The changing narratives of the author on his role as the messiah and alter ego of the PNDC Government’s decentralization processes will be shown in this sequel to my Critique V to have been a figment of the author’s imagination.
Kwamena Ahwoi as one of the small cogs in the Rawlings PNDC democratization and decentralization policy programme
A critical analysis of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings shows him recognizing from pages 61 to 71 of the book that the he was not the brain behind the decentralization concept of the 31st December Revolution. The “Provisional National Defence Council Policy Guidelines for Ministries and Regional Administrations, May, 1982”, a copy of which I still have, was the genesis of the policy underpinnings of the PNDC’s vision on Local Government and Decentralization. The author in his sobber moments admits that the processes leading to the Public Administration Restructuring and Decentralization Implementation Committee (PARDIC) was not his brainchild. The Akuse Committee which supervised the production of the Blue Book” was under the Chairmanship of the late Mr. Justice D. F. Annan – PNDC Member and ably supported by his colleague, the late Mr. Ebo Tawiah, PNDC Member to whom any credit for the production of the “Blue Book” should have been given not to mention the numerous technocrats who translated the various policies into a coherent whole for the Committee.
The NCD was the organ of the PNDC charged with holding consultation with the people to determine the acceptability of the proposals. Kwamena Ahwoi a mere secretary to a touring committee takes credit for anything the committee does. A secretary to any touring committee chaired by senior members of Government is analogous to any properly certified professional private secretary in the public service posted to a Minister’s office without whom most ministers cannot function efficiently but who by secretariat professional ethics must always remain anonymous: this was basic first year post middle school training and indoctrination at the then Tamale Commercial Institute in September 1966. The Blue Book” when it was presented to and accepted by the PNDC who commissioned it became the property of the PNDC and all contributions to its making dissolved into the PNDC which employed and appointed the committee. Of course, the author as usual wishes the world to know that at one point he acted as PNDC Secretary for Information and he could not have achieved such self-adulation without this narrative.
No other person to use “Chairman” as head of the decentralized Assemblies – Rawlings the only Chairman
Secretaries and members to Government Committees are by settled rules of confidentiality forbidden from talking about their work or the proceedings at meetings except with express permission of the Chairpersons of the Committees. The author, a mere member of the Akuse Committee which was an adjunct of the NCD sees himself at liberty to narrate in his book about the decision of the Committee to designate the person who was to preside over proceedings of the District Assembly as “Chairman” of the Assembly but adds sarcastically that: “For some reason Rawlings was uncomfortable with that nomenclature.”
Read within the overall context of the author’s book the author appears to have created the impression that Chairman Rawlings did not want any other persons to share in the designation of Chairman because he was himself Chairman of the PNDC. Chairman Rawlings did not want several chairmen to dilute his importance. The head of the district assembly was therefore designated the “Presiding Member” of the District Assembly.
One may ask, was the Akuse Committee meeting with Rawlings at which he appeared uncomfortable with the nomenclature at a private meeting or a regular PNDC meeting the results of which were intended to be treated as confidential? Was this narrative needful except to cast Rawlings in a certain unfavourable light as usual to the reading public?
While denigrating Chairman Rawlings in the above manner the author pretends to credit Chairman Rawlings with the introduction of the concept of “a percentage of the membership should be reserved for appointment by the PNDC” to enable the Council to appoint persons with the needed experience, expertise and qualifications to complement the elected members who may not have those qualities.” In the author’s own narrative, it was only with hindsight that the author saw Chairman Rawlings’ foresight as “one of the most significant in terms of the qualitative nature of the District Assemblies and made Rawlings into a near-clairvoyant” The author does not appreciate that in well-bred homes speaking of an elder’s contribution not to talk of the head of state’s in that way is insulting and not a compliment.
Decentralization and Local Government, 1988, PNDCL 207
An analysis of the author’s whole messianic rhetorical narrative was geared towards the fulfilment of one revolutionary prophecy – the ownership of the Local Government Law, 1988 (PNDCL 207: ‘As PNDC Secretary for Local Government I was assigned the responsibility for converting the amended “Blue Book” proposals into a functioning local government legislation. For this purpose, I set up a Ministerial Task Force which worked under my Chairmanship.’ The PNDC Political Committee co-chaired by the late Mr. Justice D. F. Annan and Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, both members of the PNDC, was responsible for relaying political directions and decisions normally cleared with Chairman Rawlings to the Ministerial Task Force.
Here we have a neotype with no previous experience whatsoever in running a Ministry being hoisted upon an already existing ministerial taskforce of experts (who had been working on converting the policies contained in the bluebook into legislation with the assistance of the Attorney General’s Office) as the Chairman and disingenuously claiming to have set the taskforce up. The bluebook was not sitting idle in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development since 1st July 1987 when it was published awaiting Kwamena Ahwoi, the messiah. The Political directives which became part of the Local Government Law, 1988, PNDCL 207 such as (a) the number of districts to be created (100), (b) the average representation ratio (1:500-1,500); (c) the manner of consultation for the PNDC appointment of the one-third membership of the District Assemblies; (d) the sectors of public administration to be decentralized; (e ) the mode of financing the District Assemblies had gone through the Joint Committee of Secretaries and approved by the PNDC before the messiah arrived in the Ministry after 5th April 1988. The Local Government Law, 1988 (PNDCL 207) was gazetted on 11th November 1988. It does not take only five months from April 1988 to 11th November 1988 to translate an important policy document such as the bluebook into legislation such as PNDCL 207. I was the Deputy Attorney General running the Ministry with the Attorney General in hospital when PNDCL 207 was passed and I say that Kwamena Ahwoi is as usual again appropriating the collective efforts of several dedicated members of the Joint Committee of Secretaries and its political and legislative sub-committee and the PNDC as his messianic property.
The author’s own manner of making contradictory narratives negates the fact that the PNDC was waiting for him as a messiah to enact and implement the Local Government Law, 1988 (PNDCL 207. In the author’s own words at page 72 of his book after triumphantly taking the credit for enactment of PNDCL 207 he states as follows:
“Once the Local Government Law, 1988, PNDCL 207 was enacted the programme for the conduct of district level elections and the establishment of the District Assemblies was put together. The assignment was under the co-chairmanship of Justice Annan and Captain Tsikata.”
This proves, if factual proof be needed, that the PNDC’s agenda for the implementation of its policy contained in “The District Political Authority and Modalities for District Level Elections, 1987” was well planned and coordinated from top to bottom and vice versa from the highest level of Government. The PNDC inception policy for grass root democracy and decentralization would have materialized whether or not the self-perceived Messiah Kwamena Ahwoi lived or died. The District Assemblies which were born would have been born under the Chairmanship of Jerry John Rawlings with or without Kwamena Ahwoi.
Responsibility for professional drafting of legislation for approval and enactment by the PNDC: the case of the Local Government (Amendment) (No. 2) Law, 1990
My second confession in my second critique of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings was about the dispute needlessly generated by Nana Ato Dadzie between the author and I about the proper procedure for making and submitting legislation to the PNDC for consideration and approval for finalization for the signature of the Chairman of the PNDC. This arose from a letter I wrote to the Chairman of the PNDC as the PNDC Deputy Secretary for Justice and Attorney-General with reference number L. 21/87/Vol. II dated 28th December 1990 on the Local Government (Amendment) (NO. 2) Law, 1990. As usual, the author’s response to Nana Ato Dadzie, the PNDC Secretary, at the PNDC Secretariat’s letter with reference number PNDC/S. 272/Vol. 3 dated 3rd January 1991, by the PNDC Secretary for Local Government’s letter with reference number SCR/MSG.119 dated 3rd January 1991 triumphantly evaded the propriety of not following proper legislative procedures in enacting PNDC Laws by quoting the policy statement announced by the Chairman of the PNDC in his new year’s day address to the nation, touting his over (9) years experience in very high Government positions, calling my letter self serving, and taking cover under a misunderstood interpretation of the concept of collective responsibility of the cabinet.
I immediately responded in my letter with reference number L. 21/87/Vol. 11 dated 7th January 1991 stating that I wrote my letter on 28th December 1990 and the Chairman’s address he was using to justify his unprofessional conduct was a mere after thought as it was made on 1st January 1991. I wasted my time in stating in my letter with reference number L. 21/87/Vol. 11 dated 7th January 1991 that:
“10. I am at a loss as to the ‘self serving statements’ contained in my letter. In submitting Laws to the PNDC or the Chairman of the PNDC for approval or signature one performs both professional and ministerial functions. I take professional responsibility when my recommendations are not in accordance with laid down procedure for enacting Laws by the PNDC or the Chairman of the PNDC. I could be liable for disciplinary proceedings for misconduct by the General Legal Council. These are statements of fact and Law. If they appear to be ‘self serving’ that is unfortunate, but I am under oath to maintain the ethics of the profession. Thus in discharging my individual professional responsibility there cannot be ‘collective responsibility’”.
I had assumed all along that Kwamena Ahwoi who always behaved as a person properly enrolled to practice law in Ghana and posed as a legislative draft person, Chief Justice of the judicial and quasi-judicial organs of the revolution was a qualified legal practitioner. He held himself out as one and I had no grounds to doubt his posturing having known him in Commonwealth Hall and the Faculty of Law before he went abroad. It took me two more years to learn the truth in London in or around September 1993 in a conversation with a common friend. Unfortunately, Kwamena was convinced I intended to malign him in those letters.
The opportunity or temptation put in my path to read Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings has enlightened me on the substance of his appreciation of issues and the serious shortfalls in his critical thinking capabilities as a scholar. I now empathize with him and appreciate his personal challenges, trauma, and the psychological state of mind of wanting to suppress his shortfalls and appearing to be an erudite professor of law, and the messiah and architect of decentralization in Ghana.
Whatever empathy one may have for Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi’s mental health challenges disabling him from rising to his feet again after his adversities in pursuing his professional law courses in the United Kingdom and Ghana will not help his situation should a blind eye be turned to his continuing claims of sole credit for the invaluable contributions of the numerous Chief Directors of the Ministry of Local Government such as Mr. Joseph K. Amoako, Mr. S. Y. M. Zanu and others who were the main technocrats guiding and coordinating the task force in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development without whose technocratic expertise, experiences, and efforts the author would have been clueless as to how to continue from the draft legislation on PNDCL 207 he met in that Ministry. One may ask, is Kwamena Ahwoi, the Messiah of Ghanaian Local Government and Rural Development also the architect of the National Commission for Democracy Law, 1988 (PNDCL 208)?
Professor Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings’ which seeks to denigrate President Emeritus J. J. Rawlings upon any critical ethical analysis exposes the author as an unrepentant and unethical self-acclaimed scholar who fabricates and falsifies data without any feeling of remorse. This published falsification and fabrication of data have been made possible by the disregard for the universally accepted standards of ethics for publishing scholarly research by the editors and reviewers who also unethically failed or refused to asked the author to make available, particularly to the main editor, reviewer, and foreword writer of the book who adjudged it publishable, the collected data the author used in writing his manuscript for verification of the accuracy of the reports or narratives contained in the book before adjudging it publishable.
The refusal or failure particularly by the main editor who was also a reviewer and foreword writer of the book, Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang and her supporting reviewers, co-authors and providers of facts, demonstrate a clear and deliberate intention to bring the indelible achievements of the 31st December Revolution together with all its dedicated cadres dead and alive and subsequent operatives of the Governments of President Emeritus Jerry John Rawlings into disrepute in the eyes of right thinking persons, particularly the youth of Ghana and the world over.
The preceding analysis and critique have also shown that the author suffers from a messianic mental outlook which gives him a false sense of knowing everything and without whom nothing succeeds in any social or political group of which he becomes a member. This messianic mental outlook or figment of the author will become more apparent and incrementally glaring as the critique of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings unfolds. Stay with me. I shall be back. Ghana First!
MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU