Working with Rawlings

Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings burst on the Ghanaian political scene with a failed military mutiny on May 15th, 1979. On June 4th 1979, following a successful uprising staged by junior officers and other ranks of the Ghana Armed Forces, he emerged as the Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) which ruled Ghana for three months and handed over to a civilian constitutional government on 24th September 1979. On 31st December 1981, he overthrew the constitutional government and formed the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) as the Government of Ghana. He was elected a constitutional President in 1992 and assumed office as such on 7th January 1993. He served two terms as President of the Republic of Ghana, finally leaving office on 6th January 2001.

Jerry John Rawlings is an enigma. It was a privilege working with him and being close to him. He and I went through many exciting experiences together. I have documented some of those experiences in this book. But there are many other experiences which I have not documented either because they belong to the realm of confidentiality or of privacy. What I have documented, however, is enough to give present and future leaders some ideas about governance at the highest levels; the dos and don’ts of governance; the skills required for governance and the importance of human relations as a leadership trait.

This is not a book about Jerry John Rawlings. It is not a book about Kwamena Ahwoi. It is not a book about the PNDC. It is not a book about the NDC. It is a book about Kwamena Ahwoi working with Jerry John Rawlings; our working relationship; our ups and downs and our joint commitment to building a better Ghana than the one we found it. Somewhere along the line, we drifted apart. This book is about that as well. It is my hope that Ghana’s leaders of today and our leaders of the future will learn some lessons from my account of Working with Rawlings, leaving out the negatives and accentuating the positives.

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The Fourth John: Reign, Rejection & Rebound

An influential northern caucus is secretly meeting and grooming him to contest the man who will select him as a vice presidential candidate. A meeting between the first lady and the Brong-Ahafo caucus results in, perhaps, the fastest ministerial reshuffle in the history of the country. At 2a.m., before the breaking of a major scandal, there is a meeting between the president’s friend and the investigative journalist about how to involve the main opposition leader, in the story to minimise its damage to the president in the upcoming election. The wife of the president reports the wife of the vice president to the vice president’s mother. The night before a crucial election, the president and his main contender are locked up in a meeting with Ghana’s most revered traditional ruler.

These and other revealing accounts on governance, policies and programmes of the fourth presidency of Ghana’s Fourth Republic are the intriguing contents of this book. Here, the journalist whose investigations are believed to have contributed to the downfall of the administration gets brutally intimate with the regime.

Rare interviews with key figures of the governing party and historical contexts to contemporary events provide readers and students of African politics the inside story of what is considered the model democracy on the continent. The fluidity of the writing style and humour make this book about politics and governance in Ghana’s Fourth Republic both informative, educative and entertaining.

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Ahwene Pa Nkasa: Standing with JDM

Standing with JDM is quite clear in this title that it does not intend to undermine the former president’s image but to burnish it. What is not clear is whether it was written to coincide with the 2020 Election Year.

It is in two parts, “The Homeland Briefs” and the “Diplomatic Briefs”. Independent of each other, they are held together by what the author calls the “Mahamarabilia” thread – a word he invented to describe his privileged proximity to the 4th president of the 4th Republic of Ghana.

Part One has 42 chapters that highlight events like Dumsor, Gitmo 2, Montie 3, Cheating at Elections, Lying and Blaming it on Mahama, Destroying friends and Family and much, much more…It also has intellectual discourses on Traditional Governance and the Ballot Box, Kigali (dangers that could be awaiting Ghana in this Election Year), Ebola and Covid-19 and the history of Ghana’s “coodetas” in new lights that would surprise and reveal…

Part Two, with 25 chapters, is devoted entirely to the author’s diplomatic service and reads sometimes like a coursebook on practical diplomacy and other times like a travelogue with intriguing insights. We come across his encounter with a sex change person (man to woman) and how his life was nearly cut short when his official car and ostrich crashed into each other on the highway from Windhoek to Gaborone. Part Two is so suffused with humour that it is difficult to tell whether he is pulling the reader’s leg or stating facts.

Most of the chapters are illustrated with unique pictures that could stand on their own as stories. It is a beautifully designed book, well laid out reader-friendly. For the first time, a modern version of adinkra, called adinshia, has had a public airing in the book…

Whatever your political persuasion is, your intellect will make you love this beautiful book on Mahama.

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Justice Daniel Francis Annan: In the Service of Democracy

Justice Annan’s public service in Ghana’s recent history embodies how an individual, acting in concert with compatriots, can direct the course of history using institutions which may prevail at a specific conjuncture in that history.

The objective of producing this biography of Justice Annan is to extrapolate from his life as a public servant, especially during the critical period of 1982- 1992 when he was a key member of the PNDC, and the 1993 – 2000 when he was Speaker of the first and second Parliaments of the Fourth Republic, the lessons and insights that add value to the existing knowledge of how social and political dynamics are purposefully managed even in the most challenging times; and how key institutions like Parliament are nurtured in a nascent democracy to literally turn dust into gold. The weight of the biography therefore leans heavily on Justice Annan’s public service during the two periods indicated above.

This biography was sponsored by the IDEG under its Senior Citizen Scholar in Residence Programme, which is non-partisan and open to all who have distinguished themselves in rendering service to our dear country Ghana. We hope that this publication will inspire institutions and individual philanthropists, both Ghanaian and foreign, to contribute generously to the funding of the programme. The programme aims at deepening our knowledge and understanding of the momentous conjunctures in our history that have shaped the content and trajectory of Ghana’s young democratic state.

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Destiny and Politics: A Biography of Hon. Samuel Sallas-Mensah

From a humble beginning as the son of a farmer in a relatively small town, Hon. Samuel Sallas-Mensah, four terms MP for Upper West Akim would perhaps have ended up as a farmer too. In those days, children took after their parents’ trades. Sallas got the chance to go to America and the entire course of his life changed. After a distinguished career in accountancy in the US and later in Nigeria, destiny led his way once more but this time to the country of his birth, Ghana, where eventually, a new career window opened in his life – politics.

As a Member of the Consultative Assembly his accounting and financial acumen were in evidence as he actively contributed to the District Assembly Common Fund. And as a Member of Parliament he was instrumental in instituting the live television coverage of the sitting of the Public Accounts Committee – legacies to the nation that survive today.

In this compelling biography the reader come face-to-face with this influential man of few words who is famed to have friends and access to both sides of the Ghanaian political divide. But what would Sallas be remembered for most, a politician, a chartered accountant or family man? More importantly, where else will destiny lead him to?

“Crispy-delicious narratives, refreshingly-garnished insights. This fascinating biography of a patriot never finishes astonishing you with the twists and turns. But it is the authoritative revelations about a nation and its people that makes this book destined to be relevant to the politics of Ghana.” ~ Business & Financial Times

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