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29.07.2005 General News

JJ Schemed To Be Life President


FAR FROM the consideration of most Ghanaians that Ghana's former President, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, could ever think of becoming a life president, a member of the drafters of the 1992 Constitution has revealed that Mr. Rawlings actually pushed for that. Prof. Y. A. Nuama Akyeampong claims Mr. Rawlings approached him in 1988 through his Security Chief, Capt.(Rtd) Kojo Tsikata, to tailor the then yet to be drafted 1992 Constitution in his favour so as to become a Ceremonial President, after having mooted the idea.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Chronicle in Kumasi last week, Prof. Akyeampong disclosed that in a desperate attempt to get this objective achieved, the former Head of State appointed him a member of the National Commission for Democracy.

The Professor claimed that in pursuant of this concept he was given seven books to study and come out with something that was to be put in the constitution to make Mr. Rawlings superior to all men who have had a semblance of presidential behaviour in Ghana. Professor Akyeampong said he declined to this.

“I was asked to study those books and select good things out of them that could make Rawlings superior to Kwame Nkrumah, Kofi Busia, Afrifa, Acheampong, Limann, Akuffo and all those who have had a semblance of presidential behaviour in this country so that he (Rawlings) could stand out and be elected as ceremonial head,” he asserted and added that Mr. Rawlings has not abandoned this ambition.

According to Prof. Akyeampong, who was a senior lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology's Department of Engineering, the present behaviour and utterances of the former President point to his assertion.

He continued that the pursuit of this ambition of the Flight Lieutenant makes him look like “a mad person, a nonentity and someone who is addicted to something that seems unnatural” and called on Ghanaians not to underestimate Rawlings.

Meanwhile, the learned Professor had indicated earlier on to The Chronicle that Mr. Rawlings' agenda could not materialize since he, who was the centre of the clandestine move, went blind, adding that he could not have supported the idea because he had wanted a constitution that seeks to allow an Executive President elected by the whole country.