In this segment of the critique on the alleged two difficult years 1999-2000 coined by Kwamena Ahwoi in his Working with Rawlings, the circumstances that led to the surprise choice of Martin Amidu as the running mate to Professor Mills at the 2000 presidential elections and how he excitedly swallowed a calculated bait laid out for him by the author and his cohort of puppet masters will be examined and analyzed. The discourse will deconstruct the author’s narrative of the events by stating for the first time, an encounter by Martin Amidu with the matron of the Northern Regional Administration in Tamale on 17 August 2000 and a subsequent invitation by Professor Mills to Martin Amidu to come to his office for a chat on 28 August 2000. The summons by Professor Mills of Martin Amidu to his official residence on 3 September 2000, and the events that led to his nomination as Professor Mills’ running mate the same day will form the subject of another critique of Working with Rawlings.
“MARTIN AMIDU: A SURPRISE CHOICE”
Kwamena Ahwoi became so addicted to concocting the data for Working with Rawlings that he had to continue doing so, and to fabricate the choice of Martin Amidu, my poor self, as Professor Mills’ running mate not only as a surprise choice but as a bait which Martin Amidu excitedly swallowed. The fabricated construction of “Martin Amidu: A Surprise Choice” instead of exposing Martin Amidu’s lust for political power revealed Kwamena Ahwoi’s continued denigration of Professor Mills as still exhibiting “his political naivete” after almost four years of service as the vice-president of Ghana. The author’s narrative as to Professor Mills’ reaction when the puppet masters reported the successful outcome of their meeting with Rawlings to effectively scuttle ‘the “Obed for Veep” agenda’ to him underscored and deepened the perception of the vice-president’s continued “political naiveite”. The puppet masters continued to be indispensable to Mills’ sense of ownership of his public duty and judgment. Kwamena Ahwoi wrote that:
‘When we returned to brief Professor Mills about the successful outcome of our meeting with President Rawlings, he gave us an assignment. “My brothers,” he said: “then help me find a running mate.”’
As it turned out the narrative and the circumstances that led to the puppet masters finding a running mate for Professor Mills constitute a total fabrication of data. The puppet masters claim to have acted upon rumours in their search for a running mate for Professor Mills. Kofi Totobi-Quakyi who at the time was the Minister for National Security and also one of the puppet masters is said to have made the calculations about the possibility of me, Martin Amidu, being nominated as the running mate in order to deflect or break the ranks of “the Reform defection.”
One would have expected a competent Minister of National Security to act upon both facts and intelligence, not mere rumours. Kofi Totobi-Quakyi and I attended the same interview at the Castle, Osu in January 1983 and appointed by the PNDC as PNDC Deputy Secretaries on the same day alongside Kwame Peprah, Ohene Kena, and others. Kwamena Ahwoi and I were in Commonwealth Hall, and the Faculty of Law and were on particularly good and friendly terms until we fell out on 28 December 1990 over the draft Local Government (Amendment) (No. 2) Law, 1990. Kwamena Ahwoi over all these years did not even know that the abbreviation “B” in my initials is BURNS and not BENZES. I also was, and still am, one of the founding cadres of the revolution and rendered selfless service towards the cadre course and the revolution and may have been respected by a faction of the cadres of the revolution. I had, however, never been engaged with the so-called ‘young “revolutionaries” who were leading the Reform Movement.’ Augustus Goosie Tanoh and his leadership of the Reform Movement are still alive to confirm whether they ever consulted, invited, or involved me in the organization of their movement.
Kwamena Ahwoi, nonetheless, stated at pages 152 to 153 of his Working with Rawlings, inter alia, that:
‘…At the suggestion of Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, we made the following calculation: “Why not dangle the running mate bait before Martin Amidu? If he swallows it, he is likely to deflect the Reform defection or at worst to split their ranks.” Professor Mills agreed that their calculation be tried. “President Rawlings was informed and he reluctantly gave his blessing. Martin Amidu was informed and he excitedly swallowed the bait. So Martin Amidu became the NDC vice presidential candidate for the 2000 elections.”’ Emphasis supplied).
Kwamena Ahwoi’s narrative does not add up. When did Professor Mills, whom the author portrays as a politically naïve puppet, agree that their calculated suggestion of dangling the running mate bait before Martin Amidu be tried on him? Did Professor Mills agree on the same day that the suggestion to “dangle the running mate before Martin Amidu” was made to him? When was President Rawlings informed and “he reluctantly gave his blessing? Was it contemporaneously, a week or month after the acceptance of Kofi Totobi-Quakyi’s calculations by Professor Mills? Who was to try the calculation and baiting on Martin Amidu? When was Martin Amidu informed and when did he excitedly swallow the bait? Was it the day after, a week or months after the suggestion to Professor Mills?
Kwamena Ahwoi calls himself a professor, and consequently presents Working with Rawlings as a scholarly and academic memoire based on experiential knowledge and research. His scholarly work must, therefore, meet the basic requirements of narrative analysis – the narrative must be coherent and consistent with the story told to have a sense of fidelity.
I intend to demonstrate that Kwamena Ahwoi fabricated the data giving rise to his shoddy narratives by stating how I came to reluctantly accept to be Professor Mills’ running mate on 3 September 2000. I did not know when Professor Mills was to nominate his running mate. Apparently, Professor Mills was to announce his running mate for the 2000 presidential elections on evening of 3 September 2000 to a meeting of the NEC of the NDC at the Castle, Osu. I have already stated whom I supported to be the running mate to Professor Mills.
I will for the first time state my encounter with the matron of the Northern Regional Administration at the Tamale residency on 17 August 2000 which had remained a confidential encounter. I will also state my encounter with Professor Mills on 28 August 2000 at his invitation for a chat in his office at the Castle, Osu, and my encounter with Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu thereafter in his office at the Osu Castle on the same day. The invitation I received from Professor Mills in the early morning of 3 September 2000 to come to his residence with my curriculum vitae (C.V.) and the events that led to me reluctantly accepting to be Professor Mills’ running mate after he went to seek the concurrence of Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu will be the subject of another critique of Working with Rawlings. The irredeemable lie by the author that “Martin Amidu was informed and he excitedly swallowed the bait” will then be put to rest.
Kwamena Ahwoi chose to fabricate his data after the death of Professor Mills to enable him to get away with his unethical scholarly style of data collection and analysis, but fortunately there are others still alive who know how I came to accept to be Professor Mills’ running mate on 3 September 2000. It was not in my wildest dreams to be a vice presidential candidate. I was looking forward to going into legal consultancy after 6 January 2001. President Rawlings had aborted a previous agreement I had with him in December 1992 after he assumed the Presidency on 7 January 1993. Dr. Ibn Chambers was sent to drag me from my residence for vetting as Deputy Attorney General in February 1993. I was, therefore looking for my freedom with the exit of President Rawlings.
Martin Amidu’s encounter with the Matron of the Northern Regional Administration
In the first week of August 2000 I had to dash home to Bawku in the Upper East Region to answer an outstanding call by the founding Regional Chairman of the NDC, Alhaji Amadu Dapoore, who had been indisposed for some time. On my return journey on 16 August 2000 I decided to spend the night at the Residency at the Northern Regional Administration in Tamale. I was assigned to a chalet in the residency for the duration of my stay. I ate breakfast at about 7:30 am on the morning of Tuesday, 17 August 2000. The matron for the main residency catering services came to greet me and to find out whether there was anything more I needed. I had known Nancy for years as I schooled at the Tamale Commercial Institute and she had been born and grew up in Tamale. Nancy engaged me in conversation as usual and enquired from me my views on the politicking within the NDC and whom I thought would be the vice-presidential candidate for the 2000 presidential election.
I was candid with Nancy and told her the choice was between Dr. Asamoah and Alhaji Iddrisu, but my preference was the latter. Nancy asked me to pay her consultation fees to facilitate a continuation of the conversation. I gave her a token as her consultation fees. Nancy then told me triumphantly that none of them was going to be the vice-presidential candidate. I challenged her judgment. She then asked what of if she told me that I was going to be the vice-presidential candidate. I laughed and told her that she was getting out of her mind because I had never thought of her speculation. In any case, I had not the resources and means to be a vice-presidential candidate.
Nancy then got more serious and told me that what she was telling me would come to pass as a reality. Nancy asked whether I had forgotten that all the visiting government officials and their entourage accommodated at the residency are catered for by her? She declared that she had her own methods of gathering intelligence. She asked me whether I knew that Professor Mills had visited and stayed in the Tamale residency a few weeks before my arrival? I answered in the affirmative. She asked me further whether I knew that Professor Mills’ personal driver for 15 years was her kinsman? I affirmed that too.
Nancy then told me in confidence that she had invited Professor Mills’ driver to their ethnic local food for dinner at her junior staff quarters residence at Kalpohini Estates in Tamale. It was during an after supper conversation with Professor Mills’ driver that she debated him on who was likely to be the running mate to Professor Mills for the 2000 elections. Professor Mills’ driver confided in her that Professor Mills had decided on me.
I told Nancy that what Professor Mills’ driver had told her might have been said to throw her off the back of the driver as to her enquiry about who was going to be the running mate. Nancy concluded that if I did not believe her, she had passed on the information to me and forewarned me. She insisted that she would soon have the last laugh when she confronts me for doubting her sources and methods of gathering intelligence. I filed this conversation with Nancy as one of the several political gossips and forgot about it. We left for Accra that morning shortly after this encounter with Nancy.
Professor Mills invites Martin Amidu to his office for a Chat
On the morning of Monday, 28 August 2000 Mr. Turkson, the Secretary to the Vice-President rang me on my office telephone to take a call from Professor Mills. When Professor Mills came on the line and after exchanging the usual pleasantries he said to me: “Martin can you come to my office at 9 am for a chat?” I answered: “Yes Sir!” But the words “come for a chat” stuck in my mind and memory because I had internalized in my study of the British Constitution in my early years at the Tamale Commercial Institute that those were words of invitation used by the British Prime Minister when he wished to offer an appointment to a Member of Parliament from his side of the aisle in parliament.
Dr. Obed Asamoah, the Attorney General was in his office and I needed to inform him that I was going to the Castle, Osu. I left my office to Dr. Asamoah’s office with the intention of informing him that Professor Mills had invited me for a chat. As I stepped into Dr. Asamoah’s office, my intuition dictated I tell him that I was going to the Castle and back. So, I told Dr. Asamoah that I was going to the Castle, and back. He said, “okay”.
I went directly from the Castle gate to the Vice President’s office and was let into Professor Mills’ office. I have already stated that we were family friends for many years. The conversation, therefore, started with how my mother was doing. Had I heard from my elder brother, Dr. Assibi Amidu who had left the University of Ghana to lecture at the University of Trondheim, in Norway? How was my health and how was I doing generally. He then queried why I had deserted Naadu (his wife) and him since he became the vice-president. He told me that Naadu had particularly been asking about why she was not seeing me.
Professor Mills then told me that he had invited me to pick my knowledge on how to fight corruption should he win the 2000 elections as I had been in the Government for a long time and chaired the Public Agreements Board (PAB). I gave him a short brief when he intervened to ask me to put my thought into writing for him. He wanted to know from me what I thought would be Obed’s feeling if he did not choose him as his running mate; my views about the political situation; he also told me about the difficult decision he had to make in agreeing to be the presidential candidate and the problem of whom to choose as his running mate; and other matters. The meeting then ended. I was relieved and elated. My notes indicate that I met Hon. Doe Adjaho, MP, at the Vice President’s office in the Castle that morning. Nancy had been proved wrong!
I did not return straight to my office. I suspected that my visit to Professor Mills’ office might be reported to Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu by one of his associates in the Castle, Osu. I, therefore, made straight for Alhaji Iddrisu’s office in the Castle to inform him myself that I had attended Professor Mills’ personal invitation to his office. Zinabu, his private secretary told me that Alhaji Iddrisu was chairing the Programme Management Committee meeting in the conference room. I asked Mr. Oppong, Alhaji Iddrisu’s driver who was sitting in the reception to whisper to Alhaji Iddrisu at the meeting that I was in his office wanting to pass on an urgent information to him.
Alhaji Iddrisu excused himself from the meeting and came to meet me in his office. I told Alhaji Iddrisu that Professor Mills had invited me for a chat and narrated to him how the conversation went, as stated above. I had come from Professor Mills’ office to his office because I did not want him to hear about my presence in Professor Mills’ office from a third person. I assured him that Professor Mills never made any offer to me and that I still supported his (Alhaji Iddrisu’s) candidacy. Alhaji Iddrisu thanked me for giving him the information.
I got to my office around 10 am and went to inform Dr. Asamoah of my return. I did not brief him about whom I saw at the Castle and what took place there. Back in my own office, I called for the main PAB file from Perpetual Naana Tuffour, the Secretary to the PAB, to enable me to write the memorandum on how to fight corruption to Professor Mills. I received the main PAB file, and after a while I changed my mind and made contemporaneous notes on the file about Professor Mills’ request for a memorandum on how to fight corruption using the procedure of the PAB as a framework. I signed and dated the minute to remind me of the date on which I was invited for the chat with Professor Mills. I returned the PAB file to Naana Tuffour for safe keeping.
I called Dr. Amidu in Norway from my office phone which had IDD service to inform him about the invitation for a chat, the conversation, and my previous encounter with Nancy in Tamale. Dr. Amidu agreed with me that the sequence of events were mere coincidences.
This segment of the concluding critique has shown the unfolding process that led to the eventual nomination and acceptance by Martin Amidu to be the running mate to Professor Mills for the 2000 presidential elections. The discourse has also deconstructed the author’s mechanical narrative of the events by introducing Martin Amidu’s encounter with the matron of the Northern Regional Administration, in Tamale on 17 August 2000 and a subsequent invitation by Professor Mills to Martin Amidu to come to his office for a chat on 28 August 2000 which did not turn out to be an offer to Martin Amidu to be Mills’ running mate. The events I have narrated has made references to where and when each event took place to enable the reader to locate them within space and time unlike the author’s narratives.
The summons by Professor Mills of Martin Amidu to his official residence on 3 September 2000, and the events that led to his nomination as Professor Mills running mate on the same day will form the subject of the next critique of Working with Rawlings.
Martin A. B. K. Amidu
26 May 2023