Here are five of the most intriguing remarks made by J.J Rawlings that may never be forgotten.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) founder led Ghana for 19 years, through both military and democratic regimes, having etched his name into the nation’s folklore.
Indeed, it goes without saying that one cannot talk about Ghana’s political history without mentioning the name J.J Rawlings.
However, in recent times the name Rawlings has been more synonymous with some of the most intriguing remarks you can ever think of.
The ex-president has often wasted no time in speaking his mind, as he is a man who does not mind positions or offices being occupied by another – if you cross his path, you are sure not to go scot free.
The likes of former presidents John Kufour and John Mahama are just a few of the persons to have fallen victims to the rants of Rawlings.
Below are five of the most famous rants by the former Flight Lieutenant:
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hannah Tetteh, was on the receiving end of some tough words from Rawlings over the weekend.
The ex-president accused her of maltreating his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, during a public function and went ahead to blast Mrs. Tetteh for her behavior.
Whether those allegations were true or not, the ex-MP soon found out that she may have messed with the wrong man’s wife.
Rawlings took aim of Mrs. Tetteh in a long rant, saying: “One time, in fact twice, that woman [Hannah Tetteh] had turned herself into a Champion Jockey at congress meetings. The first time was in Tamale when she insulted my wife, second time somewhere.
“Then, third time was 6th March on the dais at the Independence Square,” he recalled, adding, “We were all sitting. She is the Foreign Minister. She led some guests to the dais to greet us. So in the course of exchanging pleasantries, she held my wife’s hand and I heard a groan. Later when I asked my wife what had happened to her, she said Hannah Tetteh Kpoda squeezed her hand.
“Look at my wife, she doesn’t have a thick skin and that Tetteh Kpoda (Hannah Tetteh) squeezed her hand!”
Lesson number one, never squeeze the hand of any of the Rawlings’. You know why? Because Rawlings will expose you in public one day, just ask Hannah Tetteh.
One other man who is fully aware of Rawlings’ intriguing rants is former president John Kufour. Both ex-presidents have engaged each other in the past, however, it is one of Rawlings’ criticisms towards Kufour that stands out.
In 2007 during Kufour’s rein as Ghana president he permitted for the mortal remains of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s wife, Fathia, to be buried beside her husband.
However, the decision did not sit well with Rawlings, who believed it was wrong to bury Fathia beside the nation’s founder despite him being her husband.
He said Kufour had desecrated Nkrumah, insisting “that national monument became a family graveyard.”
But his succeeding remarks were what got everyone talking. Rawlings said: “What did Kufuor do when Fathia Nkrumah died? He pretended to be crying and we were all following him, saying, oh Kufuor has done well for Fathia.
“Then he took a shovel and dug a hole next to Dr Nkrumah and put her there…the compound is big, you could have dug 101 holes and put Madam Fathia also there.
“You did not have to do that under the same monument under which Dr Kwame Nkrumah was. It fooled all of you.”
Did you note how the words “crying”, “shovel”, “dug a hole”, “101 holes” and “fooled” were used? If you haven’t gotten the import, just take a reread and thank me later because one of those words did just did not belong to Kufour, its belonged to me and you. Figure it out!
General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has also had a fair share of Rawlings’ witty remarks. The pair have not always agreed on issues but did you ever imagine Rawlings referring to Asiedu Nketia as not handsome and too skinny?
Well, this was not particularly a rant but addressing an NDC crowd last year, the ex-president said Asiedu is not fit to be the NDC’s flagbearer. Are you wondering why Rawlings said that? Below is the reason he gave:
“...it is a pity he is ugly [Rawlings bursts into laughter with the crowd]. If he were handsome, we would put him on a horse to go and help. Considering how light he is like air, the horse will run faster,” Rawlings said in Twi, prompting the crowd into laughter.
This may have been a joke from Rawlings, but Asiedu Nketia certainly got the message, just like you do now.
Make no mistake about it, Rawlings knows his Bible very well. If you doubt, then just wait till you read the succeeding statement from him.
The NDC founder had been criticized so many times for bashing his own party more than he did to the ruling NPP.
Giving the reasons why he chooses to act so, Rawlings preferred to use the Bible as his defense by saying: “I cannot lay claim to the position of party founder and spend time criticizing another party or institution when my house is burning. Removing the log in my eye is the only way to legitimize any right to expose the speck in another’s.”
Using the Bible in Politics? Come on, just give the man an award for his oratory skills!
Perhaps the one persons that will forever remember about Rawlings’ strict way of doing things if former AMA boss Alfred Oko Vanderpuije.
In what may go down as the most silent, yet powerful of rants, the Ablekuma South MP was given a dose of Rawlings’ bitter pills when he tried to interrupt protocol during a ceremony at Parliament.
With Rawlings walking on the red carpet, Vanderpuije approached the NDC founder to exchange pleasantries. However, his goodwill was not only rejected, but also it was turned into disgraced as he was fantastically snubbed by Rawlings.
The ex-president’s demeanor and actions went like ‘hey Vanderpuije, remain in your tracks, withdraw your handshake and make sure you stop following me from the side of the red carpet’.
The face of Vanderpuije after that fateful episode said it all, and the rest they say his history.