Nana Konadu had no intention to be NDC flagbearer – Rawlings defends his wife

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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has denied vehemently the allegations levelled against him by Prof Kwamena Ahwoi, one of his former appointees, to the effect that the former’s wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings has been nursing presidential ambitions and wanted to be the running mate to John Atta-Mills for the 2000 presidential election.

Ahwoi, a former local government minister in his book ‘Working with Rawlings’, alleged that the former first lady wanted to succeed her husband as president.

Rawlings was President and Head of State of the Republic of Ghana for 19 years, leaving office in 2000, after his second successive four-year term.

On page 191 of the ‘Working with Rawlings’, Ahwoi wrote: “Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings had been harbouring presidential ambitions and in 2000 had believed that she would be the one her husband, Jerry Rawlings, would hand over to”.

But in a statement from the office of the former President, signed by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, Rawlings stated that the former first lady had no intentions of running for President in 2000, let alone to contest Prof. Atta-Mills.

“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 where 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 [if] she had any intention to contest that election, she would have been in the country campaigning, or at the very least [would] have set in motion her campaign machinery with which to achieve her Presidential objectives,” the statement added.

“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.”

Rawlings stated that Prof Ahwoi was using his book to erode the magnificent role Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings played in the history of the PNDC and the NDC.

He described whatever Prof Ahwoi wrote in his book as a falsity that is “unbecoming of an academician”.

“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 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,” Rawlings went on.

He also stated: “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.”

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