A former Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Kwamena Ahwoi has revealed how it took him and some other prominent members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) about four hours to convince the late President, John Evans Atta Mills from resigning from office.
According to him, Mills’ decision to leave office was based on what he felt were the continuous verbal attacks on him by the founder of the party and former President, Jerry John Rawlings. Speaking on Footprints on Citi TV, Prof. Ahwoi said the late president called him while he was at an IEA workshop at Aburi to inform him of his decision to leave office.
“There was one particular incident which caused President Mills nearly to resign. In fact, he resigned, the only thing that saved this country was that he called to tell me that he was resigning. I was at. [an] IEA workshop at Aburi. He said ‘have you heard what Jerry [Rawlings] has said about me in Tamale?’ he said, ‘get the tape and listen to it because I have resigned and I don’t want anybody to try and stop me.”
Prof. Ahwoi said he asked then-President Mils to give him time to consult a few people and get back to him.
“I said to him, ‘Mr. President, I believe that you have decided to resign, but I also believe that you are not sure whether you have taken the right decision. You want a second opinion, otherwise, you would not have called to tell me. I would have heard about it in the media.”
Kwamena Ahwoi indicated that the following day [a Sunday] he, Captain Kojo Tsikata and Totobi Quakyi visited President Mills on “Sunday evening at his residence and at the time, he [President Mills] had actually packed his things in suitcases, ready to leave.”
“So we talked for about four hours which ran into 12 midnight and we managed to convince him to stay because we were taking certain corrective measures,” he revealed. “We were successful in those measures and as a result, he stayed. Otherwise, he was going to resign on an account of the way Jerry Rawlings was treating him,” he added.
According to Prof. Ahwoi, some of the remarks of President Rawlings that caused Mills to consider resignation were comments such as references to Atta Mortuaryman and a ‘Konongo kaya story.’
On Konongo kaya, he said Rawlings’ references were to suggest that “The man [Mills] is not well and so he cannot govern and he won’t leave it for somebody else to come and do it. And all kinds of innuendos.”
Jerry Rawlings had been an ardent critic of President Mills, who took over the administration of Ghana on January 7, 2009. Atta Mills, however, died in 2012 few months to the 2012 general elections.