Late Prof. Mills wanted to step down as presidential candidate in 2006 – Rawlings reveals

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Former President Jerry John Rawlings has in his response to the book ‘Working with Rawlings’ authored by Kwamena Ahwoi revealed the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills had wanted to withdraw from the race after winning the 2006 presidential primaries due to ill health.

Mr. Rawlings who has expressed displeasure at what he described as an attempt by the author to ridicule him and his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings said the late Mills after winning the primaries travelled abroad to seek medical care.

He said it was at this point that the late Mills called and told him of his decision to step down as candidate so they party could find another person.

Mr. Rawlings went on to disclose. he later discussed and met with the leadership of the party to find a replacement.

However, some top party officials after Mills’ return from his medical check up, met with him [Late Mills] secretly and convinced not to withdraw but contest.

According to him, these individuals further lied to Mills t5hat he [Rawlings] was trying to undermine him.

”When Professor Mills returned to Ghana, meetings were held with him without the knowledge or participation of President Rawlings, where Professor Mills was convinced by those present, not to withdraw his candidature and actually made to believe that President Rawlings was working to undermine him. That, was when the mistrust begun, and Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi was and is well-known to be one of the master-architects of that manipulative agenda that pushed a very unwell candidate Mills into the 2008 General Elections.”

He also stated reasons why he constantly attacked the late Mills saying his refusal to investigate the gruesome murder of the late Yaa-Naa and 40 of his elders and alleged corruption under the former President Rawlings among other issues forced him to openly criticize the late Mills.

Read the portion of his statement on the Mill’s saga

After his landslide victory in the 2006 NDC Primaries, candidate Mills travelled to South Africa for medical treatment. While in South Africa, Mills put a call through to President Rawlings and indicated his desire to forego the candidature for the presidential election owing to his medical state. Following this conversation, President Rawlings held a meeting with some leading members of the Party to express concern about the state of candidate Mills’ health, and urged them to identify recognizable party members who could step in. President Rawlings is on record as having suggested that some known personalities in the party should position themselves to demonstrate that the NDC had enough Presidential material.

Bizarrely, Kwamena Ahwoi has written a lengthy diatribe about how Rawlings coerced his brother (Ato Ahwoi) to contest Mills ahead of the primaries, leading to the breakdown of their healthy relationship. It should be stated on record, that President Rawlings took the responsible and pragmatic approach after he received that politically unnerving call from Professor Mills. He consulted the Party leadership to take strategic steps to fill the gap which by Professor Mills’ account was imminent. You might also like..

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. More disappointing is the impression created that he was and is unaware of that critical phone call from Professor Mills (while in South Africa) to President Rawlings. It is rather telling of him to deny this well-known crisis merely in his bid to deride and denigrate the genuine efforts of former President Rawlings to arrest a crisis.

When Professor Mills returned to Ghana, meetings were held with him without the knowledge or participation of President Rawlings, where Professor Mills was convinced by those present, not to withdraw his candidature and actually made to believe that President Rawlings was working to undermine him. That, was when the mistrust begun, and Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi was and is well-known to be one of the master-architects of that manipulative agenda that pushed a very unwell candidate Mills into the 2008 General Elections.

It must be noted, that at no point did President Rawlings support Professor Mills in his bid for presidency, with the aim or intention to manipulate Professor Mills should he become President, despite the attempts of various individuals to peddle falsehoods and sow disunity.

Having worked with Professor Mills on various policy and manifesto achievements during his presidency, the aim was to support him and the NDC party back into government, for the good work of the pre-2000 NDC Administration to continue. After nineteen (19) years of working alongside various individuals with different motives and political beliefs including his political opponents, President Rawlings had acquired enough experience in people management to not be as unsophisticated in his relationship with Professor Mills as the book seeks to misinform.

President Rawlings was critical of President Mills’ administration, there is no denying that, in usual manner, this was done openly and with the best of intentions. He had meetings with President Mills offering counsel and suggestions strictly to the good of Mills’ presidency and that of his government. Rawlings has always remained consistent in his open and bona fides criticisms of President Mills’ administration which, to date, are still outstanding matters. These include:

1. The failure of the Mills Government to investigate the assassination of the Yaa-Naa and forty (40) of his elders;

2. President Mills’ inability to look into the death of Alhaji Issa Mobilla, the late Northern Regional Chairman of the CPP;

3. The failure of the Mills Government to investigate and prosecute genuine fraudulent activities within President Kufuor’s administration; and

4. The lack of dedication to the Party ideals of probity and accountability, as well as the monetization of the NDC internal electoral processes.

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