Former President Jerry Rawlings has officially responded to ‘Working with Rawlings’, the controversial book by Professor Kwamena Ahwoi which sought to chronicle the history and particularly his personal relationship with the protagonist of that period of Ghana’s heady days now commonly referred to as the Rawlings Era.
Not only does Rawlings dispute many of the claims of the author and proceed to provide copious examples or situations in the alternative, he actually describes the book as one that is “generously economical with the truth”.
He had previously taken to social media to deny some of the claims in the book and promised a full response.
The 15-page response titled "THE INTEGRITY OF TRUTH – STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICE OF PRESIDENT RAWLINGS", issued by the Communications Directorate of his office and signed by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, deals with various subjects Rawlings considers to have been misrepresented in the book, subjects such as he (Rawlings) being unsupportive of the late President Mills while in office and therefore seeking his removal; Rawlings’ personal involvement in the 2008 electioneering campaign; Atta mortuary man; and Ahwoi’s claim that Rawlings had no vision for Ghana.
According to Rawlings, it cannot be true that he sought to remove President Mills from office and therefore prompted or “coerced” Mr. Ato Ahwoi), the author’s brother, to contest Mills ahead of the 2008 elections.
He says President Mills, after winning the 2006 NDC primary, travelled to seek healthcare in South Africa, from where he called to announce his desire to relinquish the NDC flagbearership role owing to ill-health, and following which he (Rawlings) had called a meeting of some of the leadership of the party to scout for a possible replacement if that was to become necessary.
“Urging some members of the Party to position themselves for a potential contest, was in no way an attempt to undermine, sabotage, betray or malign Professor Mills as the author shamelessly infers in his book.”
And to prove that he actually supported and campaigned for Mills to win the 2008 presidential election, contrary to claims that he did not, President Rawlings chronicles his roles, as well as those played by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, in the entire campaign.
“President Rawlings and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings were actually an integral part of the NDC campaign structure for the 2008 election.
He started his campaign in Sankore in the Brong Ahafo Region, and subsequently visited all ten regions, visiting some towns and villages twice, sometimes walking long distances in the process.
President Rawlings traversed the whole country and made headlines by being the first to reach Tain, in the Brong Ahafo Region when that town became the eye of the storm during the election, leading to the legendary “third round”.
Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings campaigned in not less than 15 major markets in Greater Accra Region, after which she moved straight to the Volta Region to start work. She also campaigned in the Ashanti, Brong Ahafo and Western Regions.
She is also on record as having loaned vehicles and countless other resources to the Party towards the elections.”