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Rawlings was against Amidu as Mills’ running mate for election 2000 - Kwamena Ahwoi

Fri, 14 Aug 2020 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Former President Jerry John Rawlings was against the selection of Martin Amidu as Atta Mills’ running mate for the elections in 2000, Professor Kwamena Ahwoi has revealed.

In his book ‘Working with Rawlings’ which details his experience as an appointee and a one-time friend of the former president, Ahwoi stated that Rawlings did not want Amidu to partner Mills.

He recounted Rawlings favoured Dr Obed Asamoah and was determined to make him run alongside Mills on the NDC ticket.

Kwamena Ahwoi mentions that Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings had also decided on Obed Asamoah and was influencing his husband to make him Mills’ running mate.

He said it took the intervention of him, Totobi Kwakye and Professor Agyekum to convince Rawlings that the party will be sending the wrong message with appointment of Obed Asamoah.

He said in a meeting with Rawlings, Professor Agyekum used Obed Asamoah’s background and ethnic group as reasons why appointing him wouldbe bad choice for the NDC.

“Rumours were rife that Rawlings and his wife had decided on Dr Obed Asamoah for the position and that they were determined to foist their decision on Professor Mills.

“When President Rawlings summoned us to discuss the issue of Obed’s vice-presidential candidacy, we already knew Professor Mills’ position and had marshalled arguments to counter President Rawlings’ position,” Prof Ahwoi recounted.

“Jesus!” exclaimed President Rawlings, followed by an expletive. He then punched the nearest castle glass door with his fist and sustained a sprain which put his wrist in a Plaster of Paris cast for the period of the campaign.

“When we returned to brief Professor Mills about the successful outcome of our meeting with President Rawlings, he gave us an assignment. ‘My brothers,’ he said: ‘than help find me a running mate.

“Amidu was one of the founding cadres of the revolution and was very much respected by the young ‘revolutionaries’ who were leading the Reform Movement which was happening in the NDC at the time.

“His name had also been linked to the movement, though never openly, and he was rumoured to be attending meetings with them. At the suggestion of Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, we made the following calculation: ‘why not dangle the running mate bait before Martin Amidu? If he swallows it, he is likely to deflect the Reform defection or at worst to split their ranks’,” he said.

“This calculation was put before Professor Mills who agreed that it should be tried. President Rawlings was informed and he reluctantly gave his blessing. Martin Amidu was informed and he excitedly swallowed the bait. So, Martin Amidu became the NDC vice-presidential candidate for the 2000 elections,” Portions of the book reads.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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