A kingpin of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disclosed how some attack dogs were deployed to attack the party’s founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Prof Kwamena Ahwoi who wrote and recently launched a controversial book, “Working with Rawlings” indicated that he was part of a contrived group that groomed and deployed young politicians like Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Dr Edward Omane Boamah and Felix Kwakye-Ofosu to insult the NDC founder under late President Atta Mills’ administration.
He claimed former President Rawling’s incessant attacks on President Mills almost caused him to resign from the highest office of the land.
Consequently, a strategy was hatched to hit back at Rawlings with the young politicians in order to save Mills’ Presidency.
On page 211 the book “Working with Rawlings”, Prof. Ahwoi noted the strategy worked perfectly as Rawlings was finally tamed by the ‘young boys and girls”.
“We agreed to take steps to ensure that Rawlings stopped his public humiliation of President Mills or reduce it significantly. The strategy we adopted to achieve this objective was simple enough. 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 officer. So what we decided was that anytime President Rawlings attacked or insulted President Mills publicly, one of the younger members of the party would take him on publicly, not with insult but with logic.
“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 criticised President Mills publicly. He described them at a public rally later as ‘Babies with Sharp Teeth’.
“The attacks were so severe that former President Rawlings has to describe these young politicians in NDC as ‘babies with sharp teeth”, Prof Ahwoi revealed.
It would be recalled that the babies with sharp teeth descended heavily on Rawlings and his family during the early days of the Atta Mills administration, supposedly to save the presidency.
‘Babies with sharp teeth’
The then Deputy Minister for Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa and Deputy Minister of Science and Environment, Dr. Omane Boamah were constantly used to denigrate and vilify the character of former President Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings
In a well-orchestrated TV and radio engagements the two deputy ministers took turns to launch a vile propaganda on Rawlings and his family describing them in very unspeakable terms and caused so much disaffection for the former First family within the rank and file of the NDC.
On Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana on Thursday,10th June 2010, Dr. Omane Boamah attacked the Rawlingses, accusing them of attempting to draw a wedge between his god-father, Ato Ahwoi and President Mills.
Similarly, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa also on the same platform the following day, Friday 11th June, 2010, accused the Rawlingses of sponsoring NDC foot soldiers to Tamale on the June 4th Commemoration.
He questioned how the poor foot soldiers of NDC managed to get money to print banners and also paid for their transport to Tamale on June 4th Commemoration of which they, Ablakwa and his other colleagues boycotted.
Mr Ablakwa urged party members to disregard the Rawlingses and their evil agenda.
About June 4
In June 2012, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa also claimed that the refusal of Aflao chiefs to welcome the celebration of 33rd June 4 Uprising in their town was one of many signs that everybody was tired of Rawlings and his criticisms of the government, the president Mills and NDC.
“I get the impression that everybody is fed up with what is going on”, he maintained on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana.
“The President is doing so well and delivering on his promises to Ghanaians but we are unable to talk about that because we always have to come on TV and radio and respond to such distractions,” he stated.
According to Mr Ablakwa, a number of people who supported the Rawlingses had openly expressed their disapproval of and dissociation from the Rawlingses.
He said much as the NDC members adored former President Rawlings and respected his legacy, party members had realized that the path, the NDC Founder had chosen, had threatened to destroy his legacy and leave him in political oblivion, and no one wanted a part of that.
Mr. Ablakwa said it was not only the Aflao chiefs who had openly dissociated themselves from the Rawlingses, adding that ahead of the Aflao chiefs, even some close aides and loyalists of the Rawlings had done same.
“Yesterday I heard that one of the close aides of the Rawlingses, Mr. Siddique issued a statement that he wants unity now – he can’t continue on this path because it is not taking them anywhere – another gentleman Francis Duker who used to be the Vice Chairman of FONKAR has also come down from the Ashanti Region that he has also left – he doesn’t think that this is taking them anywhere – the Western Regional Branch of FONKAR has also held a press conference to say that this whole thing is useless and it is not taking the party anywhere,” he said.
Mr Ablakwa said those were evidence that people were leaving the Rawlings camp in droves because the path Rawlings had chosen was not a worthy cause and people simply do not want it.
He claimed that the Rawlings camp had been deserted so much that the list of speakers for that year’s June 4 celebration was not appealing.
List of speakers for June 4, 2012 commemoration included then MP for Lower Manya, Michael Teye Nyaunu; Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and former President Rawlings himself.
“The kind of speakers we used to have at June 4 programmes in times past, I will do anything to be there and listen to them but not this time…and of course I am a ‘traitor’ and traitors are an endangered species at such programmes so we are not going to be there,” he stated.
The organized rate of attacks by the two deputy Ministers and other young activists recruited by Professor Ahwoi such as Felix Kwakye-Ofosu successfully silenced Rawlings and his wife with Nana Konadu leaving the NDC to form the National Democratic Party (NDP) in 2012.