Who Squeezed Whose Balls?

I heard about the launch of the book but had no intention of reading it, at least not for now. I, however, could not resist borrowing when I chanced upon it in a friend’s office last Wednesday. ‘Working With Rawlings’ by Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi is the book I’m referring to.

I do agree with Dela Coffie’s assertion that any reader with a skull tightly screwed to the head would clearly see that the main agenda of the book is to ridicule Papa J. It is also obvious the author had spared no effort in his determination to paint the party’s founder black.

Whatever his reasons, I cannot tell. But I can see clearly that all is currently not well between Kwamena and his erstwhile boss. It seems the former is disgruntled and hell-bent on demystifying the ‘Junior Jesus’. This notion is supported by Kwamena’s narration on pages 252-254.

The book did confirm stories we’ve heard before. The balls-squeezing incident was once narrated by Bede Ziedeng himself, but no one cared to hear his cry. Many have now taken notice of the bizarre incident because the story is being told by one of the Ahwoi Brothers. Is it not ironic that those who vehemently defended Papa J. after the ill-fated Koforidua congress are now the ones publishing the balls-squeezing incident to make the former president look bad in the eyes of the public?

One confession that has attracted a lot of interest has to do with the ‘babies with sharp teeth’. Listen to the Professor himself on page 211:

“… and we agreed to take steps to ensure that Rawlings stopped his public humiliation of President Mills or reduce it significantly. The strategy we adopted to achieve this objective was simple enough. From our knowledge of President Rawlings, we knew that he could not stand being talked back to by people he considered his subordinates. This must have been due to his military background, because in the military, the subordinate never talks back to his superior officer. So what we decided was that anytime President Rawlings attacked or insulted President Mills publicly, one of the younger members of the party would take him on publicly, not with insult but with logic.

It worked and the strategy proved effective. Rawlings toned down on his public criticism of President Mills. Instead, he turned his anger on the young ‘boys and girls’ who were talking back at him whenever he criticised President Mills publicly. He described them at a public rally later as ‘babies with sharp teeth’. The name stuck, but the presidency of Professor Mills was saved”

The ‘babies with sharp teeth’ have, however, publicly dissociated themselves from Kwamena’s allusion. They claim to believe in the politics of principle and conviction and needed no prodding to defend President Mills and his government.

But we know better, don’t we? We were privileged to have seen them in action and it is an understatement to say they were vicious. Not only did they have very sharp teeth, but also had mouths that exuded very bad breath.

Indeed, we wouldn’t be fooled by their denials because General Ntontom himself had already confirmed Kwamena’s assertion when he told Bede Ziedeng, Obed Asamoah and others to return to the party because “the barking dog” had been chained. And we all knew whom he referred to as ‘the barking dog’, didn’t we?

Another point of interest is on page 135 where mention is made of Professor Mills’ near resignation over Papa J’s purported insults on his protégé. The revelation portrays the late president as a weak man who could not withstand criticisms from his own mentor. Unfortunately, President Mills is not here to confirm or deny the story because dead men don’t talk.

Was I shocked to learn that Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman did not only edit the book, but also wrote the foreword? The answer is NO. The hypocrisy she displayed in signing ‘the Montie 3’ petition is ample enough to describe her character. Ah, if only Prof. Ahwoi had launched the book before she visited Papa J, we would have heard a very loud ‘boom’!

Abusuapanin, there is one lie that members of Zu-za have perpetrated for some time now and it was repeated in the book. Kwamena asserted that President Mills failed or refused to prosecute President Kufuor’s appointees because of his ‘father-for-all’ disposition.

The assertion is laughable because it is far from the truth. President Mills did prosecute President Kufuor’s appointees, but woefully failed to secure a single conviction.

After the media trial of Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby and Kwadwo Mpiani, we all saw how the prosecution’s case crumbled like a pack of cards in court. Same fate met the prosecution when Dr. Akoto-Osei, Dr. Richard Anane, Prof. George Gyan Baffour, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei and Asamoah Boateng were paraded before the courts. So how can Kwamena’s assertion be true?

Despite the disclaimers, blatant half-truths and outright falsehoods, I did enjoy reading the book. But I’m curious about the timing of its launch. With only four months to a crucial election, it’s apparent that the launch at this time will affect President Ogwanfunu’s comeback bid. Is it also not obvious that the good old professor is squeezing President Ogwanfunu’s balls with one hand and choking him with the other on the neck?

For me, the launch of the book at this time is a self-serving exercise that has only one winner—the author. As for the desire and determination to ridicule the party’s founder, I dare say it’s the pressing of a self-destructive button, which could lead to big cracks in the party.

My Ga folks would say, ” Saa yoo, onukpa b? gy?n lo!?” To wit, “Is there no elder around to separate those fighting?”

See you next week for another interesting konkonsa, Deo volente!