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17.11.2008 Politics

JJ Sacks Team

By Daily Guide

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has disbanded the team working in his office, just six months after its appointment, naming Joseph Otoo as his new Special Assistant.

The dismissed team was put in place after Rawlings' former special aide, Victor Emmanuel Smith, was sacked through an sms text message.

An official statement from the office of the former President was however silent on the role of Kofi Adams, who had hitherto styled himself as a special aide to Mr Rawlings after the exit of Victor Smith. Adams told Citi Fm on Friday that his position was a media creation, which he never rejected.

The statement signed by Mr Otoo said the new appointment followed the conclusion of a restructuring exercise at the office of the former President.

The statement said Mr. Otoo would run the day-to-day activities of the office and coordinate all official functions.

“His Excellency wishes to thank Dr. Hanna Bissiw and Dr. K. Caesar for their assistance in the restructuring exercise and wishes them well in their endeavours,” the statement said.

However, Mr Rawlings dissociated himself from the pronouncements of Dr Bissiw, saying that all her comments had nothing to do with his office.

 “His Excellency would also like to state categorically that Dr Hannah Bissiw's appearance on various platforms has not been in an official capacity from his office but rather on the recommendation of Kwesi Ahwoi of the flagbearer's office and Ms Hannah Tetteh of the NDC headquarters and should be duly noted as such.”

Victor Smith, a long-serving special assistant to the former president was axed following his open support for John Mahama in the heat of the vice presidential race of the NDC. Mr Smith was said to have shown strong support for the Bole-Bamboi MP against the choice of the Rawlingses which was Betty Mould-Iddrisu, wife of NDC patriarch and former Defence Minister, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu.

In an sms text message, the former President asked Mr Smith to draft his own dismissal letter.

He was subsequently replaced by a new team including Kofi Adams whose role is not yet clear in the new arrangement.

No mention was made of Madam Valerie Sackey, former Press Secretary who was drafted in as part of Mr Rawlings' communication team in the post-Victor Smith era.