General News of 2014-01-10

Rawlings is an attention freak, ignore him – Kwabena Agyapong

A former Press Secretary during President John Agyekum Kufuor has urged Ghanaians not to pay too much attention to the utterances of NDC founder Jerry John Rawlings because he is likely suffering withdrawal pangs from a lack of attention arising from his exit from the limelight of the Presidency.
Mr Rawlings has consistently accused all his successors of being corrupt. He has however singled out President Kufuor for special mention, describing him as a "very corrupt man" and a "thief" who stole from the coffers of the state to enrich himself.
Speaking as the Guest of Honour at the closing ceremony of the regional camp of the International Youth Fellowship at the Adidome Senior High School in the Volta Region, Ex-President Rawlings accused Mr Kufuor of stealing “massively” while in office between 2001 and 2008 and went further to describe him as an "autocratic thief".
He alleged that corruption was so bad under President Kufuor that the US government sent its intelligence chief at the time, Porter Goss, to warn him to curb it or face a military coup. He has however not provided any proof to back up his claim.
Reacting to the claims on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on Friday January 10, 2014, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, who served as Press Secretary to John Agyekum Kufuor from 2001 until May 2006, expressed surprise and regret at Mr Rawlings’s attacks on his colleague ex-president, “especially given his (Rawlings) history and background.”
In Mr Agyapong’s opinion, the NDC founder should be the last person to accuse anybody of corruption or impropriety, “after he sold state assets to his people, like the Tamale Catering Rest House to Huudu Yahaya and the Nsawam Cannery to his wife.”
He suggested that Mr Rawlings’s attacks on his successor could stem from jealousy, given the way the international community has embraced Mr Kufuor and is using his talents across the world on various UN and other bodies.
In contrast, the African Union has appointed Jerry Rawlings as its envoy to war-torn Somalia.
Another possible reason for Mr Rawlings’ angst could be the location of his house at the plush Ridge, close to the roadside.
“I have advised that he re-locates, because where he lives, he will constantly hear the sirens accompanying dignitaries using the road close to his house, and I’m sure he misses his days as president. May be he misses the salutes and all the other things, that’s why he is speaking like that.”