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General News of Thursday, 26 July 2012

Source: XYZ

Rawlings' comments on Mills' death are "irresponsible & absurd" - Nii Lantey

Director of Operations at the Presidency, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije, has slammed former President Rawlings for stating that had the late President J.E.A. Mills listened to wise counsel and done something wiser he could have lived a while longer.

According to Mr. Vanderpuije, former President Rawlings’ comments were “unnecessary, irresponsible and absurd” to say the least.

In an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, former President Rawlings who has never seen eye-to-eye with the late president since the latter assumed office in 2009, said even though the news of his former deputy’s demise came as a surprise to him, it could have been averted.

Mr. Rawlings said “quite frankly I think that had he been advised and done something wiser earlier on, he could probably have survived for another six, seven months, I guess but it got too tight, it got extremely tight.”

But speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana programme on Thursday, Nii Lantey Vanderpuije said the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) should have waited to be briefed on what transpired before making such definite statements on an international platform.

Doctor Rawlings?

“You are not a doctor. A post mortem has not been carried out for you to determine what killed him. And you are not there in the office with him. I know Professor Mills works more than the three hours he is talking about. So where does this fallacy of hasty conclusion come from?” he queried, adding “you don’t work with him, you don’t live with him, you are not there to determine [his health].”

The NDC’s parliamentary candidate for Odododiodoo stated that the haste with which Mr. Rawlings commented on the cause of death of the President was alarming and showed a man who still haboured hate for the deceased Prof. Mills

“In your normal haste and because of possibly habouring that level of hate and dislike for the person, you will say these things!”

Mr Vanderpuije said he was literally ashamed after listening to the audio over and over again on getting wind of what the former President had said about the late President Mills.

“It is totally uncalled for and as an elderly person… I felt so, so ashamed when I heard that. I couldn’t believe it.”

He vowed to stand up to individuals, no matter their age, who make such unguarded pronouncements and called on the youth to do same in correcting people who go out of the accepted practice in society.

“It is time some of us, I think it is time to tell people, no matter their age, when they go against our cultural norms and practices, when they go against things that make us a people, we should tell them that maybe, they are becoming deviants in society,” he asserted.

baako

Insensitive Comments - Baako The Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Kweku Baako Jnr, who was also a guest on the show was in good company with Mr Vanderpuije albeit in a lesser tone.

He said despite the fact that Mr. Rawlings might have raised a legitimate concern on the sad incident; he broached the matter too early in the day while many are still recovering from the shock of the news of President Mills’ passing.

“Even the one week, we haven’t finished. So because of who former President Rawlings is: he was a former president – former head of state – founder of the NDC, prominent, eminent statesman of international proportions. What he says and how he says it and where he says it at this material moment, critical. To that extent, I think what he said is premature, is untimely and insensitive,” Mr. Baako said.

He said in due course, the issues raised will be discussed extensively on a national non-partisan basis to serve as a direction to how best to handle the health of Ghana’s presidents, supposing there is any merit in the allegation.

“[Rawlings] may have raised issues, he’s brought those issues to the front burner now prematurely in my candid opinion. As I said, sooner than later those things will become issues. I think that he didn’t calculate what to say and how to say it. The timing is wrong, I will be candid…”**