Kwesi Ahwoi reveals how he ‘engineered’ historic Rawlings-Kufour handshake in 1997

Rawlings Kufuor Brawl Late former President Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor

Thu, 16 Jun 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Former Ghana High Commissioner to South Africa has revealed how he engineered a historic handshake between former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and late Jerry John Rawlings on January 7, 1997, when the latter was being sworn into office as President.

According to Kwesi Ahwoi, who was then the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre (GIPC), even though the event between two former presidents on that occasion was not originally on the agenda, he could sense the “heightened tension” at the ceremony and hence decided to approach Mr. Agyekum to exchange pleasantries with Rawlings.

He said the attendance of the John Agyekum Kufuor came as a surprise as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) rejected the 1996 election results, GNA reports

Mr Ahwoi was speaking at the launch of a book titled: “The Children of House No. D13 South Suntresu, Kumasi" at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences in Accra. While reading excepts of the book, Ato Ahwoi said, “the country needed peace and if it would be him (Kwesi) as a vessel to bring that peace then so be it,”.

Detailing how he initiated the plan, he said as the programme drew to a close, a former Deputy Minister of Environment wrote a short note on the back page of the programme and passed it on to him (Mr Ahwoi).

The note, Mr Ahwoi said, read: “Won’t it be nice if Mr Kufuor would walk to the dais and shake hands with President Rawlings?”

But Ato Ahwoi after receiving the note changed the wording to read: “Senior, this is the moment Ghana is waiting for. Ghana needs peace. Please stand out of your gentle self and go and recognise Rawlings.”

“...Mr Kufour read the note, pondered over it, read it again and again and finally with a deep sigh, turned to Kwesi with an expression of doubt on his face.

“Kwesi responded: Senior, you should give me the go-ahead, I will fix it. Mr Kufuor hesitantly signalled Kwesi to go ahead,” Mr Ahwoi read.

Mr Ahwoi narrated how after this, he communicated the decision to Jerry John Rawlings and managed to convince him to approve it.

“He (Kwesi) told Rawlings that there was too much tension in the country and that would break the ice,” he read.

Mr Ahwoi said President Rawlings asked him to involve the then Director of State protocol, who in turn asked him (Mr Ahwoi) to lead Mr Kufuor to the podium, where Mr Rawlings was seated.

Mr Kufuor, Mr Ahwoi said, walked to the podium, shook hands with Mr Rawlings and embraced him.

“This narration of this book is the first time that this story of how President Rawlings and J.A. Kufour met and exchanged pleasantries is being told,” he told the gathering at the book launch.

The 471-page book is the collective biography of the Ahwoi and the Adu-Gyamfi siblings.

It was co-authored by Ato, Kwesi and Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, Mrs Ama Twum, Mrs Ama Adoma Bartels-Kodwo, Mrs Efua Bram-Larbi and Mrs Agnes Appiagyei-Dankah, all siblings.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com