Former Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi, has made startling revelation about the late President John Evans Atta Mills, claiming he resigned from office but had to be persuaded to rescind his decision.
He said former President Mills had called him that he was going to announce his resignation because former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings who brought him to political limelight was disturbing him.
According to Prof. Ahwoi, the late Professor Mills had complained to him that he was receiving “constant attacks” on his personality from Mr. Rawlings, founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), who made him his vice between early 1997 and early 2001.
The ex-minister said the straw that broke the camel’s back was a comment Mr. Rawlings made in Tamale which made Prof. Mills call him (Ahowi) and said in Fante, “I have resigned.”
Speaking on Citi TV after the launch of his book entitled: “Working with Rawlings”, the former minister recounted that “there was one particular incident which caused President Mills nearly to resign. In fact, he resigned as President. The only thing that saved this country was that he called to tell me he was resigning.”
“I was at IEA conference at Aburi when he (Mills) called and said ‘Kwamena, have you heard about what Jerry (Mr. Rawlings) had gone to say about me in Tamale’ and I said no. Then he added ‘get the audio and listen to it because I have resigned and I don’t want anybody to stop me’,” he disclosed.
“And I said to him, Mr. President, I believed that you have decided to resign, but I also believe that you are not sure whether you have taken the right decision. You want a second opinion otherwise you would not have called to tell me. I would have heard about it in the media,” he narrated.
Prof. Ahwoi said he requested the late President to give him time to consult his “gang (that is how I put it). And so I called Captain Tsikata and he said I should arrange to go and see him, and should bring in Totobi Kwakye.”
“By Sunday evening, we went to his residence. He (Mills) had actually packed his things in suitcases – everything – ready to leave.
“So we talked about four hours which ran into 12 midnight and we managed to convince him to stay because we were taking certain corrective measures,” he revealed.
“We were successful in those measures and as a result he stayed. Otherwise, he was going to resign on an account of the way Jerry Rawlings was treating him,” he added.
Atta Mortuary Man Jab
Prof. Ahwoi said it all started when Mr. Rawlings in 2006 approached him and his brothers to find a replacement for Prof. Mills, “who was supposed not to be well” as the NDC candidate.
“He approached my senior brother, Ato Ahwoi, to contest Prof. Mills in the NDC primaries, and we took offence because Jerry knew the role I and Ato had played in getting Prof. Mills out of the comfort of academia to come and join the turbulence of Ghanaian politics (sic),” he said.
“He knew that there was a very close chemistry between us, especially Ato and Prof. Mills, and therefore as I have recounted in my book, I thought that he was asking us to betray Prof. Mills,” he added.
The former Local Government Minister said when Ato Ahwoi refused to accede to Mr. Rawlings’s proposal, he fell on Eddy Annan, who was also another close confidant of Mills, asserting that the late President was virtually living in Eddy Annan’s house while he was the Vice-President.
He stated that when Rawlings failed to achieve his mission, things started deteriorating, saying “it was from that time that we got upset and the drifting apart started. And it got worse when Mills became President and Jerry began his attacks on him.”
‘Attacks?’ the host, Samuel Atta Mensah asked and Prof. Ahwoi answered ‘yes’, and Prof. also asked rhetorically, “Did you not hear about Atta Mortuary Man story and the Konongo Kaya? Do you know what Konongo Kaya means?”
“Atta Mortuary Man used to dress people nicely when their bodies were brought to Tetteh Quashie and for him nobody was very sure what was going to happen to him when he died,” he explained.
On Konongo Kaya, Prof. Ahwoi said was the man who could not perform his task and would not leave it for another person who can do it better, adding these are all kinds of innuendoes made by ex-President Rawlings in apparent attacks on Prof. Atta Mills.
By Ernest Kofi Adu