A former Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Ambassador Victor Smith, who is also a former special aide to the late former president Jerry John Rawlings has said Mr Rawlings had problems with the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills because he failed to pursue ministers of the Kufuor administration who he thought were corrupt.
He explained on the Key Point programme on TV3 that Mr Rawlings felt Professor Mills was not prepared to pursue the corrupt appointees of Kufuor hence, his incessant verbal attacks on Mills.
Mr Rawlings constantly criticized the late President on almost every platform he had to address the public on happenings in the country at the time of the Mills’ administration.
Explaining the reasons for Mr Rawling’s constant outbursts against his one-time vice president, Ambassador Victor Smith told host of the programme, Abena Tabi, that “Some of his ministers were incarcerated, Kwame Peprah and the rest and so he thought the then government decided to pursue his appointees.
“ He thought that it was an agenda so he wanted Atta Mills to pursue Kufuor’s minister for the same reason. What I know is that he felt there were a lot of injustices against him. Atta Mills did not pursue people and that led to a bit of friction between him and Rawlings.”
Personally, Victor Smith said he believes in allowing the institutions of state to work without any inference from the government.
“Of course Rawlings was making all those comments about Mills and it went on for a while. I share in the vision of allowing the institutions of state to do their job as opposed to government’s interference or influencing the direction of the way things go.
“Rawlings under Kufuor suffered some indignities, people have talked about withdrawal of his courtesies for a former President or a very senior personnel in our country, in the first 6 months of President Kufuor coming into power, in June 8 his house was surrounded and they wanted to take him, they wanted to arrest Rawlings but for the intervention of some of us in terms of calling the media and the public about this development Friday the 8th of June may be, things would have been terrible for Rawlings at the time.”
Recounting how he received the news of his demise, Ambassador Victor Smith told host of the programme Abena Tabi that “We were campaigning in the Ashanti region, myself and former President Mahama. We had gotten to Obuase, the programme hadn’t even started and we were in the car when I got a call from Accra that the Old man has passed.
“I asked, what do you mean the old man has passed, which old man are you referring to? The person said your old man, Jerry Rawlings. I asked, what happened? Whether it was an accident or something. Then, the person said no, he died in Korle Bu.
“I was so shocked because I never knew he was ill and indeed, he had recently buried his mother and looking at how old his mother got to, 101, I can only guess that he will probably will die after 90. That was what I was thinking, that is if you look after yourself well. I crossed checked with somebody who was actually there when he died.
“So, I called [former] president Mahama and gave him the bad news, he was in a different car. So he asked us all to cut off the programme and return to Accra. S we all came back to Accra.
“But even driving from Obause to Kumasi, there were so many calls coming through that they have heard something and they are not sure and the more I talked about it the more I choked on tears because it was really sad.
“I was just wondering, was he that ill? I asked the body guards and his driver , they are my friends, I recruited them when I was working with Rawlings and they said he only got ill last Sunday, he was feeling feverish and one thing led to another, he was in hospital and he is gone.”
Mr Rawlings was buried on Wednesday January 27, 2021.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana