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12.04.2005 Gossips

Mills Fumes Over Rawlings’ Insults

By GYE NYAME CONCORD

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT Professor John Fiifi Evans Atta Mills is a very angry man.

Close aides say the man who narrowly lost out to incumbent President Kufuor in last December elections is mad at no other person than the man who once plucked him from near political obscurity and handed him the vice presidential slot in 1996: Mr Jerry John Rawlings, Ghana's controversial former President.

Insiders of the NDC and aides say Mills' fury is over recent remarks the former President made against him during a close door meeting he had with some key NDC members at his Boom Junction-Ridge Residence in Accra, and repeated, albeit diplomatically, on a JOY FM radio interview about a fortnight ago.

The former President at his meeting with the selected NDC officials described Mills and other key NDC figures (read about their reactions later) in very uncharitable terms, complaining that Mills had failed to lead the NDC.

The meeting was held on March 10, this year.

At that meeting, Mr Rawlings is also reported to have described the country's most respected taxman in very derogatory terms, calling him a “stupid and useless person”.

He is also reported to have chastised Prof Mills over his failure to heed his advice to take to the streets and protest against the December election results. In his view, the NDC flagbearer chose the rather wasteful exercise of issuing press statements to question the legitimacy of the election results.

Rawlings also suggested that Prof Mills operated at the beck and call of the certain officials of the NDC and that he needed to be propped most times to move, an allegation he discreetly repeated during his interview on JOY FM.

This is what got Prof Mills beef.

Aides say the public repetition, albeit in polished language, of Prof Mills by Mr Rawlings during his interview on JOY FM when efforts were underway within the NDC to contain the effects of Mr Rawlings insults before the Daily Guide broke the story, has gotten the learned Professor angry.

He had upon learning of details of the Rawlings' insults on his person virtually removed everything associated with the NDC from his house, this paper gathered.

Sources say it took the intervention of close aides such as former National Security Advisor, Mr Totobi Quakyi, to convince him not to give up on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party based on Mr Rawlings' insults.

Gye Nyame Concord gathered that it took a lot of convincing for the former Veep to lend his personal support and attend the last Chapter II 'Wahala' demo.

Eyewitnesses say even then, he left unceremoniously and immediately after speaking, without waiting for the “Kufuor nie, Atta Ayi nie” song by his one-time boss.

Sources who stood on the address platform say there was very limited interaction between Prof Mills him and the former President.

The former President went public in an effort to cull the effect of the story, and told JOY FM when details of his insults emerged saying he merely expressed disagreement with the NDC flagbearer's style of dong things which he felt were not in the best interest of the NDC.

He, however, admitted making certain comments about Prof Mills, but indicated that he could not divulge everything he said about him, since discussions at the meeting were meant to be private.

“I indicated Professor Atta Mills is very, very intelligent, but his short-coming is that he is too cautious sometimes”, Rawlings observed, adding however that, he would be more comfortable with his over-caution than a reckless person.

He said that though he verbally 'punched' some gentlemen in his party -including NDC National Chairman Dr Obed Asamoah, ex-National Security capo Capt. Kojo Tsikata (Rtd) and Prof. Mills - he did not do it with any malicious intent. He would, however, not discuss details of his diction he used in verbally assaulting there men.

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