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General News Mon, 19 Nov 2001

Rawlings Drops Another "Bomb"

Ghana’s former president Jerry John Rawlings has thrown yet another “bomb" into Ghanaian politics with his disclosure that it would be easy to place a bomb at the Osu Castle (the seat of government) crossroads.

Rawlings was quoted last week in an Accra private newspaper, “The Independent” as saying that he (Rawlings) had once been told by some foreign security consultants, when he was president that it would be easy for a bomb to be placed near where the traffic policeman stands at the crossroads leading to the Castle Drive.

This revelation has predictably generated partisan responses from both sides of the political divide and according to the Public Agenda, another Accra private newspaper, both Rawlings’s immediate aides and leading functionaries have been trying to distance themselves from this latest controversial statement from the former president.

Rawlings’s aide, Victor Smith, had a convenient alibi in explaining that he had just returned from a foreign trip and could therefore not comment on the statement, the paper reports.

Another aide, Dr. Tony Aidoo had his phone locked, while that of Spio-Garbrah, chairman of the NDC publicity committee “strangely went off on three occasions when the subject was introduced to him," the Public Agenda says. “He answered the calls all right. But when the subject was introduced, his cellular phone went off on all three occasions."

The waters were muddied at a party national headquarters when Kofi Attoh, MP and deputy General Secretary and Nii Adjei-Boye Sekan, a minister of state in the defunct NDC regime, refused to be drawn into the discussions.

“Only the former president and his inner Cabinet …up to the kitchen cabinet cold be privy to such sensitive security matters.’ According to Mr. Attoh, anybody outside the “core cabinet” who claims to know anything about such sensitive security issues will be telling lies.”

NPP General Secretary, Dan Botwe told the paper that the former president’s statement should be seen as a positive way of reaching president Kufuor, “probably the former president means well for president Kufuor.”

Mr. Botwe however questioned why such a sensitive security issue should be discussed through the media. According to the NPP scribe, Rawlings has direct access to Mr. Kufuor and if he (Rawlings) has any legitimate security concerns affecting the presidency, it should be discussed at the appropriate level instead of making it public. He registered his doubts about the relevance of the information. “If it is true that the Osu Crossroads has been identified as a security risk point, then that information should be on record and readily available to the present government.


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