The Office of former President Rawlings has rebutted accusations from the camp of the New Patriotic Party Election 2008 campaign team that their presidential candidate's life has been threatened.
Below is a statement from the former president's office.
November 17, 2008
Rawlings never threatened Akufo-Addo
The attention of the office of Former President Rawlings has been drawn to a letter addressed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) from the office of the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo claiming that former President Rawlings had threatened his life.
The letter to the IGP was based on a report by the Daily Guide of Saturday November 15, 2008 quoting statements allegedly made by the former President on Friday October 17, 2008 when a group of Nigerian students presented him with an award for exemplary leadership.
Our immediate response to the letter signed by Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku is that it is ludicrous and a desperate attempt at political mudslinging at a time when the fortunes of the NPP at the forthcoming elections are so bleak.
While we appreciate there is no time bar on news reportage and journalists can identify news from very old sources we wonder what the motivation was in releasing this concocted statement four weeks after it was allegedly made.
President Rawlings after receiving the award from the Nigerian students that day decided to have a casual interaction with them because they were keen on getting to know the man they so admired better.
Recounting his experiences as a junior officer, the former President mentioned the now famous yo ke gari crediting story and explained that over time the story had been misrepresented. He went on to explain that the meals he credited were not meant for him as most had been made to believe but rather for junior ranks who could not afford such meals.
The only reason the food was credited, he stated was because he could not carry money on him during his jogging period to avoid wetting the paper money or having coins weigh him down when he jogged. Crediting the gari was simply a very temporary action he took to feed hungry junior ranks who could not afford a basic breakfast right after the early morning exercise.
He lamented that the story was however misinterpreted by many including General Odartey Wellington who may have borne the brunt of the angry junior ranks who felt insulted because the credited meals were actually meant for them.
The former President did lament the loss of Odartey Wellington because he respected him as a fine soldier and cautioned all and sundry including Nana Akufo-Addo to desist from ridiculing the yo ke gari crediting episode by their own interpretation.
It is thus absolutely ridiculous that the Akufo-Addo campaign rather than deny that their candidate is out ridiculing the ex-President (and he is) has chosen to accuse him of threatening his life.
We wish to put it on record that former President WAS not responsible for the death of Odartey Wellington or even responsible for instigating those who committed that dastardly act.
The former President is no doubt in a political camp opposite to that of Nana Akufo-Addo but has not even remotely thought of threatening him or planning an assassination attempt on him.
The Daily Guide, which is unashamedly pro-NPP, has over a considerable period of time used its front pages to attack the former President. Stories such as Rawlings insulting Fantes and Mills in coma are but a few of the misreported stories churned from the Daily Guide newsroom.
We are aware of the calculated attempts by the NPP machinery with the assistance of their friends at the Daily Guide and other non-objective news mediums to smear the NDC and its leading members, particularly President Rawlings in the run up to the December 7 elections.
We enjoin all Ghanaians to be extremely vigilant because every attempt will be made by the NPP to stage-manage violent actions and plant it on the NDC in an attempt to label our party as violent.
The NDC is in the election to win it hands down as the entire country is calling for change and we will not subscribe to violence to achieve that aim. We enjoin all our supporters to continue to campaign vigorously for a landslide victory to rid this country of opportunists and self-seekers.
Signed: Kofi Adams