The office of the former President, reeling under an alleged assassination scare, has once again taken President J.A. Kufuor to the cleaners for what it called “his lack of concern for the safety and security of the former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings .
“What Kufuor forgets”, according to the office of the former president, “is that he too would one day become a former Head of State and he would require state security to secure his life.”
President Kufuor has also been accused of gossiping about former President Rawlings while attending the Summit of the 57th General Assembly of the United Nations UN in New York recently.
According to Mr. Victor Smith, director of public Affairs, office of the former president, President J.A. Kufuor told his colleague heads of state in New York recently that Rawlings stole some presidential cars and took them to his residence after handing over power.
Mr. Smith who is also an aide and special assistant to the former president made the foregoing disclosures on a Joy FM programme at the weekend.
Smith stated that the president of an African country who was present at the function where Kufuor spoke about the conduct of the former Ghanaian president, had telephoned Rawlings to inform him about what Kufuor accused him of.
According to Mr. Smith, their informant told them that President Kufuor told him that former President Rawlings stole 19 vehicles when he was leaving office.
Mr. Smith, however, did not mention the name of the President whom he claimed had told Rawlings concerning what President Kufuor allegedly said about him.
He stated categorically, however, that Kufuor's offensive remarks about Rawlings was communicated to the former President by an African head of state.
According to Smith, when the heads of state, met in New York for the 57the summit of the United Nations General Assembly, the unnamed head of state enquired about the welfare of 'his friend' Rawlings.
There upon, Kufuor, the Ghanaian Head of State is reported to have complained that Rawlings was misbehaving and cited the taking away from the presidential palace (Osu Castle) of as many as 19 cars which he commandeered to his house, after he had handed-over power.
The chief of staff, Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani, recently compelled the former president to return four of the vehicles after he had earlier returned eight to the castle fleet.
Victor Smith told the radio station that Rawlings is wondering how and why Kufuor would say negative things about him (Rawlings) to a fellow head of state.
He intimated that Rawlings has regretted handing-over power to Kufuor. “How can he go and talk about Rawlings to another President, after he (Rawlings) has peacefully handed over power to him (Kufuor)”.
He went on to say that this is why some heads of state are reluctant to handover-power, and by that, insinuated that he (the former president) could also have done the same, that is to have refused to hand-over power.
It would be recalled that this is not the first time the out-gone president has expressed regrets about handing-over power after his party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) lost the 2000 elections to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), now ruling.
Media reports, emanating from associates close to his office recently stated that Rawlings had said President Mugabe of Zimbabwe had earlier advised him against handing-over power to an elected government.
When Daily Guide reached the Ministry of Information for its reaction concerning the allegation, Mr. Ferdinard Ayim, special assistant to the minister said he believes this is just part of the Rawlings agenda to stir up discontentment for the government, and create constant tension in the country.
He gave assurance that President Kufuor will remain focused on the mandate he was given by the people of Ghana and would not be deterred or distracted by the Rawlings' agenda to create chaos and confusion.
On the issue that he regrets handing-over Ayim also told Daily Guide that Rawlings is obsessed with power. He made it clear, however, that power does not belong to Rawlings, but is the property of the people of Ghana, who decide every four years who must be their leader.
“No single person can ever decide for Ghanaians, but by the power of their electoral franchise (the power of the thumb, not the power of the barrel of the gun),” he added.