The Untold Story Of Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings

…The Personification Of Vindictiveness, Insensitivity, Arrogance And Mendacity!

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SOURCE: NEW CRUSADING GUIDE

Ghana’s most controversial ex-First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, in her youthful days loved dancing and the wearing of mini skirts. She was ‘a regular’ at some of Accra’s most popular entertainment spots like ‘Saint Netouche’, ‘Club Lambaba’, ‘Metropole’, ‘Lido’ and ‘Keteke’, etc., dancing her ‘head off’ from evening till daybreak’!

Nana Konadu really liked nite clubs unlike her ‘better-half’, Jerry Rawlings John, now Jerry John Rawlings. Hear her: “I used to like nite clubs but not him…I would dance from beginning to end but he (Jerry John) didn’t like nite clubs so he preferred to sit in a place and talk and have a cup of tea or something. But he would do that for me – take me to the nite club’. (Joy FM, March 9, 1998).

A brief profile: Nana Konadu, ‘the lover of nite clubs and mini skirts’ was a member of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Students Representative Council (SRC) for two years (1969-71). Mrs. Rawlings (then Miss Nana Konadu Agyeman of 53 Africa Hall, Art 11, KNUST) was elected Africa Hall Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) Secretary on Wednesday, 5th November, 1969.

In that capacity, she served as a member of the 1969/70 SRC administration with Mr. P.V. Obeng, a former PNDC top shot who is now the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

In 1970/71, Nana Konadu was again elected to serve on the KNUST SRC, this time, as the Assistant SRC Secretary. She graduated from KNUST with a BA Art Degree in June 1972.

After graduation, Nana Konadu’s ‘political trajectory’ appears to have eclipsed as she re-focused on her job at the Union of Trading Company (UTC). Close friends and family sources intimate that she also put her talent and expertise in Art into some useful productive ventures which earned her some income.

Meanwhile, her restless, wild-cat and ‘western-cowboy oriented’ lover later turned husband, Jerry John Rawlings had enlisted as a Flight Cadet at the Takoradi Air Force Station on August 25, 1967. After the preliminary orientation course, he entered the Military Academy and Training School at Teshie, near Accra, from September 4, 1967 until March 18, 1968. Rawlings finally completed his cadet training at the Air Force Station at Takoradi on January 25, 1969, winning the “Speed Bird Trophy” – presented to the best Cadet in airmanship.

With a short Service Commission in the Armed Forces Rawlings began a full military service as a Pilot Officer, his first rank on Commission. He was promoted to the rank of Flight Officer in 1971; earning his third rank of Flight Lieutenant on April 22, 1978. He then joined the Jet Squadron, Air Force Station, Accra.

Come May 15, 1979 and June 4, 1979, Rawlings had become a popular national figure, largely created by the media and the insurrection within the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) which culminated in the emergence of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) under his Chairmanship for a period of 112 days.

Significantly, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the wife of the AFRC Chairman, was conspicuous by her absence from AFRC corridors of power or scheme of affairs, first because of the sheer explosiveness of that period and of course because the AFRC had personalities like Osahene Boakye Djan and Henry Smith (AFRC Associate for Foreign Affairs) at the centre of power, and these were/are people who knew Nana Konadu ‘inside out’, and there was no way she would have dared to meddle in AFRC affairs or any ‘governance issue’ at that time.

However, the same cannot be said about Mrs. Rawlings’ posture and conduct relative to Jerry Rawlings’ ‘second coming’; the treasonable truncation of the reign of the democratically-elected government of the 3rd Republic under the leadership of Dr. Hilla Limann which resulted in the formation of the regime of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) from January 1982 to January 1993.

The emergence of the PNDC obviously provided a conducive environment for Mrs. Rawlings to reactivate her ‘political instincts’ as she took full advantage of her husband’s chairmanship/leadership/charisma, to build her own political constituency and following across the length and breadth of the country.

She outsmarted the original founders/pioneers of the 31st December Women’s Movement (DWM) like Cynthia Nuamah, Gertrude Zakaria Ali, etc., and assumed the leadership of the Movement in an iron-clad fashion with the active support of her husband and new converts/recruits like Sherry Ayittey, Cecilia Johnson, Edith Haizel among others.

From the early 1980s to 2001, the 31DWM was largely and massively supported by the PNDC and NDC(1&2) Administrations through the provision of logistics, funding, loans (both internal and external), secondment of public/civil servants to DWM outlets for free, extension of CEPS & VAT Exemptions for imported goods/machinery. The business wing of the DWM, Caridem, was also a beneficiary of many divested State-owned enterprises (SOEs) through non-transparent and in some cases, unaccountable ways and means leading to the willfully causing of financial loss to the State.

The 31 DWM of Mrs. Rawlings and her cohorts was so widely promoted by the PNDC/NDC administrations that it (DWM) virtually supplanted and marginalised the National Council on Women and Development (NCWD) which was established by the Government of Ghana in 1975 as a response to the International Women’s Year and to ensure that the objectives of the United Nations Decade for Women were achieved in Ghana.

At the 6th African Regional Conference on Women’s Rights held in Addis Ababa in December 1999, THE 31DWM WAS SINGLED OUT BY WOMEN’S RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AS ONE OF THE WOMEN’S ORGANIZATIONS HEADED BY FIRST LADIES WHICH WAS RECEIVING MILLIONS OF US DOLLARS IN THE NAME OF WOMEN, BUT WHOSE REAL MOTIVES WERE THOUGHT TO BE SHORING UP THE REGIMES HEADED BY THEIR HUSBANDS”.

Sandra Pepera put it so eloquently thus: “UNFORTUNATELY, THE NCWD HAS SUFFERED IN ITS ABILITY TO WORK EFFECTIVELY FOR WOMEN IN GHANA IN TWO WAYS: FIRST, BECAUSE IT IS ESSENTIALLY A BUREAUCRATIC ARM OF THE STATE, IT HAS BEEN UNABLE TO TAKE UP AN AGGRESSIVE POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING ROLE; AND SECONDLY IN MORE RECENT TIMES, IT HAS SUFFERED POLITICAL MARGINALISATION AS THE PNDC ESTABLISHED ITS OWN ‘WOMEN’S WING’ TO MOBILISE THE WOMEN OF GHANA BEHIND ITS OWN PROGRAMME – THE 31 DECEMBER WOMEN’S MOVEMENT (31 DWM” (‘Political Parties and Social Representation: The Case of Women in Ninsin K.A., and Drah, F.K. Political Parties and Democracy in Ghana’s Fourth Republic – Woeli Publishing, Accra, 1993, PP133-145, 139).

Mrs. Agyeman-Rawlings, with enormous power at her disposal and relying on her husband’s iconic image, has since the early 1980s, sought to assert her influence in the (P)NDC juggernaut. As the influence of the PV Obengs, Obed Asamoahs, Kojo Tsikatas, Akata Pores, Kwasi Botchweys, etc., diminished, so did Nana Konadu’s star rise and rise. As Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings’ star rose, her contempt for her contemporaries and compatriots also deepened. She became a centre of the sub-culture of intrigue, mischief, vindictiveness and arrogance within and without the (P)NDC juggernaut.

Mrs. Rawlings has proved to be a very insensitive, vindictive, arrogant, untruthful person and politician over the last two decades. She has left in her trail many victims, dead or alive, in and out of the (P)NDC juggernaut.

In summary, The New Crusading GUIDE recalls certain incidents, utterances, actions, lies and events involving Mrs. Rawlings to illustrate the character, the profile of an insensitive, arrogance and untruthful politician. Please read on…

*(1) A MARK OF INSENSIVITY AND LACK OF HUMANITY: (OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2000): She rationalized the abuse of Sellassie Djentuh’s human rights, saying that the forced shaving of the youngman’s hair in a Castle Guardroom with a broken bottle by Castle-based Commandos/Soldiers, was a MERE IDENTIFICATION HAIR CUT! – What Callousness! Coming from a Mother and a Woman?

*(2) CONTEMPT FOR LAW & ORDER/MANIPULATION OF PNDC JUSTICE SYSTEM (1987): She was instrumental in the fast-track announcement of release of and freedom for Salifu Amankwah who had callously murdered a 70-year-old man, with the excuse that Salifu Amankwah’s incarceration after his conviction and sentence to death by a Public Tribunal, had created an enabling environment for thieves to raid the offices of the 31st December Women’s Movement with impunity.

*(3) INTEGRITY OF LEADERSHIP & CONFLICT OF INTEREST (DECEMBER 1997): Facilitated the gift of a vehicle (Buick Riviera) to her husband, then a sitting President by a Business entity (Masai Motors Limited) whose Owner, Edward Annan had business dealings with a Government Agency. Imagine what Rawlings and company would have done to a recipient of such a gift during the heady days of the AFRC and PNDC?

*(4) MAKING FALSE & LIBELOUS ALLEGATIONS (NOVEMBER 22, 1997): While delivering an inaugural address at the out-dooring of the Young Traders Association in Accra, Mrs. Rawlings accused Ms. Christine Churcher, then MP for Cape Coast, of stealing public funds when she was a PNDC Secretary claiming that Ms. Churcher was sacked for allegedly committing that crime.

*(5) MAKING FALSE CLAIMS AGAINST SWISSAIR & US CUSTOMS (1994/5) Her complaint that American Immigration authorities had used sniffer dogs on her luggage at a US Airport, turned out to be completely false, after official investigations had been conducted by the former at the instance of the Ghanaian Government.

*(6) PEDDLING FALSEHOOD ABOUT HER YOUNGER SISTER (1997): She lied to Gamel Gorkeh Kaku Nkrumah that one of her sisters had defected from their (Agyeman Family) political tradition to the “anti-Nkrumah, right wing opposition”. When her lie was exposed by her brother-in-law, Haruna Atta, she embarked on a vindictive litigation which resulted in the jailing of Mr. Atta at time when his presence in his matrimonial home was absolutely crucial in view of the medical condition of his wife, Mrs. Rawlings’ younger sister.

*(7): MORE LIES AND LIES (1995, 1997): Persistently made false claims in Germany, Scotland and the USA that her husband was the first Ghanaian Head of State to believe in the capabilities of women and to have given them (women) a lot of support, adding that Ghana had always had one woman in Parliament since 1957 until her husband’s NDC administration assumed office. This was inspite of the fact that she had been alerted many times that there were as many as 19 women in Parliament by the time of the 1966 Coup and also that Marbel Dove was elected the first woman member of Parliament on the ticket of Nkrumah’s CPP during the legislative elections in 1954; 3 years before independence.

*(8): FAILURE TO FULFIL OBLIGATIONS TO THE STATE (1990-2001): Audit Investigations by the Auditor-General revealed that throughout the 1990s, the 31st DWM and its affiliates never submitted Any Annual Report or Statement of Account to the Department of Social Welfare; Never paid any corporate income tax and paye and abused tax and duty exemptions granted the 31st DWM.

*(9): DIVERSION OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PRIVATE GAIN (JULY 2000): Mrs. Rawlings caused the Chief Executive (Mayor) of the Accra Metro Assembly (AMA) to apply public funds to buy a plot of State Land for her Movement. She publicly claimed the plot as the bona fide property of her Movement until the Auditor General’s investigation exposed the falsity of her claims. So much for integrity, Probity and Accountability!

*(10): LIES ABOUT ACHEAMPONG’S FOKKER 28 PRESIDENTIAL JET (2000): Publicly lied at a 31st DWM rally in Tamale, that Mr. J.H. Mensah as Finance Minister in the 2nd Republic, signed the cheque for the purchase of the Fokker 28 when the records indicated that that jet was bought by the Acheampong regime in 1978.

*(11): INSULTS, INSULTS & INSULTS (1995-2000): Mrs. Rawlings has over the years, heaped insults on her husband’s political opponents including former President Kufuor who he described as ‘Satan’ (November, 1997). Nana Akufo-Addo whose legal/professional credentials she doubted, J.H. Mensah, Mrs. Gladys Asmah, Christine Churcher, etc., etc. She did not even spare a sitting Vice President, the late K.N. Arkaah, her acidic tongue lashing in 1995 in the wake of her husband’s assault on Arkaah at a Cabinet meeting at the Castle, Osu. She told the BBC that “this Vice Presidency thing stinks” whatever that meant.

*(12): PERENNIAL FAILURE TO DISCLOSE FINANCIAL DETAILS ABOUT (HER)  CHILDREN’S OVERSEAS EDUCATION & RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES (1999-2000): The chronic inability or failure or both of ‘the Rawlingses’ TO DISCLOSE THE IDENTITY OR IDENTITIES OF THE SPONSORS OF THEIR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION ABROAD, INCLUDING THE COST OF THEIR RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES, IN THE FACE OF PERSISTENT PUBLIC DEMANDS FOR DISCLOSURE, EFFECTIVELY EXPOSED ‘THE RAWLINGSES’ AS PEOPLE WHO PREACH VIRTUE BUT PRACTICE VICE WHEN IT COMES TO INTEGRITY, PROBITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

*(13): THE KEYS TO THE MURDER VEHICLE USED BY AMEDEKA & CO. (1982): There’s a long standing issue of how the keys of the murder vehicle used by the ‘killing gang’ who abducted and torched the three High Court judges and a retired military officer, on June 30, 1982, were picked up from her dining table for the operation. The Chairman of the Trial Tribunal, Mr. George Agyekum, many years after the trial, wrote a book in which he indicated that the failure to question Mrs. Rawlings on the circumstances surrounding the keys under reference, constituted a minus in the work of the Special Investigations Board (SIB).

*(14) CONFISCATION & USE OF THE DAKMAK’S RIDGE HOUSE AS HEADQUARTERS OF 31ST DWM (1986-2007): The said property, Plot No:16, situated at North Ridge, a suburb of Accra, was wrongfully confiscated by Rawlings-led Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) Decree 6 because it did not form part of the assets of Dakmak Group of Companies. It was a private property which should not have been confiscated in anyway. For reasons best known to the PNDC, the PNDCL 325 was strangely enacted two days before their exit from office (January 5, 1993 to make the confiscation of the Dakmak House seem legal. In spite of the manifest injustice meted out to the Dakmaks, Mrs. Rawlings was on Joy FM in 2007, lying that the property was confiscated by the late General Akuffo’s SMC(2) regime and not her hushand’s regimes (AFRC/PNDC).

“GENERAL AKUFFO SEIZED THE PROPERTY BECAUSE THE DAKMAK FAMILY WERE RAPING THIS COUNTRY LIKE CRAZY. AT THAT TIME, WE HAD IMPORT LICENCES; THERE WERE NO GOODS ON THE MARKET AND SO IF YOU NEED TO BRING GOODS TO THE MARKET, YOU NEED TO APPLY AND GET IMPORT LICENCES, AND THEY MANAGED TO WEAVE THEIR WAY INTO THE HEART OF GENERAL ACHEAMPONG, HEAD OF GOVERNMENT AT THAT TIME. HE WAS THEIR FRIEND AND SO THEY GOT THE IMPORT LICENCES WHICH THEY WERE SELLING TO OTHER PEOPLE”, Mrs. Rawlings charged.

As at the time she was accusing the Dakmaks and the late Acheampong, MRS. RAWLINGS’ 31ST DWM HAD BEEN IN THAT PROPERTY AT RIDGE FOR 21 LONG YEARS WITHOUT PAYING ANY RENT. THE LITIGATION OVER THE PROPERTY IS ON-GOING IN THE COURT OF LAW.

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