Former President Jerry John Rawlings has swiftly responded to a ‘sharp-teethed’ attack from former Deputy Information Minister Felix Ofosu Kwakye, describing him as a ‘little greedy neck.’
The ex-President, who coined the phrase ‘babies with sharp teeth,’ was prompted into action after the former deputy minister under the previous Mahama administration told him to conduct himself like an elderly person.
Former President Rawlings coined ‘babies with sharp teeth’ and ‘greedy bastards’ during the previous Mills administration after coming under attack from youthful appointees notorious for hurling insults at people with dissenting views.
The former President, founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), gained notoriety in the corridors of his own party for openly querying what he considered traits of bad governance at the hands of his successors.
While being hosted on a radio station, the former deputy minister was asked to react to the charge by Mr. Rawlings that he had purchased two mansions in Accra for $3 million, one of which he gave to his wife.
Visibly infuriated, he asked that the former President should conduct himself properly and avoid concluding on issues the way he had done.
In a carefully crafted response on social media platform Twitter, the former President told Ofosu Kwakye, whom he described as a ‘greedy neck’ and ‘a little person’, that his denial about the two mansions is not surprising “since after all more important people have denied bigger crimes and will continue to do same in future.”
He said little persons like him “are entitled to stand their ground flamboyant and aggressive talk. The law, nonetheless, will hopefully catch up with their greedy necks.”
The former deputy communications minister, who is noted for his use of intemperate language against political opponents, stated that the former President should have called him for a discussion over the subject when he stumbled upon the information about the mansion purchased instead of drawing conclusion.
“…You cannot say you are an elderly person and yet when you are informed that someone has done something wrong, you won’t even investigate the matter thoroughly before commenting openly, accusing the person wrongly just like that….”
He fired again that “because he is an elderly person whose words are taken as the gospel truth, that is the reason why he should have been mindful of his utterances in order not to malign someone on the basis of allegation without proof and that is why Ghanaians ought to be disappointed,” he said.
According to Mr. Rawlings, a deputy minister who served in the erstwhile Mahama-led NDC administration, bought two mansions worth $3 million; each building cost $1.5 million from the property owner in Accra after the NDC lost the 2016 general elections.
Origins of Anger
During one of the commemorations of the June 4 uprising, the former President accused the former deputy information minister of buying two mansions after the NDC lost power in 2016, a charge which has bothered him so much.
According to Rawlings, “The property owner was very sad and he was very angry. Why do you think he was angry? Because he has sweated to build these houses to sell for profit and instead of the money to come into his account or being given a cheque, he was being given physical cash!”
“What that meant was that he had to spend the whole night counting the $1.5 million each times two, the $3 million. Do you get me?” he asked humorously.
According to Kwakye Ofosu, “What he did (the allegations Rawlings put out) should have rather come from a young man so that he (Rawlings) can chastise and correct that person for drawing hasty conclusion based on an allegation and not the other way around … We must take note that we are doing politics and so we must be mindful of what we say; it does not mean that due to politics, we must fabricate stories against others because you are an elderly person.”
“After all, as a former President who has served this country for 19 years and even before the 19 years, he had attempted two coup d’états, and so for such a person, he should know the significance of investigating matters before action is taken because someone’s life is on the line…”
“Therefore, should someone even snitch on somebody, you have to investigate the matter before you comment on it. Like I earlier indicated, the allegation has no basis; it is not true,” he added.
On the alleged appearance of his name on the list of the Special Prosecutor, he said there is no crime in purchasing mansions in the country.
“First of all, they have alleged that I have bought a mansion; even if I have bought a mansion, I have flouted no law because there is no law that stops anybody from buying a mansion but as I have said, I have not bought any mansion but they have my name penned down as having bought a mansion….”
“I am asking that didn’t Martin Amidu and his team know the person who bought that mansion before they put my name down? If they don’t have a confirmation from the person who made the allegation, why have they added my name to the list? So clearly, this is a huge joke which must be thrown out because it does not make sense; it is baseless and pure lies,” he added.