The writing of the foreword of the controversial book “Working with Rawlings” by John Mahama’s running mate, Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, has stoked anger among a section of the members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), particularly some youth from the Volta Region.
Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang is said to have edited the book and approved its content as “publishable”. Apart from her deep involvement in putting together the book, authored by Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, the NDC running mate also wrote the foreword of the book. Many leading members of the opposition party, including the Volta Regional Chairman of Council of Elders of the party, Dan Abodakpi, have described the publication of the book 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”.
NDC Founder Jerry John Rawlings has described the author of the book and others who are linked to its publication as people with “callous agenda of bile” who are “desperately seeking control of the NDC party”.
“Much as I find it tiring and tedious to be engaging in self defence when I have given my all, all these years, I will soon deal with the callous agenda of bile by the likes of Kwamena Ahwoi, who are desperately seeking control of the NDC party,” Mr Rawlings said following the launch of the book.
But John Mahana’s running mate doesn’t agree with the party’s founder in his assessment of the book. Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang has stated in the foreword of the book that the narrative given by Professor Kwamena Ahwoi is “an account honestly delivered”.
“The vivid, engaging and deeply reflective eye-witness account couched in unencumbered prose, brings to the fore events narrated with open honesty and transparency,” she wrote.
She added: “The first-person narrative perspective releases the reader from the potentially uncomfortable position of an intruder to that of a trusted addressee. This is especially so as the text grounds its content on verifiable facts…”
Volta youth upset
However, a group calling itself Volta Youth Network (VYN) has expressed rage against the content of the book, which they say is “damming insinuations, character assassination, misrepresentations and outright falsehood”, contrary to Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang’s description as “account honestly delivered”.
“Having come to the full realization of the intent of Kwamena Ahwoi’s book, we are of the view that this is not only a grand scheme to denigrate the legacy of ex-President Rawlings, but also a well-crafted agenda to push the ‘Volta Caucus’ farther away from the centre of power within the NDC,” the group said in a statement.
According to the group, the timing of the release of the book “is a deliberate attempt by the author and his likes to shake down the foundations” of the NDC.
“Otherwise, how could any serious NDC elder launch a book so sarcastic of the founder at the time the NDC needed him the most? the group wondered.
“Professor Kwamena Ahwoi has made a startling admission on page 211 of the book that the Mills cabal, of which he played an integral part, actually developed the ‘babies with sharp teeth’ to tame the NDC founder, an avowal that has qualified his literary work, a trivial academic piece,” the group said.
Angry with Naana
The statement, which was signed by Fidel Richard Agbeko Bedi, Coordinator of the group, took a swipe at Professor Naana Opoku-Agyemang for her tacit endorsement of the book.
“While we commend Uncle Dan Abodakpi for standing up for the truth, we ask if our presidential candidate and running mate, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, support such a reckless enterprise against the founder of the NDC.
“It’s tear-jerking how Prof. Opoku-Agyeman would endorse this character assassination mission by forwarding the book. This can only make this chapter of our political story meaner and no one is a winner when we fight to lose,” the group said.
More trouble for Naana
In a related development, the governing New Patriotic Party in the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abbrem constituency has described the NDC running mate as “a selfish person whose achievements have been everything personal and nothing communal.”
According to the NPP, while the nomination and outdooring of Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang as the vice-presidential candidate of the NDC has enjoyed some hype in the country, the sentiments on the streets of Komenda, where she hails from, have been different.
A statement signed by Michael Botsio, NPP Communications Officer at KEEA, noted that while “the academic accomplishment of our grandmother is without a doubt, what is however in doubt is the contribution of her accomplishment to Komenda and KEEA”.
The statement questioned how Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang’s position as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast benefited the people in the area.
“What did she do to particularly uplift the youth and to create opportunities for the girl-child in the area of education? Did she nurture or mentor any indigene from Komenda or KEEA to aspire to her achievement or she did not find anyone good enough?
“Did she establish any scholarship scheme or in any way assisted any indigene of Komenda to benefit from a scholarship scheme at UCC or other institutions, leveraging her influence as VC of UCC? As make-believe Girl-Child Champion, what policy or social responsibility did you initiate to uplift the profile of the girl-child in Komenda as an academic or VC?” the KEEA NPP questioned.