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Rawlings was not a hostile person – Emma Mitchell

Former Minister of Trade, Emma Mitchell, has debunked misconceptions about the authoritative and hostile nature of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings.

According to her, the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was a rather approachable and supportive leader with great respect for women.

Speaking during an interview on Joy News’ The Probe on Sunday, she recounted fond memories of the charismatic leader, revealing that the late Chairman Rawlings, as he was known then, was very open to varying opinions.

Contrary to the notion held by many that Mr Rawlings was authoritarian, she stated that the leader “never forced his opinion on anyone” and believed in consensus building.

“Rawlings will listen to everyone. He didn’t profess that he knew it all. He was open to advice from everyone before coming out with his own opinion in the end.

“He never forced his opinion on anyone and I found it to be very remarkable of him because he brought together people with a lot of expertise to deliberate on a topic before forming an opinion,” she revealed.

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Dompiahene of Akuapem and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Nana Oye Mansa Yeboah, who was also a panellist on the show, shared similar sentiments.

She characterised the former President as one with a principle of fairness and firmness and maintained that his impartiality was often misrepresented as hostility by some.

Former Deputy Secretary of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy, also added that although her interaction with Mr Rawlings was rather limited, she saw him as one who was never jumped into conclusions until he had heard all varying sides of a story.