The cold relationship between the Ahwoi brothers and ex-President Jerry John Rawlings stemmed from the latter's request on Ato Ahwoi to contest the late President Evans Atta Mills in the party's 2006 presidential primaries.
According to Kwamena Ahwoi, by that request, Rawlings was seeking that his family betrays President Mills.
He said his family did not take kindly to the request by former president Rawlings especially when he [Rawlings] knew about the close relationship between them and President Atta Mills and the fact that it was them who actually drew Mills from academia into Ghana's political scene.
“A number of incidents occurred, but I think the major one that really created the problem was in 2006 when Prof. Mills was supposed not to be well and Rawlings I think was trying to get a replacement for him as the NDC candidate. He approached my senior brother Ato Ahwoi to contest Prof. Mills in the NDC primaries and we took offence because Jerry [Rawlings] knew the role that Ato had played in getting Mills out of the comfort of academia to come and join the turbulence of Ghanaian politics,” Kwamena Ahwoi revealed on Foot Prints on Citi TV.
“He knew that there was a very close camaraderie between us [Ahwoi family], especially Ato and Prof. Mills and therefore I thought that he was asking us to betray Prof, Mills,” he added.
Kwamena Ahwoi said he believes that Rawlings fell on Eddie Annan to contest President Mills in that primaries, which eventually saw Mills win by an overwhelming majority after Ato Ahwoi refused Rawlings' request.
Prof. Mills won the elections with about 81% of the total votes cast followed by Ekwow Spio-Garbrah with 8.7% and Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu coming third with 8.2% before Eddie Annan who polled 1.7% of the total votes cast.
According to Mr. Ahwoi, Eddie Annan later regretted the decision to contest President Mills because the two “were close friends.”
“That is what would have happened if Ato had agreed to contest him [Mills]. It was from that time that the drifting apart started… And it got worse when Mills became president and Jerry [Rawlings] began his attacks on him,” Kwamena Ahwoi added.
Prof. Ahwoi further claimed that Rawlings' persistent verbal attacks on Mills forced the latter to resign as president, but it took him and other members of the party to talk the late President Mills into staying in office.