Mr and Mrs Rawlings
Former President Jerry John Rawlings has said Prof Kwamena Ahwoi’s attempt to downplay the role played by former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings in building the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will fail.
“The role, hard work, strategy and organisational talent that Nana Konadu applied to build and propel the NDC to countless victories can never be eroded”, the founder of the NDC said in a long, detailed response to a plethora of allegations made against him and his wife by the former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in his recently-launched book, ‘Working with Rawlings’.
“The various attempts to not just discount the central role she played, but to also deride her, is symptomatic of the myopic selfishness of characters within the NDC who cannot appreciate the fact that in so doing to pioneers of the party like herself and others, you have no history to speak of”, the statement from the former military ruler’s office said.
“To peddle falsehoods in the name of hearsay as a justification for the blatant lies in the book is unbecoming of an academician; albeit with the sole intention of creating the impression that Nana Konadu had a role to play in the so-called Rawlings versus Mills tale.
“Nana Konadu played an integral role in the development of both the PNDC and the NDC, and the attempts by the author to denigrate her and nullify the key strategic and organisational role she played is yet another disappointment of the book”, the statement noted.
Mr Rawlings denied claims made by the book that his wife intended contesting the 2000 general elections.
“When the ‘Swedru Declaration’ was made (prior to the 2000 elections), Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings had in fact been out of Ghana for several months working on a women’s health project for the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“A fact the author could quite easily have verified were he or any of his proof-readers inclined to do so. She was informed about the Declaration while she was abroad.
“Surely, logic would indicate, that had she any intention to contest that election, she would have been in the country campaigning, or at the very least have set in motion her campaign machinery with which to achieve her Presidential objectives.
“At no point did she indicate to President Rawlings or members of the party that she had any intention or inclination to be the flagbearer of the party. On her return to the country, she rapidly rolled out her campaign strategy and machinery in support of Professor Mills. Yet another fact that can be easily and publicly verified”.
“In writing on the Extraordinary Congress of April 2000, the author again alleges that Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was unhappy with the proliferation of ‘Mills for President’ T-shirts and confronted several people who wore the T-shirts including he (Kwamena) and Kofi Totobi-Quakyi. It defies logic for an academician turned author to include this falsehood in his work when President and Mrs. Rawlings had publicly thrown their weight behind Vice-President Mills for the Presidency and indeed after the Congress, they campaigned extensively and comprehensively for the candidate.
“Further, to insinuate that Mrs. Rawlings was averse to the wearing of ‘Mills for President’ T-shirts is absurd given that Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and her women’s group were actually responsible for printing thousands of ‘Mills for President’ paraphernalia to her personal debt.
“The foregoing is merely a crystallisation of decades of a smear campaign led by Ahwoi to shift the blame for all the many failures of the Party onto Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings. This is indicative of the consistent lack of reflection and the refusal to take responsibility for mistakes, that have led the Party to the point at which it finds itself”.