A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Yaw Gyampo, has jumped to the defence of Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang for forewording the controversial book authored by former Local Government Minister Professor Kwamena Ahwoi.
Since its release, the book titled ‘Working With Rawlings’ has generated controversy with many members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) rejecting some of the claims contained in it.
Others have criticised the foreword writer, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, for subtly endorsing the content of the book.
Her literary role in writing the foreword of the book may not have taken the path it is on now if it had come a few months back. She is currently the Vice Presidential Candidate of the NDC, making her role quite the talk-of-town.
But Prof Gyampo has parried any criticisms at her, saying those staging such attacks do not necessarily know the essence of forewords.
“It must also be noted that, foreword writers aren’t necessarily subscribers of the views of authors,” he wrote on Monday, August 10 after perusing the book.
“You can simply tell this by reading the content of the foreword. I have read the foreword as an academic, and I am still wondering why and how anyone who knows what forewords are, will have qualms about the author. The author of the foreword of this book is a big deal to only those who either do not know the purpose of a foreword, or have simply not read what is contained in that section.
“In academia, the fact that one writes a foreword of a book, doesn’t make the author guilty of the content of the book, simplicita.”
He also criticised the timing of the release of the book, stating it is politically “problematic”.
“Indeed, publishing this book with many controversial contents, about four months to an election that promises to be keenly competitive, is either a fundamental mis-judgment and a display of weak sense of timing, or a shadow of an agenda to scuttle a chance, and start afresh with a preference.”
‘High sense of scholarship’
Having made those points, Prof Gyampo commended the astute local government expert for the “high sense of scholarship” in documenting his perspectives about working with former President Jerry John Rawlings.
“Most of the contents are already known, as they are actually documented already in great detail by other previous works.”
Prof Gyampo stressed that Prof Ahwoi’s timing may also redound to profit for him in terms of sales.
“Given that it was released at a time we are preparing for elections, author may profit a lot from sales, as the book speaks about a man whose role in the lead up to the coming elections, could help or hurt the two main political parties.”
After the release of the book, Mr Rawlings, and indeed some NDC stalwarts, have not taken kindly to its content, challenging some of the claims made.