Prof Kwamena Ahwoi’s Poison Chalice

Working with Rawlings Working with Rawlings

Leaders should be both teachers and learners. As teachers, it is expected that certain topics must be taught at the appropriate time, using the appropriate tools, in order to have a meaningful and desired impact.

Every journey we take in life, must have a destination. We walk forward not because that is the natural order of things, but because we will die when we stand at one place.

The past, sometimes it is said must stay in the past. The irony of life is that, often remembering the agony of the past brings back pains that, one did not experience when the incident took place.

If there is one thing that has been the bane of the African, it is our inability to document the event of the past, by this, I mean; most of our leaders have failed to put their experience in writing, so that generations yet unborn, will follow their footsteps and more importantly appreciate why they took certain decisions.

In the Western world, politicians have a strong interest in cultivating a positive, broad, and enduring legacy because memories of them influence policy debates long after they leave office.

The first time I appreciated and had some reverence for the former president of the United States of America (USA), George Walker Bush, was when I read his memoir.

In his candid and gripping memoir the 43rd President of the United States brings readers inside the Texas governor's mansion on the night of the 2000 election, aboard Air Force One during the harrowing hours after the attacks of September 11, 2001, into the Situation Room moments before the start of the war in Iraq, and behind the scenes at the White House for many other historic presidential decisions.

Reading through the book I developed some likeness for the man and wondered why he was seen as a dumb when he was president.

I brought his memoir up to support the fact that it is good to document your experience, as the Akans say "Wanka Utrimu asem aa, yeyi wu boni", to wit, if you don't speak your mind, someone will speak for you and possibly lie.

This and many more is the reason why, I was elated when I heard a seasoned politician, academician and historian in the person of Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, was launching his memoir.

A colossus, who has lived through and actively took part in birthing the democracy that, today we all take for granted, decides to launch a book, is news that will hold the hold country in an expectant mood.

True to prediction and expectation, Prof. Ahwoi, did not disappoint. Prof. Ahwoi a fortnight ago, launched his memoire titled, 'Working with Rawlings'. A well anticipated book that, has sent tongue wagging and fingers pointing at each other, since its launch.

There are a lot of things to say about the book, but the most important of all, is the timing of the release.

As a business and recently student of politics, I have learnt that good leaders learn how to time their actions depending on the situation.

Some matters are urgent and others require patience, but in all situation, choose your time wisely.

The country is preparing for a crucial election. Both candidates of the two major political parties, i.e. the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are going for a final showdown, after they all won against each other in 2012 and 2016 respectively.

President John Dramani Mahama, defeated his bitterest rival Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2012 and vice versa in 2016. 2020 is the election that will decide who is ahead of who.

The rivalry of these two gentlemen is similar to the one in the United Kingdom, between Sir Edward Richard George Heath of the Conservative party and James Harold Wilson of the Labour party.

Harold Wilson won the 1964 elections by defeating Edward Heath. In 1970, Edward Heath won and was Prime Minister, until 1974, when in another showdown between the two, Harold Wilson won by a landslide victory.

So if history is anything to go by, President John Mahama, has an edge over Akufo-Addo in December 2020.

In order for that to happen, anything or anyone, who will throw spikes on the way of President Mahama, has no place in the life of the NDC.

Another frightening episode in the book, was the naked revelation of discussions, meetings and conversations that happened under the cover of the night.

History is full of conspiracy theories, because even the 12 Disciples of Jesus Christ, in recounting certain events, gave different accounts.

If everything that we do or discuss in secret is made public, the world as we know it, will cease to exist. Families will disintegrate, friendships will crumble, businesses will collapse, the health of every relationship, is its secret.

Nobody in Ghana, underestimates the contribution of Kwamena Ahwoi in the democratic journey of this country. He did not need to tell us in details and make some revelations for us to know his relationship with some people, including former president John Evans Atta Mills.

History they say, can never be re-written. You either reminisce with a bold smile or be reminded and shiver like a drenched stray hen, as things stand, Kwamena Ahwoi's book has done all of that.

With some of the revelations in the book, Ghana should indeed be called a wonder-land, where the unimaginable happens, repeatedly.

Sadly, Kwamena Ahwoi, has become that person in our local parlance we say, when you are easing yourself and he is coming, you have to sit on it, because he is coming to look and go and talk.

Victoria Hammah, lost her position as deputy Communications Minister, not because she stole money, but a mere intention she expressed with a friend, she was having a private conversation with, but because it was recorded and made public, President John Mahama, had to relieve her of her post.

There is no historical perspective to Ghana, without Jerry John Rawlings, but his story should be told taking into consideration his infallibility as a man. He came, he saw, he conquered, he excelled and he made mistakes, but the gory details of his actions must not erode all the good he did.

The accounts given by Kwamena Ahwoi of Jerry Rawlings, will become a reference point of the 19 years rule of the man. Hopefully history will vindicate him, but in the meantime, the prognosis does not look good from the perspective of Mr Ahwoi.

There is always a motive to what we do, but to deliberately undermine our societal values cannot be justified in any way.

Indeed, if words could make the dead turn in their grave, the former president John Evans Atta Mills, would have rolled over last week, caught between amusement and surprise at the revelations made by Kwamena Ahwoi about him.