Professor Kwamena Ahwoi in his recent book, ‘Working with Jerry Rawlings,’ said that in his 19 years of working with the former President of Ghana, he appeared to lack depth both “philosophically and ideologically.”
He intimates that Rawlings was instead a “born leader” and this was what helped him through his governance. He says that the former President’s charisma had a way of charming the best brains to work for him even in areas where he fell short.
Professor Ahwoi described his personality as “dominating, mesmerising and nearly hypnotising for first-time listeners and audiences”.
He says that one could even rightfully say that Rawlings was a domineering figure. “He can be domineering, vindictive, and fearsome. The nearest analogy will be the Akan proverb about the bird “Santrofi” or nightjar, in English, belonging to the family Caprimulgidae which proverb states that “Santrofi amoma, wokye no a, w’akye mmusuo; wo gyae no a, w’agyae adee’ loosely translated as “the nightjar bird, if you catch it, you have caught a curse; if you let it go, you have let go of something precious”.
In the same book, he describes the NDC founder as someone who works very hard to show results. He however adds that Mr. Rawlings is a divisive figure who finds it difficult to keep long term friends.
“Once he is your friend, he would like his enemies to be your enemies and therefore if you keep him, you would be keeping a curse as his enemies will become your enemies.”
Kwamena Ahwoi also made revelations that during cabinet meetings, he observed that Rawlings had very little knowledge about topics under consideration.
“In my encounters with him at PNDC meetings and at cabinet meetings, I could tell that he did not understand many of the technical issues that used to be debated. Often times, he would feign disinterest and be looking through the window or playing with his toy planes.
“But once he got a sense of direction of the meeting, he would jump on board and ensure the implementation of the decision or the policy.”
In the book, he categorically said that Rawlings had no plan or strategy on how to help develop the nation Ghana, he therefore had to rely heavily on technocrats and followed most of the advise without much personal examination of these proposals.
He contrasts this with some other persons who have occupied the seat of President like Ghana’s first President Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah whom he says had a clear vision on how to develop Ghana.
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