But pledges support for Kufuor The former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), Nana Akwasi Agyeman, popularly called "Okumkom," has said that former President J.J. Rawlings is neither his enemy nor does he harbour ill-will towards him.
"I have worked with Rawlings for many years and I know him as a man of integrity. I cannot run him down now, because he is not in office", Nana Agyeman told the "Weekend Agenda" in an interview, in Kumasi.
Nana Agyeman was reacting to a recent newspaper report, which claimed that he had attacked and questioned the integrity of former President Rawlings while commenting on a statement he (Rawlings) reportedly made in Nkoranza, to the effect that, a second revolution is imminent.
Looking rather cheerful, Nana Agyeman said, it was unfortunate people have read wrong meanings into his comments. He said, the import of his remarks was that, as a former head of state and a statesman of international repute, Rawlings should not have made such a statement, as that would diminish his reputation and tarnish the image of the country.
"Every former president and statesman commands a great deal of respect not only locally but also internationally. Therefore, whatever a statesman would say should be done with circumspection", he told the Weekend Agenda.
He said as a good citizen, he is duty-bound to advise the former president, especially as somebody with whom he had worked, to help protect his (Rawlings') hard-won reputation.
Okumkom said, his comments were only meant as friendly advice to the former president and nothing more. "If I have worked with the man for many years and in my opinion, he is erring, why can't I advise him"? Nana quizzed.
He regretted that any time it becomes necessary for him to comment on national issues "feeble-minded politicians" who are always out to cause mischief misinterpret what he has to say, often giving the impression that he is either a sycophant or a traitor.
He described as "childish and display ignorance" the claim in some political quarters that he criticizes the former president because he is no longer in power. Nana Agyeman said what those political elements seek to do by their treacherous conduct, is to sow seeds of discord between him and the ex-president.
He stressed that former President Rawlings is "a man of integrity", and expressed the hope that the former president will ignore the false interpretations of his utterances, being bundled around.
Nana Akwasi Agyeman said he has pledged his support for the Kufuor Administration because he recognizes the need to put the national interest ahead of partisan politics, and challenged his detractors to grow up and stop their personality centred brand of politicking.