December 3, 2023

Matilda Amissah Arthur, the wife of the late former Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, has disclosed that she repeatedly urged her husband to resign during his tenure as Vice President of Ghana, but he refused to heed.

There had been report that Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, an ex-Governor of the Bank of Ghana and onetime Deputy Minister of Finance in Jerry Rawlings government serving the late Kwesi Botchwey, many times felt disrespected by some Presidential Staffers and other government appointees in the Mahama administration, and threatened to resign.

There were also claims that he once authoured his resignation letter, but was prevailed upon by senior members of the National Democratic Congress to rescind his decision which he reluctantly did.

The frank-speaking Mrs. Amissah Arthur, was not quoted on what exactly compelled her to advise her late husband to resign, but said that despite her persistent demand, her husband chose not to heed her suggestions till 2016 defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government.

In an upcoming interview on Accra-based Joy News, Matilda Amissah Arthur, shared this revelation in response to a question regarding whether she wanted her husband to resign due to the demanding nature of his job.

There had been reports about rifts between Ghana’s Presidents and their Vice dating back to the Presidency of the late, Jerry John Rawlings, but this is the first time that a spouse had been bold to speak about the Presidency, however, she failed to give specifics.

Under Rawlings, relationship between his vice-president, Kow Nkensen Arkaah, went frosty to a point where the second gentleman of the land was once dragged out from a cabinet by Mr Rawlings on claims that he has been leaking vital government secrets to the then opposing group; the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

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Reports of Rawlings beaten Mr Arkaah nicknamed the “stubborn cat” during that encounter, have since been denied by both Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, a strong member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and long-serving  secretary and minister in the PNDC junta, as well as the Rawlings governments respectively.

“Rawlings didn’t beat him [Arkaah]. But there was an incident and both of them fell [onto] the floor. But Commodore Steve Obimpeh, who was a military person, was sitting next to Arkaah so he went very quickly, jumped into them and separated them and Arkaah left there [the cabinet meeting],” Prof Ahwoi told Citi News in an interview.

“At the time he [Arkaah] was leaving [the meeting], his suit wasn’t torn but we all later saw a picture with his suit torn. [He did that] because he went to the then IGP to report that he had been assaulted by President Rawlings so he needed evidence.”

In 1996, Jerry Rawlings chose John Evans Atta Mills, to become his running mate and subsequently vice-president, after his altercation with Arkaah.

Under John Agyekum Kufuor, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, his Vice-President, was said to have had some concerns with the then Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs said to be more powerful than the sitting Vice-President.

Aliu Mahama, was also said to have many times felt disrespected. Indeed, many meanings, including Juju, were read into the President Kufuor’s November 2007 car accident in the capital; Opebea Junction, Kotoka Airport -Accra. He escaped unhurt.

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Witnesses saw a vehicle crash into Kufuor’s car, causing it to roll over several times. When it came to a stop, Mr Kufuor emerged holding his head, but seemed fine.

He was seen by his doctor although healthy and composed and underwent checks in the presidential palace to ensure he was not at risk, presidential press secretary Andy Awuni said.

“He has been back at his desk since 12:00 in scheduled meetings with traditional leaders,” he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa.

Under President John Evans Atta Mills, reports were rife that his Vice, John Mahama, many times threatened to resign as he also felt disrespected by Presidential Staffers and other appointees.

Although, the Mills camp had denied some of these claims, saying Mr Mahama was given the latitude to operate, reports linked to Mr. Mahama and his officers were denied many things to effectively and efficiently run the Office of the Vice-President.

This was said to have given Mr Mahama the leeway to author his memoir; “My First Coup d’Etat: And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa.

The frosty relationship between Mr Mahama and Koku Anyidoho, a former Director of Communications at Presidency, is said to be the disrespect Mr Mahama felt under the Mills Presidency for which reason, he quickly relocated the Office of President to Flagstaff House and sent away many of Mills’ appointees on ambassadorial duties while others were sent home jobless.

Under the current dispensation, the stories about the relationship between the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the President, Nana Akufo-Addo is not different.

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Two powerful individuals and family members of the President Akufo-Addo, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Gabby Asare-Otchere-Darko, are mentioned to be very strong forces in the government, although Gabby isn’t directly in government.

Critical decision for the economy, including going to the IMF for bailout, Agyapa Royalties deal, E-Levy among others were not deliberated on and taken by the Economic Management team led by Dr Bawumia but Mr Ofori-Atta alone.

Reports are that the Vice-President feels completely ostracized by the Akufo-Addo family, although the body language in public doesn’t suggest same.

Matilda Amissah Arthur, revealed candidly she had asked late husband to step down as Vice-President “many times.”

Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, an economist and former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, served as Ghana’s Vice President and headed the economic management team under President John Dramani Mahama.

His unexpected passing occurred five years ago on June 29, 2018, during a fitness training session in a facility owned by Ghana Airforce.

Before his death, there were reports that he was being financed by one time, John Mahama loyalist, appointee, relative and National Security Advisor at the Presidency, Baba Kamara. They had set up an office in East Legon – Accra to challenge his former boss for the 2020 NDC Presidential slot.

Following the untimely demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, Ghana’s first sitting president to pass away while in office, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, assumed the role of Vice President, with John Mahama as President.

 

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