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08.11.2004 General News

Hackman is a damn liar - JJ

By Gye Nyame Concord

IN A TYPICAL no retreat, no surrender style, former President Jerry John Rawlings has damne d Minister of The Interior Hackman Owusu-Agyemang over allegations by the Minister that he (Rawlings) had acquired two 4X4-wheel drive bullet-proof vehicles.

He said the Interior Minister's assertion that 'if Rawlings bought bullet-proof 4X4 drives, Kufuor can do same' is “total nonsense”.

In an exclusive follow-up interview granted by Mr.Victor Smith, Special Aide to former President Rawlings on behalf of his paymaster to Gye Nyame Concord, Rawlings launched a scathing attack on Hackman, describing him as a damn liar.

Speaking on an issue first raised by the Minister Owusu-Agyemang on Joy FM's Super Morning Show recently, Mr. Smith said the entire Rawlings household does not posses a single bullet-proof car.

What is more bugging, according to him, was what he described as the penchant of NPP government officials to lie about everything the former President does without cross-verifying them.

Mr Smith was responding on Rawlings' behalf to enquiries by this paper on a claim by the Minister that the former President bought two bullet-proof vehicles for his protection.

The allegation was made on JOY FM by the Minister during the recent brouhaha over the importation of bullet-proof vehicles for the presidency.

Responding to a question on President Kufuor's importation of the two brand- new bullet-proof vehicles and whether it was necessary at all, the Minister of The Interior said “if Rawlings, who is not a sitting president, saw the need to buy bullet-proof 4-wheel drives, what is the big deal if the sitting President does the same”.

“Rawlings ordered two and Kufuor also ordered two and I don't know why people make a song and dance about it”, he retorted, adding that “if Rawlings thinks he needs bullet-proof cars then President Kufuor needs more bullet-proof vehicles”.

He said “If George Bush is moving, he will move with about 50 security agents whilst former President Clinton would move with about only seven”, explaining that in all administrations, a sitting president is given a higher security than a former head of state.

But Mr Smith insists that the assertion by Hackman was false.

“This is a total lie”, Mr. Smith stressed, adding: “These people are always lying about Rawlings”.

Explaining the reason behind the ex-president's importation of two Land Cruiser vehicles sometime ago, he said when the NPP took office they withdrew most of the cars the former President was using and that his boss had no option than to acquire more reliable vehicles for his household.

Descending heavily on the Interior Minister, who is also MP for New Juabeng North, Victor Smith noted that if the Minister could lie to the whole nation on such a simple issue that he could have easily verified, then he doesn't deserve to serve in government.

“Ghanaians deserve more than this. Ghana needs a better government than this”, and further warned voters not to renew the mandate of the NPP government in the up-coming general elections.

He alleged that Hackman's tantrums were part of a design by the Kufuor administration to distract attention on their poor performance while busily amassing wealth.

“Look at the trend of these guys since they assumed office, my brother”, pointing out to this reporter, that “these people are only interested in making their families comfortable”.

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