Rawlings didn’t beat up Arkaah – Kwamena Ahwoi clarifies

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Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, a long-serving minister under former President Rawlings has narrated what led to the popular speculation that President Rawlings beat up Vice President Kow Nkensen Arkaah at a cabinet meeting during the first administration of the fourth republic.

“Rawlings didn’t beat him [Arkaah]. But there was an incident and both of them fell [onto] the floor. But Commodore Steve Obimpeh, who was a military person, was sitting next to Arkaah so he went very quickly, jumped into them and separated them and Arkaah left there [the cabinet meeting],” Prof Ahwoi told Citi News in an interview.

Ahwoi, Ghana’s longest-serving minister for local government continued: “At the time he [Arkaah] was leaving [the meeting], his suit wasn’t torn but we all later saw a picture with his suit torn. [He did that] because he went to the then IGP to report that he had been assaulted by President Rawlings so he needed evidence.”

Prof Kwamena Ahwoi who indicated that he was at the said cabinet meeting explained that the incident between Rawlings and Arkaah was of such a nature that “his [Arkaah] coat would not have been torn”.

Kow Nkensen Arkaah, a flagbearer of the then National Convention Party (NCP), prior to the 1992 presidential polls, became the vice-presidential candidate to Jerry John Rawlings following an alliance between the NDC, NCP and EGLE party, the so-called Progressive Alliance.

The pair had a difficult working relationship. There were reports that Rawlings physically assaulted Arkaah at a cabinet meeting on December 28, 1995.

When asked why the “Fante” caucus within the NDC did not save Kow NKensen Arkaah, Prof Ahwoi retorted: “Arkaah was beyond salvation especially when the problems reached their climax with his affair with Jemima Yalley [Arkaah’s rumoured lover], that created all the problems. That’s when he became even more stubborn and so we were fixed with an impossible situation.” 

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