then leader of the NDC. We couldn't believe such utterance would have come out from party elder like you. We are not surprised but shocked by this story at this critical period in our party’s history.

We would have keep mute about the whole issue because you are an elder of the party but there is a saying that when you are wearing a necklace of corn don't be surprised when you are chased by fowls. 

You mentioned that the relationship between you and former President Rawlings started deteriorating when NDC left office and especially when Mills became President. You are very much aware President Rawlings did not turn against President Mills. He was critical of his Presidency and did not hide his feelings about it. There was clarity also about his critique and indeed the party’s failure to heed some of these freely given advice is what led eventually to our horrible loss in 2016. Instead of heeding the call of the man who profusely compliment in one part of your book, attack hounds were unleashed to abuse former President Rawlings at will. 

Consistently, you and many who worked in the trenches with President Rawlings have chosen to malign him publicly or privately and created the impression that he criticizes without reason and has no perception of what is good for the party. Rawlings never told you to malign Professor Mills. Neither did he ask your brother to replace Professor Mills. There was a difficult period ahead of the 2008 election when NDC found itself in a corner and was unsure candidate Mills could lead the party due to ill-health. You cannot conceal that truth and camouflage it with an empty story about your brother being asked to take over from candidate Mills. A lot of horse-trading went on but the party refused to wash its dirty linen in public. Why rake up the past? To compel President Rawlings to give the full story so your hounds will refer to him as a barking dog and all sorts of other adjectives? You may very well get what you ask for because Jerry Rawlings is no coward and will speak his mind when he has to.

Let’s be factual here, some of you actually constituted yourselves into a cabinet or power brokers of the party during President Mills’ era and we will like to appeal to former President Mahama to be very wary of elders like you in the party who believe you are the repository of all knowledge in the party.

Ghanaians were aware late President Mills failed to practice the politics necessary to change the course of this country, sacrificing principles and the greater moral mandate and unity of the NDC, and the country for that matter on the altar of a hapless political mantra “Father for all.” His  commitment to bipartisanship and compromise on the issue of social justice caused the rift between himself and former President Rawlings. 

The NDC under Mills campaigned on certain issues and part of the campaign message was for new committees to be established on the assassination of Yaa-Naa and 40 of his elders in March 2002, and also the Issah Mobilla killing. Sadly, this was not deemed necessary by the late Prof. Mills' administration because you advised the late Mills to sweep the matter under the carpet. More evidence was available to effectively investigate and prosecute this dastardly killing but alas senior advisors like you were not keen on prompting the Professor to do the right thing.

Again, the NDC rode on the back of anti-corruption to power but Mills failed to pursue the anti-corruption mantra upon assumption of office even though there were hundreds of corruption cases against the Kufuor government and its appointees. Indeed, he failed to pursue the agenda that the electorate voted for, and his failure to correct the wrongs of the former President Kufuor regime was a major rationale behind Rawlings' criticism of his administration. These are the disagreements former President Rawlings had with late Prof. Mills, and he articulated them publicly and openly. He never hid his feelings about it publicly.

Prof. Atta Mills, in the opinion of former President Rawlings then was an honest man. That is how late Prof. Mills came to be nominated to run alongside the sitting President at the time on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress.

After four years of dedicated service to the cause of the Presidency, the nation, and ultimately, the party, late  Prof. Mills endeared himself to former President Rawlings to the extent that he was prepared to gamble on him to the disgust of long-standing cadres. That is what led to President Rawlings declaring late Prof. Mills his heir-apparent, and risked splitting the party in what has now become known as the SWEDRU DECLARATION of 1999.

Former President Rawlings after the "SWEDRU DECLARATION" worked tirelessly to see late Prof. Mills elected as president. It was the Rawlingses toil that saw late Prof. Mills through the year 2000, 2004 and 2008 campaign. There's nobody in the NDC who worked better to see late prof. Mills succeed than former President Rawlings. He worked out tirelessly to protect his image against the cadres who had a problem with his "New entrant". 

To think that some of you are still on this path of ridicule to discredit Rawlings at this time of the day is a profound statement which draws light on the anti-Rawlings sentiments in the NDC. People who Rawlings trusted and committed so much responsibility to, today feel they can praise him in one stead and humiliate him in another all in bid to show where power lies. What has Rawlings not endured? This latest attempt will again fall flat. But before that happens, bow your head in shame about the lies you have craftily told about the Rawlings-Mills relationship.

Jerry Rawlings will also be the avowed patriot, defender of the downtrodden and speaker of nothing but the truth. Attempting to downplay his contribution in your grand plan to cut him off the NDC will only be a mirage in your devious plans.

Long live former President Rawlings.

Ibrahim Hardi
Convener/Spokesperson
Friends of the Rawlingses

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