Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (rtd), the former President, has reacted to the statements made by the Interior Minister, Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, describing them as false allegations and wicked lies.
The reaction is contained in a letter dated August 25, 2004, and copied to press houses, All Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Ghana, Heads of Religious Bodies, President of the National House of Chiefs, the Inspector-General of Police, and Mr. Francis Poku, National Security Co-ordinator. The letter was dispatched as the former president prepared to leave for Congo Brazzaville. It was signed by Mr Victor Emmanuel Smith, special assistant, and director of public affairs at the office of the former President. The letter is published unedited for the reading public's perusal.
Please, read on:
“I am lodging a protest against statements and comments you are quoted as making in Daily Guide of Tuesday, August 24, 2004 and your interview on Radio Gold on the same day about His Excellency, the former President of the Republic of Ghana.
As Minister of Interior, you and the National Security Co-ordinator were very much aware of the itinerary of President Rawlings and indeed of the fact that President Nguesso of the Congo has invited President Rawlings to be a guest of honour at the country's anniversary celebrations.
President Rawlings had intended to stay on and pay his respects to the family of President Nguesso for the loss of his son-in-law (died in a motor accident) after the anniversary parade but the family were out of Brazzaville at that time and so he cut short his visit in order to honour an invitation by the Queenmother of Mepe, at the 50 years anniversary celebration of her enstoolment. This function has been scheduled for Friday August 20, long before the invitation from the Congo.
I also know that you knew about his stop-over in Benin (which was due to flight connection difficulties), his courtesy call on President Kerekou and the fact that government courtesies were accorded President Rawlings, from Benin through to Togo and also VIP courtesies accorded him at the Togolese Prime Ministerial level to the Togo-Ghana border en route to Accra. I am therefore appalled that you chose to indulge in the politics of misinformation and vilification which is fast becoming a trade mark of your government.
You may wish to note that President Rawlings has gone back to Congo Brazzaville to pay his respects to the family of the late son-in-law of President Nguesso. Mr. Minister, In your Radio Gold interview as well as your comments captured in the Daily Guide newspaper of Tuesday, August 24, 2004, you deliberately made very serious allegations and told outright lies about President Rawlings, which I am sure are meant to give him a bad name in order to carry out your government's diabolical agenda against him.
You stated that His Excellency, the former President, travels to the UK via Togo, I can state categorically that His Excellency has never travelled to UK through Togo. Your assertion therefore is a blatant lie. '