Last Wednesday, marked exactly 21 years when eight innocent persons lost their lives in the epic “Kumi Preko Demonstration” staged in Accra over the passage of the Value Added Tax law by the government of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
The day did not only evoke memories of the dead in the former Ghana’s Ambassador to Serbia, Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, who accused Nana Akufo-Addo of neglecting families of eight persons who died during the protest, but left him also questioning the source of the intense romance between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer, ex-President Rawlings and his wife; Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.
The former army medical doctor and NPP founding member, said in an interview with Atinka FM on the AM Drive hosted by Kwame Adinkra, that the current ‘love affair’ between Nana Addo and Mr. Rawlings, is strange since the latter meted out inhumane treatment against Kume Preko demonstrators some 21 years ago.
He noted also that, it was very surprising to see the NPP flagbearer, flirting with the Rawlingses after what some NPP members went through in the hands of ex-President Rawlings, after staging arguably the biggest political demonstration in the history of Ghana.
But those familiar with the history between Mr. Rawlings and Nana Addo, have revealed that they are rather surprised at Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, because the two (Rawlings and Nana Addo) have always been very close friends, dating several decades, adding that the recent public display of love, is something which long existed, but kept away from public eye.
Other more serious claims are that, Nana Akufo-Addo, had been an operative of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) military junta led by the former Air Force officer; Flt. Lt. Rawlings, who spied on his friends and political figures who the regime saw as threats.
Nana Addo, has publicly mentioned his friendship with onetime Spy boss of Mr. Rawlings; Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata, but failed to mention what brought he and the former National Security Coordinator together.
The Herald also learnt that it was these friendships and special duties for the military regime which kept Nana Addo from detentions and government harassments suffered by many, including Kwesi Pratt, Kweku Baako, Freddie Blay, Akoto Ampaw, Kabral Blay-Amihere, among others.
Again, it was revealed that so close was Akufo-Addo to the Rawlings’ military regime that it was not difficult for him to act as conduit for two prominent businesses into Ghana; Millicom Ghana Limited operators of Mobitel mobile network now Tigo and the German post and logistics company – DHL – which provides global sea and air courier services.
Indeed, Mr. Rawlings, was obliged to attend the funeral of Adeline Ama Yeboakua Akufo-Addo in 2004 at Kyebi in the Eastern Region in the heat of the Kufuor regime with most of his ministers and appointees undergoing criminal trial. Mr. Rawlings’ presence at the funeral, surprised many, especially the NPP elements.
Not long after this, Nana Addo, who had been moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sensationally withdrew diplomatic courtesies and privileges accorded ex-presidents, including Mr. Rawlings. The ex-President, was accused of badmouthing the Kufuor regime abroad, hence the withdrawal. But many years on, this has not eroded the love between Mr. Rawlings and Nana Addo, as recent events have shown.
The Herald’s intelligence sources, mentioned Akufo-Addo’s love for good life, beach houses, fine wine, cigar, light skin women, luxurious cars, hotels and expensive suits and ties as his easy bait.
They traced his closeness to ex-military leader, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, whose pretty niece; Eleanor Nkassah-Gyamina from Ashanti Mampong, he married, but died as result of spousal violence.
They also tracked his activities in Togo after he was connected to President Gnassingbe Eyadema, the late Togolese President by former CID boss, A. K Deku, where he virtually operated as a double agent between the two countries.
His close ties to his paternal uncle from Akropong, Lieutenant General Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo, who led the country under the Supreme Military Council (SMC).
Some have, however, discounted the claim that Nana Addo was an operative of the Rawlings regime, and that he fled to exile during that era. But they failed to provide a shred of evidence as the reasons for going into exile in the UK, where a good number of Ghanaian dissidents were based and constantly planning the overthrow of the Rawlings junta.
Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, had charged “this sort of marriage between Jerry John Rawlings and the wife is very interesting. Maybe a lot of people have not taken note of that. It is very interesting. Because we had a nasty experience with this couple; so lately now to see Akufo Addo in bed with Rawlings and the wife is something that must be watched carefully. I believe strongly political observers are watching. Out of Kumi Preko, we lost about eight people till this very day nothing has been done about it.”
The ex-Army Captain, who spoke with a lot of emotions as he reminisced the Kumi Preko demonstration, which was staged on May, 11, 1995, and attracted thousands of Ghanaians who flooded the principal streets of Accra to protest against the introduction of the Valued Added Tax (VAT) and the general economic hardships.
He also touched on the fact that when the NPP came to power, they failed to compensate families of the eight people who died in the demonstration.
He added, “two years ago, President John Dramani Mahama gave me a telephone call and requested to meet the families of those who lost their lives in that demonstration.
Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe is a Czech-trained medical practitioner. He attended Charles University Medical School in Prague established in 1348 in Eastern Europe.
Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, who jointly organized the mammoth demonstration in Accra with Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako, Charles Yves Wereko-Brobbey, Victor Newman, Akoto Ampaw, Kwaku Opoku, Nana Akufo- Addo and others, said the NPP leader, neglected families of the protestors, who were fatally shot by some armed cadres in the course of the demonstration.
Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, who has been asking for certain values of the NPP to be maintained, but had been branded a critic of the party he helped found noted, “Out of Kumi Preko we lost about eight people and up until this very day nothing has been done for the families of these fallen ones.
Believe me or not, through Kumi Preko, a young man of thirteen years, Ahunu was shot in front of the Adabraka Primary School so you can imagine if he was alive today what his age would be. But when we came to power under President J.A Kufuor, we had then promised to help these people but we did nothing for them. They are there at Adabraka as I talk now. This same family approached Nana Addo but he did nothing for them when we were in power”.
Dr. Nyaho-Tamakloe, added that Kwesi Pratt Jnr, could corroborate the claim.
“When President Mahama came to power recently, one time he called and asked me how he could see Ahunu’s father. I went and luckily I found the father and mother who are alive and came back and told the President that I found them. And in his usual quiet way, he [Mahama] went there to see the family and he asked the old man what the state could do for his departed son. The old man replied that one of the principal streets in Accra be named after his son,” he said
Dr. Tamakloe stressed, “Politics needs to be done with open mind and open heart because you are dealing human beings. I will never and ever allow anybody to take me for a ride in my life.”