Former Local Government and Rural Development Minister Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi has made a disclosure that former President Kufuor used his Peugeot saloon car, writing off of his loan as MP and his release and others from Nsawam prison detention as conditions to be part of a Ghana Government delegation to talk to Nigeria about the restoration of oil sales.
The former government official said President Shehu Shagari of Nigeria cut off oil supply to Ghana in the early parts of January 1982 in protest against the Ghana revolution and this was a terrific blow to the Ghanaian economy.
“…not only did the distance between Nigeria and Ghana make oil imports from Nigeria the most economical, but also Nigeria was selling us the oil on a 90-day, interest-free credit basis,” he said.
According to what he said, a 5-member delegation was composed by Chairman Rawlings and Captain Kojo Tsikata (Rtd.) to travel to Nigeria to negotiate with then Nigeria President, Shehu Shagari.
It comprised Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, a member of the PNDC as leader; Dr. Obed Asamoah, Colonel Abdulai Ibrahim, one-time Commissioner for Lands and Natural Resources and for Fuel and Power under the Government of the National Redemption Council (NRC), Mr. J. A. Kufuor (PFP MP in the Third Republic and later to become President of the Third and Fourth Republic) and Prof. Kwamena Ahwoi, then Special Assistant performing special duties at the PNDC Secretariat.
Mr. Ahwoi said J.A. Kufuor’s inclusion was on account of intelligence that he had a very good relationship with President Shagari.
The problem according to him was that Mr. Kufuor was an opposition PFP Member of Parliament (MP) in the Third Republic which had been overthrown by the PNDC.
J.A. Kufuor was then in detention at the Nsawam Prisons, like many other persons involved in the politics of that Republic.
“Chairman Rawlings sent me to go and talk to Mr. Kufuor about the strategic importance of his being on the delegation and also hint at the possibility of his being appointed to a position in the PNDC Government.
“I went. I met Mr. Kufuor. He was not averse to either of the two proposals, but he had two conditions. First, his Peugeot saloon car number AM 961, which he had bought with a loan as an MP and which had been seized by the revolutionary forces, had to be released to him and the balance on the loan of 28,000 cedis written off. Second, in addition to his own release from prison, the PNDC had to consider releasing all or some of his colleagues who were still in prison,” he recounted in his book.
He carried on that Chairman Rawlings agreed to both conditions which made J. A. Kufuor a part of the delegation to Lagos where they successfully negotiated the restoration of the oil supplies with President Shagari and his aides, though they reduced the quantity of oil to be supplied. “Not too long after our return, on 22nd January 1982, Mr. J. A. Kufuor was appointed the first PNDC Secretary (Minister) for Local Government,” he said.