A pronouncement by Ghana's former first lady suggesting that
President John Kufuor is not an attorney as he claims is generating
controversy. Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, wife of Ghana's former President
Jerry Rawlings reportedly challenged President Kufuor as well as presidential
candidate of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufu-Addo to tell
Ghanaians the names of the schools they attained for their respective law
degrees. But the ruling NPP described the former
first lady's challenge as misguided and one that should be treated with
contempt. The party added that presidential candidate Akufu Addo, who served
under President Kufuor's administration as attorney general and foreign
minister, was called to the Ghanaian Bar on July 8, 1975. From Ghana's capital,
Accra Nana Agyeman-Rawlings tells reporter Peter Clottey that the ruling party
took her words out of context.
begin with, this party and the government always take things completely out of
context. What happened was that a group of students came to see my husband
(former President Jerry Rawlings), and he asked me to sit in with them. And
they were talking generally about how they (students) have been totally
misinformed about various issues and so on. They also talked about the moral
decadence that the country has been fed based on the cocaine and all kinds of
things, and the persistent lies that were being told,"
said things were happening under the current administration that needed to be
it came to my turn to speak, I then talked about the moral decadence and the
fact that even statistics are being faked to be given to us as a people when
everybody can see and feel the reality. And I went on to talk about a total
sense of insecurity in the country now because everybody is afraid to go out
after certain times, which was not like that in Ghana before," she said.
said President Kufuor denied in an interview that he was ever an attorney.
"As for Mr. Kufuor, he came
on BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and said it himself. When the
interviewer was trying to ask him about some legal issues, he told the guy he
was not a lawyer. And the man said but on your CV (Curriculum Vitae) you claim
to be a lawyer, but President Kufuor said, I am telling you I am not a lawyer.
He (President Kufuor) did PPE, that is Political Science, Philosophy and Economics,
and that he never read law and so on, and he does not know why people keep
saying he is a lawyer," Agyeman-Rawlings noted.
She said the ruling party's
presidential candidate is yet to confirm or deny how he acquired his law degree
after he was challenged.
"On the Akufu-Addo one,
sometime in 2002 there was a discussion on radio. And one of the MP (member of
parliament) Honorable Dr. Kumbuor came out to clearly say and I quote "
Akufu-Addo to the best of my knowledge an available record has no visible
degree in law and particularly in constitutional law". So, I was quoting based
on what had already been said and all of them (ruling party) had gone to beg
this Honorable MP not to continue the discussion on television. So, they are
attacking me because they know what I have said is true," she said.
Agyeman-Rawlings denied she
was attacking the character of the ruling party's presidential candidate ahead
of this year's general election.
"You know what? I was not
attacking. I was bringing to the fore facts that people were not trying to say
because I know for a fact that Nana Akufu-Addo did economics. I also have
people that he was living with when he was in Paris, he did not do law in
Paris. Now they are telling us that he did law in the UK (United Kingdom). But
in the UK you cannot go and do the bar without doing at least two years of law
school. So, all he has to do is to say this is the university I attended, this
is the level I reached and based on this I went to this bar. It is up to him to
come and prove to us that he has done this. That is all there is,"
Agyeman-Rawlings pointed out.