The Ethical Problems With The Foreword, Co-authors, Factual Collaborators, Reviewers, and Editors of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings
Naana J. Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, As Foreword Writer, Editor, Reviewer of Working with Rawlings And Interviewer of Radio Gold’s 1996 “Mother Of All Interviews”
The writer of the foreword to a scholarly work based on participant observation and experiential learning should ethically not be the author, co-author, editor, reviewer, or collaborator of the author of the book for which she writes the foreword. She must also not have a conflict of interest that will make her foreword deceitful and misleading to the consuming public. The foreword which is normally placed at the beginning of the book and paged in roman numerals is intended to urge most prospective purchasers and readers on to perform the dramaturgical action of purchasing and reading the book. This is why the writer of the foreword to Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings, Naana J. Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE who put her credentials and integrity at stake in marketing the book was enjoined to exhibit utmost candor, transparency, and accountability is disclosing her vested interest or role in writing the book to which she was writing the foreword. By writing the foreword she invites the public to look at her qualifications and to trust her based on her credentials of writing an ethical and honest foreword to the books which she recommends to them to invest in.
Naana J. Opoku-Agyemang states in her foreword to the book, amongst other things, that “the content of the narrative as honestly delivered” and further states conclusively that: “The vivid, engaging and deeply reflective eye witness account couched in unencumbered prose, brings to the fore events narrated with open honesty and transparency.” She also stakes her honour on the accuracy of the author’s narrative when she states that: “This is especially so as the text grounds it content in verifiable fact, at times seeking and receiving the approval of non-fictive persons.” The foregoing unqualified statements by the writer of the foreword who flaunts her credentials in our faces for credibility vouches for the accuracy, truth, and factual basis of everything written by the Author in his supposedly scholarly discourse in Working with Rawlings, including the reliability of rumours as a dependable scholarly source of authority.
Most readers of scholarly books do not have time to read the author’s acknowledgments which may be placed at the beginning of the book after the foreword or at the back of the book. But if one reads Kwamena Ahwoi’s acknowledgement at page xxvi, paragraph 4 of his book, one cannot miss what the writer of the foreword Naana J. Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE wittingly failed or refused to disclose to the reading public.
Kwamena Ahwoi, the author, acknowledges that “Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Minister of Education under President John Dramani Mahama and Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a public university” is not a neutral writer of the foreword to his book. She is also a reviewer and editor of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings. In the words of the author, she did “a yeo-woman’s job of reading through the entire manuscript and reviewing the contents, reading through and paying particular attention to editorial and grammatical details.” The author appreciates the writer of the foreword’s review and editorial judgment of his book when he states that “she adjudged it publishable.”
Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE , Minister of Education under President John Dramani Mahama and Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a public university, knew or should have known with her long credentials that her collaboration in the writing of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings ethically disqualified her from staking her integrity and honour in writing the deceptive, non-transparent and unaccountable foreword to the book. Any Publication Manual for a scholarly or professional association forbids such gross unethical conduct displayed with impunity as exhibited by Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE , Minister of Education under President John Dramani Mahama and Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a public university in Ghana.
Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE, Minister of Education under President John Dramani Mahama and Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a public university was enjoined as an editor of Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings to have asked the author to make available to her the data he used in writing his manuscript for verification on the accuracy of the reports or narratives contained in the book. The obviously deliberate factual inaccuracies I pointed out in the introduction to this critique, are clear demonstrations that she was either an unqualified editor, reviewer, foreword writer or she was knowingly participating in a grand conspiracy to present the unsuspecting reading public with twisted narratives against the subject victims of the narratives in the book. She knew or ought to have known that as an editor of the book she could not be a reviewer at the same time because in the field of scholarship it is the reviewers who provide the editor with an evaluation of the manuscript’s quality and appropriateness for publication. The decision to accept the manuscript, or to reject it, or to ask for revision is the responsibility of the editor and the editor’s decision may differ from the recommendation of any or all reviewers.
But she was also a reviewer and should have considered whether she had any potential conflict of interest that (a) would or could compromise her objective judgment, (b) would or could appear to compromise her objectivity and judgment, and therefore compromise the value of the review, or (c) would or could appear to compromise her objectivity and might place her reputation at risk if this conflict were discovered and questioned after review. She should have considered whether she had other institutional affiliations with the author that might create more subtle conflicts of interest.
Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE, Minister of Education under President John Dramani Mahama and Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a public university threw all the considerations for ethical conduct in being an editor or reviewer or writing the foreword to Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings to the wind and played all the above roles without compunctions.
“Rawlings, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang and the Radio Gold Interview”
A patient reader who reads the author’s work up to page 126 will come across the narration on “Rawlings, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang and the Radio Gold Interview” which narrates clearly how the writer of the foreword, who was also a reviewer and editor of Working with Rawlings was a co-conspirator with “Messrs. Ato Ahwoi, the Board Chairman of Network Broadcasting Company Limited, owner of Radio Gold, Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, Minister of Information, and the author to use the medium of Radio Gold” to doctor an interview for Rawlings’ electoral victory in 1996. The author names the conspiratorial and doctored interview as ‘the “mother of all interviews” granted to Radio Gold by Rawlings, which was conducted by one of the greatest interviewer of all time, Dr. (now Professor) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman.’ (See pages 126 to 128 for the full narration).
Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, Chancellor-Women’s University in Africa, President and Africa Board Chair – FAWE , Minister of Education under President John Dramani Mahama and Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a public university who became the editor, reviewer and foreword writer of Working with Rawlings and its author should as the scholars they profess to be have realized that their previous institutional affiliations and on-going affiliations prevented her from being an ethical editor, reviewer or writer of the book’s foreword.
It is a pity that Ghana’s first female Vice Chancellor of a Public University who reviewed and edited the book did not realize how negatively she and the author were portraying their integrity and high moral character to the public by publishing the confession that as the interviewer of Rawlings she also dishonourably permitted her “Platform” on Radio Gold to be used for a doctored interview. May be that is why as an editor, and reviewer of the author’s book she agreed with him to describe the doctored interview as the “mother of all interviews”. An interview which the public believed was a spontaneous one which unbeknown to them had indeed already been rehearsed with the interviewee by the interviewer truly passes for the “mother of all interviews” in the fraud perpetrated on the innocent and defrauded public. Instead of Professor (Mrs.) Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, her collaborators at Radio Gold and the author apologizing to the public for their degenerate, and unethical conduct she rather stoops so low as to review, edit, write the foreword and adjudge the book publishable in exchange for the author awarding her with the title: “one of the greatest interviewers of all time”. Scholarly ethics indeed!
I have just watched the Ghana Presidential Debate 2012, Accra on You Tube, read a Ghana Web news item of 22nd November 2012 on the Presidential debate with the source as Peace FM, a Ghana Web news item on “Leaked 2012 Presidential Debate IEA Capo ‘Admits’ – To being source of rumour” of 19th May 2016, with the source as al-hAJJ, and also read two publications on 3news.com and Ghana Web both dated 28th October 2018 on the vetting of Hon. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah in Parliament and have been wondering whether there are any confessions awaiting Ghanaians in the author’s next book on “the father of all Presidential debates “ in which another Ghanaian President will be victimized by Mrs. Opoku-Agyemang and the author’s Radio Gold cabal. Ghanaians can search for answers by endeavouring to answer the question posed in the Holy Bible in Jeremiah 13: 23: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spot?” I think but dare not speak!
The victim of the narration of the Radio Gold interview who is President Emeritus Rawlings and other victims of the many other fabricated narratives in Working with Rawlings were not given any chance to consent to or comment on the grave falsehoods narrated by the author and adjudged publishable by the editor, reviewer and writer of the foreword of the book -“one of the greatest interviewer of all time”! My interactions and continued interactions with President Emeritus Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings leaves me in no doubt that the narrative is either doctored or that the author upon whom he unknowingly relied for professional legal advice did not explain the implications of the scam to him for an informed consent to participate in such “mother of all interviews” by “one of the greatest interviewers of all time”. In any case the President Emeritus, Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings would have still won the 1996 elections, anyway without the doctored interview.
Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan As Reviewer And Editor Of Working with Rawlings
The author casts Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, as one of the reviewers and editors of Working with Rawlings. He is described by the author as:
‘Ghana’s longest-serving Chairman of the Electoral Commission and the man that I “discovered” and who ultimately climbed to that position (the story of which “discovered” is recounted in this book), also reviewed the entire manuscript. He paid particular attention to the factual presentation, especially in the areas that he was involved in such as the Committee of Experts (Constitution), the INEC and the EC as well as the other sections dealing with elections. But he also had time for grammatical and editorial corrections.’ (See pages xxvi to xxvii of the book).
As a reviewer and/or editor of the entire manuscript he was also under the same ethical obligation as Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman to have declined to be a reviewer of the author’s book on grounds of conflict of interest and potential or real likelihood of bias. A reader who has the patience to endure the fabricated narratives contained in Working with Rawlings would read about the significant role played by the author in the establishment of the Committee of Experts (Constitution) in his discovery of Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan in the process who not only became a member of the Committee but who subsequently also turned out to be the longest-serving Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (see pages 85 to 86 of the book).
The chilling narrative of how the author who was on a confidential state assignment commissioned by Captain Kojo Tsikata to make contact with Mr. Kofi Drah, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science to interest him in the work of the proposed Committee, branched into a drinking spot in the Achimota Forest area where a number of Legon lecturers including the author who lived in that area used to meet for the occasional social drink met Dr. Afari-Gyan there drinking alone and after some drinks shamefully sold the benefit of the assignment his superior had commissioned him to undertake in recruiting Mr. Kofi Drah to his drinking mate, Dr. Afari-Gyan (see pages 85 to 86). How could Dr. Afari-Gyan who had been patronized and groomed by the author over the years be an impartial reviewer and/or editor of the scholarly work the author seeks to portray in Working with Rawlings in his retirement? I am not a scholar, so how dare I point these out? But herds also have their Benjamin the donkey and Muriel the wise old goat portrayed in George Orwell’s Animal Farm who reason beyond the form to the substance.
Nana Ato Dadzie And Kofi Totobi-Quakyi, Collaborators And Co-authors?
The author also gives credit to two long standing friends and collaborators in the following words:
“Nana Ato Dadzie, Secretary, PNDC Secretariat and Chief of Staff to President Rawlings, and Kofi Totobi-Quakye, variously Minister of Information and Minister for National Security, were two other reviewers. I walked the entire nineteen years working with Rawlings with them, so what I know, they know. They provided me with facts and figures and dates and names of places and reminded me of many of Raawlings’ foibes. This book would not have seen the light of day but for their support, assistance and advice….” (See page xxvii thereof).
The author describes his close friendship and association with Nana Ato Dadzie and Kofi Totobi-Quakyi over the years who were nonetheless permitted to be ethical reviewers of his book by his editors. These two friends and associates of the author upon close reading of Working with Rawlings are really not only reviewers but also answer to the description of co-authors of the book with the author as the primary author.
In my view the two close friends and associates of the author deserve publication credit in accordance with scholarly authorship principles to be found in any Publication Manual for any scholarly or professional association. I have come to this conclusion after reviewing the literature in this field on scholarly or professional publications on the ethics of publication credit. Authorship covers not only those who do the actual writing but also those who have made substantial professional contribution such as formulating the problem or hypothesis, structuring the design, organizing and conducting the qualitative analysis, interpreting the results, or contributing to a major portion of the book.
Nana Ato Dadzie and Kofi Totobi-Quakyi for no apparent reason were not listed in the byline as substantial contributors without whose contribution the book would not have seen the light of day because of “their support, assistance and advice”. They are instead listed as lesser contributors, not constituting authorship, and acknowledged in the acknowledgement. The substance of the book when read thoroughly shows otherwise and defeats the form of their contribution in the acknowledgement.
Acknowledged Others Who Helped With The Historical Facts
The author also acknowledges persons such as Naval Captain Baffour Assasie-Gyimah (Rtd.) of the National Security Secretariat and Ambassador to Burkina Faso in the PNDC/NDC eras; Justice Victor Ofoe, Justice of the Court of Appeal; Solomon Quandzie, Head of Chambers of Quandzie & Associates; Larry Adjetey, Private Legal Practitioner, Bright Akwetey private legal practitioner and formerly of the Attorney General’s Department and Office of the Special Public Prosecutor in the PNDC era; and Mr Kofi Portuphy, one- time acting Metropolitan Chief Executive for Accra and former National Chairman of the NDC as having helped the author with historical facts which the author had lost track of. (See pages xxvii to xxviii of the book).
The historical facts which those persons helped the author with are hidden by non-disclosure. Any person who played any significant role in the 31st December Revolution who reads the book and comes across the narrations on the “CVC, NIC, PUBLIC TRIBUNALS and all that”, “Stop the Executions!” and ‘The Public Tribunals: The Doctrine of “Autrofois Acquit” and “Autrofois Convict” side stepped’ will appreciate the reasons from the bank of my knowledge why I treat some of the named contributors to the author’s historical facts as reviewers or collaborators or co-authors of the author in writing his book. I will be returning to some of the above topics enumerated by the author in his narrative in other future critique of the book.
Suffice it now to say how difficult any of the persons acknowledged for supplying the author with historical facts to enable him twist the narratives he presents in his book could to have done so without reading the manuscript, or galley proof of the book or portions of it and reviewed them before supplying those historical facts. The author himself admits this when he said that Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata read the book to help the author “out particularly in the area of any possible infractions of defamation laws and for factual accuracy and linguistic correctness” but exonerates him from being a real reviewer. It is left to the discerning reader to make his or her candid opinion of the foregoing in spite of what the untrustworthy author has written.
The author comes out as an unethical scholar/author colluding again with another equally unethical scholar/foreword writer, reviewer, and editor of his book, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, PhD/FGA, described as a former Minister of Education to whom his ‘manuscript was her “education” on politics’ to sell his unscholarly book to the unsuspecting public for profit as a scholarly work. Ghana be doomed with such scholars as its leaders!
It is on the foregoing basis that I have questioned and continue to question the inability of the author’s many reviewers, editors, collaborators, and co-authors to have corrected the wrong historical facts such as who was the Chief Justice of Ghana on 7th January 1993 and narratives concerning the judgments in the case of City and Country Waste Limited v Accra Metropolitan Assembly, presided over and heard in High Court, Accra, by Mr. Justice Victor D. Ofoe when his friend and mentor, the author was a witness in the case.
In reading Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings several times, making notes and researching for this critique one question has been nagging at the back of my inquisitive mind. Is the Kwamena Ahwoi’s love of glorifying himself with big names and long titles, and of associating himself with people with long titles and big names in the writing of his otherwise unethical and unscholarly work not a cry for help from an infected mind lacking in confidence in his own professional abilities and psychologically seeking pleasure in the destruction of the reputations of the numerous victims he targeted in his book with the unwitting or witting assistance of his surrogates? Luke 14:10 guides unassuming eminent scholars and professionals!
There are so many narrations in Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings which do not add up upon deeper scrutiny and makes one wonder why he and his surrogates targeted and victimized President Emeritus J. J. Rawlings, someone’s testicles, acted upon mere rumours, and disclosed otherwise confidential information to the public without any compunctions. I have demonstrated in the foregoing analysis and critique that when an alleged scholarly project is unethically conducted and executed by any scholar with surrogates who do not respect the basic ethics of scholarly writing and publication the results of his work cannot stand the test of logic, repetition and replication required by the rigors of qualitative analysis and critique. Kwamena Ahwoi’s Working with Rawlings is one such unscholarly work.
MARTIN A. B. K. AMIDU
POSTSCRIPT: This post scriptum has been read and approved by the subject it affects.
I have known and worked with Naval Captain Baffour Assasie-Gyimah (rtd.) in very challenging circumstances in the revolutionary process. I, therefore, had my doubts about his involvement with the author’s book. Coincidentally, Naval Captain Baffour Assasie-Gyimah called me a number of times and missed me after I had completed writing this third critique. I returned his call. He had apparently read my second critique online that morning but not Kwamena Ahwoi’s manuscript or book. I read to him portions of Kwamena’s book at page 13 acknowledging him and from pages 34 to 36 narrating how he became the advocate for a group of PNDC operatives who went and pleaded with Chairman Rawlings to stop the executions. He denied being part of any such group, let alone being their lead advocate. He recalled that even though Kwamena Ahwoi had called him on telephone about four months previously, Kwamena never told him he was writing a book neither did they discuss the events concerning the alleged advocacy role attributed to him in the book. The ethics of professional writers enjoins me to inform the public about this post scriptum conversation to aid their assessment of this critique and the author’s credibility as the ethical scholar he claims to be.