Amidu’s critique V – Kwamena Ahwoi’s ‘Working with Rawlings’
Revolutionary Engels reveal to Chairman Rawlings that Kwamena Ahwoi was the messiah for the PNDC’s “Power to the People” and decentralization programme.
And Chairman Rawlings’ PNDC Government policies on democratization and decentralization were destroyed by showers of ineptitude and incompetence of all his appointees. “Power to the people” had become a mirage after seven years of revolution. Only the one and only one promised revolutionary messiah could deliver the 31st December Revolution of the PNDC Government from certain doom.
So it came to pass that on the road to “Damascus” Rawlings met Kwamena Ahwoi and the revolutionary Engels said to Rawlings this is the promised revolutionary messiah without whom the revolution will perish. Upon the command of the revolutionary Engels, Rawlings said to the messiah: “Kwamena, if ‘power to the people’ is to be a reality, then we need to decentralize. If anyone can help Ghana decentralize, you can.
I want you to be the PNDC Secretary for Local Government to push the decentralization agenda”. Thereafter, Messiah Kwamena Ahwoi guided Rawlings to lead Ghana to democratization and decentralization, a Constitution was born, and Rawlings became the first Pres ident of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
A metaphoric analysis and critique of the authors discourse on democratization and decentralization reveals the messianic and hero metaphors as underpinning the rhetorical narrative of Kwamena Ahwoi’s imagination of his selfless contribution to making Ghana what it is today. The alleged qualitative data collected through participant observation and experiential learning giving rise to the author’s messianic narrative were largely fabricated and falsified as will soon be demonstrated.
Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings demonstrates to the reader the tribulations Rawlings went through to discover the author as the long-awaited messiah from 1982 to 1988. The author narrates how he was Coordinator of the Office of Revenue Commissioners, Investigations and Tribunals (CORCIT) from 1982 until 1988 when he was removed under embarrassing circumstances while he was away in Zimbabwe in March 1988 to address an African Regional Conference.
The author proceeded to address the conference, took some questions, had a standing ovation and left that night for Accra. The author “never asked Chairman Rawlings why he sacked him in the manner he did, and Rawlings never offered an explanation.” The narrative rhetoric shows a peeved official who bid his time and “not too long Chairman Rawlings against whom he bore a grudge for sacking him whilst he was away in Zimbabwe reassigned him to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, as the messiah, where the author now boasts to have “stayed for the next twelve years.” (See pages 24 to 25 of the book).
Kwamena Ahwoi’s fabricated data collection inconsistencies and contradictions
A chronological narrative with dates would have effortlessly exposed the inconsistency in the collected data and the analysis of the data, consequently the learned scholar and author does not remember when precisely he was appointed as the messiah PNDC Secretary for Local Government. The Ghanaian Times of 5th April 1988 contains the announcement of the appointment of our messiah the redeemer of the democratization and decentralization policies of the PNDC.
There was thus only one month or less between his removal as CORCIT and his reassignment to Local Government, meaning that even though he was relieved of his post he was not dismissed as a PNDC appointee. What then was the cause of the future messiah’s displeasure with his removal by the appointing authority in exercise of its prerogative to appoint, reassign, and dismiss become so offensive to the author that he has held it as a sore point against Chairman Rawlings?
It demonstrates how the author’s mental state of self- interest, over bloated self-importance and a sure retribution when the author feels hurt by his superiors and/or colleagues, runs through the author’s choice of victims in his book.
Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings has, thus been written as though it was the result of a well-documented qualitative research work by fabricating and falsifying data according to his mental mode and caprices as a scholarly report of genuine observations and experiences. The narrative ends up betraying such an unethical scholar attempting to pass for an author and a professor of law as unfit for scholarly and academic research work or the production of any professional research work where ethics and integrity is a sine qua non.
My attempt to professionally and ethically replicate or examine the author’s data from verifiable sources for his acclaimed scholarly works exposes the author as suffering from the most grievous sin of any qualitative scientist – fabrication and falsification of data. The National Commission for Democracy (NCD) under the Chairmanship of the late Mr. Justice D. F. Annan and with the assistance of a Political Committee set up by the PNDC produced “The District Political Authority and Modalities for District Level Elections, 1987”.
The author was just an ordinary member of the political committee representing CORCIT at the time of his appointment to the Justice Annan committee. The author’s own narrative of his removal from CORCIT shows that at the time the Bluebook was approved by the PNDC the author had no expectation of ever being removed as Coordinator let alone to be appointed to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The author in the same breath in which he expressed his utmost resentment of the manner Chairman Rawlings reassigned him to the PNDC secretariat from CORCIT suddenly makes a volte-face and without any shame fabricates data to show that he was Chairman Rawlings’ last hope and messiah “….if ‘power to the people’ is to be a reality, then we need to decentralize. If anyone can help Ghana decentralize, you can….”
I have stated that the “The District Political Authority and Modalities for District Level Elections, 1987 (Assembly Press, Accra, Wednesday, 1st July,1987) known as the Bluebook was approved in 1987. The author was reassigned in March 1988 and appointed the PNDC Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development on 5th April 1988. Nonetheless an alumni of the Commonwealth Hall, and the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana now a self-acclaimed Rhodes Scholar who flaunts his graduate school, Oxford University as his alma mater was able to collect data to conclude that:
“After the PNDC’s approval of the policy proposals in the “Blue Book”, Chairman Rawlings invited me for a meeting one day and told me: “Kwamena, if ‘power to the people’ is to be a reality, then we need to decentralize. If anyone can help Ghana decentralize, you can. I want you to be the PNDC Secretary for Local Government to push the decentralization agenda.
With these words, I became the PNDC Secretary for Local Government with the mandate to work out a programme for and oversee the implementation of the PNDC’s Decentralisation Programme. I accepted the position that nobody wanted because I saw it as a challenge. I was determined to overcome that challenge.” (See page 71 of the author’s book)
By one fell swoop of delusion Kwamena Ahwoi the aggrieved Coordinator of CORCIT who was reassigned by Chairman Rawlings imagined himself the promised messiah sent to deliver Chairman Rawlings and his PNDC from “the very little that had happened by way of translating that commitment into actuality” since “the Ruling Council made a commitment to decentralization very early on” between May 1982 and 1987.
Every reasonably normal person is most likely to draw the irresistible conclusion that all the previous PNDC Secretaries for Local Government, PNDC Regional Secretaries, District Secretaries, the National, Regional, District, and Unit Committees of the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution were all clueless and wandering in the decentralization wilderness awaiting Messiah Kwamena Ahwoi.
Kwamena Ahwoi’s recorded international interview claiming his indispensability to Ghana’s decentralization and other falsehoods
Anybody needing confirmation that the PNDC was waiting for Messiah Kwamena Ahwoi of Oxford University to deliver the PNDC and Ghana from the decentralization wilderness should read the interview granted by Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi to one Itumeleng Makgetla, on the 8th of September 2009,in Accra, which may be found on the Innovation for Successful Societies, Bobst Center for Peace and Justice Princeton University website. Kwamena Ahwoi had the following to say in his own transcribed words about the failures of the PNDC’s decentralization policies until he rescued the PNDC from the looming disaster awaiting its policy:
“MAKGETLA: I would like to focus perhaps on your involvement in implementing the decentralization policies. So when you think back to the early days of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, what were the key challenges that you regarded as priorities in your position as secretary?
AHWOI:First of all, after the coup d’état of 1982, the Ruling Council made a commitment to decentralization very early on. This was in May 1982. Between then and 1987, very little had happened by way of translating that commitment into actuality. A path of consultation that had been going on with respect to the re-demarcation of district boundaries. So in 1987 I was part of a political committee that was put together to fashion out a blueprint to personalize (sic) decentralization. When that work was finished I was part of a team that went around the country to discuss the draft policy with the citizens.
Once it was felt that the citizens had bought into the idea, I was then appointed the Minister of Local Government to implement the provisions of the legislation. This was a law that we called Local Government Law of 1988, or PNDC [Provisional National Defense Council] law 207….” (The full audio recording of the interview is also available on the website).
Kwamena Ahwoi’s love of messianic powers and for fabricating data in writing his so-called scholarly work is manifest at page 70 of his book when states that:
“In 1988 the Ministry of Local Government was the “Siberia” of the Ministries. Nobody wanted to be appointed as the PNDC Secretary for Local Government, because appointment to the Ministry invariably saw the exit of the appointee from the government. Besides, it was a very “dry” Ministry which was very starved of resources, but I am not sure whether it was deliberate. Indeed Ms. Joyce Aryee had left the PNDC system on account of her having been moved from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Local Government, a position she refused to take up.
One does not need to be qualified to be called a scholar or an academic to have the ordinary commonsense analytical tools to discover that Wednesday, 1st July 1987 the date on which the Bluebook was published and March 1988 when the author was reassigned to his annoyance was ten whole months. The author was reassigned to the Ministry of Local Government on 5th April 1988.
And I can bet my last penny that sister Joyce Aryee did not refuse to accept posting to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on account of having been moved from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Local Government. The established facts are that sister Joyce Aryee was on an approved sick leave of absence from the Ministry of Education at the time she was re-assigned to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development in August 1987. When she resumed from her leave of absence, she was re-assigned to the Office of Chairman of the Committee of Secretaries to enable her recuperate, but with responsibility for the National Council for Women and Development, and the Atomic Energy Commission.
It was in this capacity that she led Ghana’s delegation to the World Atomic Energy Conference in 1989. She was reassigned as the PNDC Secretary assisting the Chairman of the National Commission for Democracy from 1989 to around July 1992. No decent person who knows the role Ms. Joyce Aryee played in the PNDC Government at various critical times will associate her with refusing an assignment on grounds of dryness of a ministry or the place being a “Siberia”. Sacrifice and service to the people was our clarion call after abandoning our professions and jobs except the author who was still drawing on his fat university salary and benefits.
The foregoing again demonstrates that the narrative rhetoric allegedly deployed from the messianic author’s qualitative data collection for his scholarly book Working with Rawlings that: “Indeed Ms. Joyce Aryee had left the PNDC system on account of her having been moved from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Local Government, a position she refused to take up.” is not only a palpable fabrication but as usual one of his irredeemable lies.
Kwamena Ahwoi’s perception of himself as the Messiah that delivered the Ministry of Local Government to the promised democracy and decentralization is what makes the narrative in his book a figment of his imagination. The reality was that before then Mr. J. A. Kufuor agreed to work for the PNDC, albeit briefly, he had previously served as a Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and would not have accepted a Siberia for his posting by the PNDC. Kwame Dwumor-Kesse who succeeded him and stayed in that office for over three years had been reassigned to that position from the Ashanti Region where he was PNDC Regional Secretary.
The late Mr. F. A, Jantuah also came to the same Ministry from the Ashanti Region where he was the PNDC Secretary demonstrating in both cases the close association and importance of regional administration experience to the concept of decentralization. Mr. Kofi Acquah- Harrison was the first Minister for Local Government and Rural Development when his ministry was merged with Local Government after he had launched the Rural Manifesto in 1984 which was essential for democracy and decentralization. Cecilia Johnson took over from Kwamena Ahwoi without the Ministry collapsing and passed it on in good health to the late Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu as Minister for Local Government and Rural Development under the Kuffuor Administration. He was reassigned from there to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
The importance of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for the development of this country was underscored by President J. A. Kufuor when the late Mr. Baah-Wiredu organized a get together for all previous Ministers and deputy ministers including chief directors of Local Government. Kwamena Ahwoi was so peeved that he organized us from the NDC side to boycott the invitation, which we did like herds. I was PNDC Deputy Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development in 1986 and there was nothing Siberia or dry about that Ministry except for pseudo revolutionaries whose main concern was their personal prosperity. It is scandalous for any sincere cadre of the revolution to be told that he served for the sake of his stomach.
Anybody acquainted with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and its structures knows that no such Ministry can ever function effectively without the contribution and involvement of the Regional Secretaries/Ministers, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Secretaries/Chief Executives. And during the PNDC one could not succeed without the involvement and cooperation of the National, Regional, District and Unit Committees of the CDRs. The PNDC and its Chairman recognized that without these persons and organizations its policies were doomed to failure. Heads of CDRs regularly attended the meetings of the Joint Committees of Secretaries with their Regional Secretaries. These are incontestable facts because I was a participant from the CDR Regional level where I began to a Regional Administration, two ministries, then to another Regional Administration and returning to the Ministry of Justice before 6th January 1993.
The PNDC made a strategic and tactical appointment to enhance and facilitate grass roots democracy and decentralization on the same day of 5th April 1988 it reassigned Mr. Kwamena Ahwoi to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development which was far more important for the future of Ghana. The late Mr. W. H. Yeboah, a former PNDC Secretary for the Ashanti Region, was also reassigned from the Ministry of Social Welfare to the equally important organization in the decentralization programme of the PNDC as PNDC Secretary for CDR Affairs. Mr. W. H. Yeboah had the qualification and capability to mobilize cadres for grass root democracy essential for the actualization of peoples’ power and decentralization. Mr. W. H. Yeboah had profound experience of regional administration as PNDC Secretary for the Ashanti Region where he distinguished and endeared himself with the CDRs.
The author, an elitist, opportunist comprador bourgeoisie would have been unacceptable to cadres with whom I was closely associated as a professional lawyer before and after my appointment by the PNDC. Mr. W. H. Yeboah was a man who could accept his mistakes and failings. He was not an all-knowing elitist self-touting Rhodes Scholar like Kwamena Ahwoi. Mr. Yaw Boadu Ayeboafoh’s article in the Daily Graphic, “Countdown begins…No protocol here” dated 12th April 2018 is a posthumous tribute to Mr. W. H. Yeboah who had the humility to go in person to see an editor in his office “to thank a …journalist at Graphic who had educated him so brilliantly about the process of news writing.”
There was no appointee within the PNDC administration who was indispensable. Try as I would I have been unable to find any credible data or objective reason to support the narrative by Kwamena Ahwoi to the effect that Chairman Rawlings almost literally cajoled him as being the only person capable of implementing decentralization within his Government. The author quotes verbatim, words of Chairman Rawlings as follows:
“After the PNDC’s approval of the policy proposals in the “Blue Book”, Chairman Rawlings invited me for a meeting one day and told me: “Kwamena, if ‘power to the people’ is to be a reality, then we need to decentralize. If anyone can help Ghana decentralize, you can. I want you to be the PNDC Secretary for Local Government to push the decentralization agenda”. (See page 71).
I have demonstrated in these critiques that the author fabricates his qualitative data. This is one more such fabrication unless the author produces the collected data evidencing the words allegedly said by Chairman Rawlings verbatim at the meeting referred to above. In any case I have demonstrated that it took more than eleven months after the bluebook was published for the author to be removed from CORCIT and reassigned a month later to Local Government and Rural Development. Once an author shows himself to be an unethical scholar who fabricates and falsifies data it is only proper to examine his qualitative data before accepting his conclusions. President Emeritus Jerry John Rawlings denies he ever had such a conversation with Kwamena Ahwoi who has the burden to prove it with his collected data of the meeting.
The changing narratives of the author on his role as the messiah and alter ego of the PNDC Government’s decentralization processes will soon be shown to have been a figment of the authors mind in the sequel that unfolds. Stay with me. I shall be back. Ghana First!