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22.05.2007 General News

Nana K. A Rawlings explaines issues on daughter’s lover

By daily guide
Nana K. A Rawlings explaines issues on daughter’s lover

Former First Lady and life President of the 31st December Women's Movement (DWM), Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has explained the issues surrounding the restrained love affair between her daughter, Ezenator Rawlings and Selassie O'Sullivan-Djentuh, which led to the infamous identification hair-cut.

Mrs Rawlings' security guards allegedly pounced on Selasie, her first daughter's boyfriend, scraped his head with a rusty razor blade and locked him up in a guard room at the Osu Castle, where her husband held sway.

The former First Lady later appeared on a radio station with a bellicose voice and with impunity, justified the maltreatment, saying it was a mere 'identification hair cut'.

Speaking on several Kumasi-based radio stations including Angel Fm last Wednesday, Mrs Rawlings said she does not choose boyfriends for her daughters, playing down the identification hair cut given Ezenator's boyfriend.

The interview, which touched on her life out of power and the state of her DWM, was widely listened to by a large audience, and by the time it ended, a mammoth crowd had gathered at the premises of the station, with people craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the former First Lady.

It would be recalled, according to a January 2001 report by Amnesty International, Selassie O'Sullivan-Djentuh, aged 23, and two employees of his mother - William Katey and James Narh - were seized by armed men.

Because of previous threats by members of the presidential guard, his parents sought information on the whereabouts of their son at the Castle, which was refused.

His father was detained overnight for questioning by the military after appealing on national radio for information about their son.

The three men were released from detention after three days at the Castle, where they were reportedly assaulted, threatened and held in a dark and overcrowded cell in which there was no room to lie down.

After further threats, attacks in the state-controlled news media against the family, and the demolition by armed police of family property, Selassie O'Sullivan-Djentuh left the country for fear of his life.

His parents were charged with and convicted of assaulting a member of the presidential guard and offensive conduct.

A Circuit Tribunal in Accra ordered their imprisonment for two weeks to await sentencing. After widespread protests, the court bonded them to keep the peace or risk re-imprisonment.

Strangely, Nana Konadu described the Kufuor Administration as the worst in the history of the country, in terms of human rights abuses.

According to her, the continued harassment of her family and her Movement by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration had taken a great deal of her time and energy, lamenting that going to court had now become her 'profession'.

She took a further swipe at President Kufuor, saying he had unleashed a number of security operatives and journalists on her family.

Mrs. Rawlings, who had in recent weeks been hopping from one radio station to the other to tell the world 'her side of the truth', said but for the endless list of court cases against her, she would have, apart from her gari-frying and bread-baking agenda for some rural women, pursued other programmes.

Virtually weeping and ranting at the same time, she stressed that all efforts by Government to cripple her family would come to naught.

She alleged that all Government was interested in was hammering its perceived negative past of the bloody revolution embarked upon by her husband, which gave birth to her organisation.

Recalling what for her was the good old days, she lamented that soon after her husband had handed over power to the current government in January 2001, the President made it its grand agenda to make life unbearable for her and her family.

Mrs. Rawlings stated that it was a calculated attempt by Government to frustrate her efforts at empowering women and the vulnerable in the country, and cited the take over of some 31st December Day-Care Centers, the Nsawam Cannery, the Kpone-Katamanso Chocolate factory and others, to buttress her point.

Sounding rather unconfident, the former First Lady alleged that government had imported sophisticated phone-bugging equipment into the country and equipped some journalists with them to listen to and monitor her.

According to her, government had mounted a 24-hour non-stop surveillance on her, and with the assistance of certain journalists, made life really uncomfortable for her.

The equipment, which she alleged were imported from Israel, were similarly part of the machinery established to virtually kill her NGO and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Konadu, who had, together with her husband, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, consistently accused the NPP government of trying to re-write the history of Ghana, contended that 31st December 1981 was the day the country actually gained political independence because, to her, that was the day actual economic, social and political emancipation came into existence in Ghana.

After her lamentation, Mrs. Rawlings went after President Kufuor and his government with vituperations, saying many of his policies were worthless. She mentioned that instead of finding solutions to the energy crises, the president was churning lies into the system, saying it showed how incompetent he was.

She touched also on current socio-political issues and questioned the rationale behind redenomination of the cedi.

Contending that it was all part of the fraudulent activities of government, the DWM president challenged government to make known to the people of the country the amount of money in the national kitty.

The government, she claimed, had nothing to offer Ghanaians, hence had, out of frustration, resorted to the use of lies and diversionary tactics to plant itself in power.

The former First lady was in Kumasi as part of activities marking the 25th anniversary of the movement, which gave birth to the opposition National Democratic Congress. By that bloody revolution, Mrs. Rawlings became the longest serving First Lady and enjoyed that position for nearly two decades.