The confusion within the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is set to peak, as many people named in the controversial “Working with Rawlings” book desperately make efforts to ‘exonerate’ themselves, by turning the heat on the author of the book, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi.
The Volta Regional Chairman of Council of Elders of the party, Dan Abodakpi, was the first to rebut the content of the book, describing it as a “perilous, ill-timed submission” with several instances of “factually wrong and dangerous aberration likely to create tensions in and out” and with the objective to “destroy President Rawlings’ political legacy”.
In addition to him, three of the party’s younger generation have also denied sections of the book attributed to them.
The three, a former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah; a former Deputy Communications Minister, Felix Kwakye Ofosu; and a former Deputy Education Minister and MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, have all denied being part of an “accessory to any grand agenda to delink Mr Rawlings from the NDC.”
The author of the book, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, had revealed that he groomed some young members of the party to suppress the founder and stop him from his constant attacks on the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
Prof Ahwoi has written in his book that Professor Mills nearly resigned from office due to constant attacks from the party’s founder.
He claims that to suppress the constant attacks on Prof Mills, he groomed the young men to respond to Mr Rawlings.
“From our knowledge of President Rawlings, we knew that he could not stand being talked back to by people he considered his subordinates. This must have been due to his military background because in the military the subordinate never talks back to his superior officers.
“So, what we did was that any time President Rawlings attacked or insulted President Mills publicly, one of the young members of the party would take him on publicly…It worked and the strategy proved effective. Rawlings toned down on his public criticism of President Mills. Instead, he turned his anger on the young ‘boys and girls’ who were talking back at him whenever he criticized President Mills publicly. He described them at one public rally later as ‘Babies with Sharp Teeth. The name stuck. But the presidency of Professor Mills was saved,” the book says in page 211.
However, in sharp responds, the three in separate statements have insisted that the section of the book attributed to them is factually inaccurate.
“While acknowledging that the media reports are at best an exaggeration of portions of a book authored by the highly respected Prof Kwamena Ahwoi, I wish to place on record that at no point have I been part of any plot, recruitment exercise or strategy to ‘talk back’ at President Rawlings,” Kwakye Ofosu said in his statement.
He added: “All my contributions in the said matter were devoid of insults or aspersions as claimed by the media reports. It is worth noting that the book in question speaks about our resort to logic rather than insults. I have never required prompting or goading to speak about what I believe to be right or wrong”.
For his part, Dr Omane Boamah stated that his defence of President Mills was borne out of respect for the personality of the late president, and not any grand agenda as portrayed in the book.
“I need to place on record that this claim is wholly and completely inaccurate and untrue. As a young man and politician with core convictions, I was never engaged nor could I have allowed myself to be used by anyone to talk back at former President Rawlings,” Dr Omane Boamah said.
“The suggestion that my defence of the late President was part of a deliberate ‘strategy’ by elders is irksome to me. It does not reflect my personality as a politician of conviction and not of convenience. For the record, I state emphatically and unequivocally that any claim that I was a recruited participant in any such grand agenda could only be the result of an inadvertent error in recollection and not founded on anything that remotely resembles the truth,” he added.
For Mr Ablakwa, the sections of the book attributed to him are “false, malicious, offensive and most unfair.”
“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,” he stated.
Source: Daily Statesman