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Prof Kwamena Ahwoi has revealed in his book “Working with Rawlings” that the late Prof John Evans Atta Mills, was not interested in contesting to become president of Ghana.
According to him, Jerry John Rawlings, during what is now known to be the famous ‘Swedru declaration’ never tried to impose Prof Mills on the NDC but rather he stated that he [Rawlings] was going to support Mills if the latter showed interest.
“I will support the Vice President, Prof Mills, if he decides to contest the 2000 presidential election,” Rawlings said.
Prof Ahwoi blamed the media for misreporting what Rawlings said at Agona Swedru in the Central Region.
Prof Mills upon hearing the media reportage told one Turkson at the Osu Castle that he does not want to be president, according to Ahwoi.
“Mr Turkson, ame ankasa menka de me rehwehwe President edzi” to wit “Mr Turkson, I have myself not said I want to be President,” was Prof Mills’ reaction as captured by Prof Ahwoi.
Ahwoi indicated that but for the so-called Swedru declaration, Prof Mills on his own would never have offered himself for the presidency.
Prof Ahwoi further stated that many Cabinet Ministers were very happy about Rawlings’ Swedru declaration, “Prof Mills himself was indifferent” but it did not affect Prof Mills’ attitude and performance as Vice President.
JJ Rawlings on his part had problems with the Castle bureaucracy over the Swedru declaration. So, at a staff durbar at the Castle gardens, he asked the staff, “if you do not like him [Mills] to be the president, tell me who you like.”
Prof Ahwoi added that after hearing different media reports of the declaration in the media, Prof Mills was indifferent and said “Swedru yi, odze asem beba” meaning “this Swedru matter is going to bring trouble”.
The ‘Swedru declaration’ created a near division among the members of the NDC. Some people led by Goosie Tanoh broke away from the party to form the National Reform Party (NRP).
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