Former Minister for Local Government in the erstwhile Rawlings administration has brought to closure speculation about former President Jerry John Rawlings’ alleged beating of his Vice President, Kow Nkensen Arkaah at a Cabinet meeting.
In his tell-it-all book dubbed: ‘Working with Rawlings’, Prof. Ahwoi said though Mr Rawlings never assaulted the late Mr Arkaah, there was a fight.
“Rawlings didn’t beat him [Arkaah]. But there was an incident and both of them fell [onto] the floor. But Commodore Steve Obimpeh, who was a military person, was sitting next to Arkaah so he went very quickly, jumped into them and separated them and Arkaah left there [the Cabinet meeting],” Prof Ahwoi told Citi News in an interview.
Prof. Ahwoi, Ghana’s longest-serving Minister for Local Government continued: “At the time he [Arkaah] was leaving [the meeting], his suit wasn’t torn but we all later saw a picture with his suit torn. [He did that] because he went to the then Inspector General of Police to report that he had been assaulted by President Rawlings so he needed evidence.”
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Prof Ahwoi, who was at the said Cabinet meeting, explained that the incident between Mr Rawlings and Mr Arkaah was of such a nature that “his [Arkaah] coat would not have been torn.”
Mr Arkaah, a flagbearer of the then National Convention Party (NCP), prior to the 1992 presidential polls, became the Vice Presidential candidate of Mr Rawlings following an alliance between the NDC, NCP and EGLE party and the Progressive Alliance.
The pair had a difficult working relationship. There were reports that Mr Rawlings physically assaulted Mr Arkaah at a Cabinet meeting on December 28, 1995.
When asked why the ‘Fante’ caucus within the NDC did not save Mr Arkaah, Prof Ahwoi retorted: “Arkaah was beyond salvation, especially when the problems reached their climax with his affair with Jemima Yalley [Arkaah’s rumoured lover], that created all the problems. That’s when he became even more stubborn and so we were fixed with an impossible situation.”