Former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings says it was not easy ruling Ghana for 20 years.
He said under his military regime and civilian administration, he and his wife were not just sitting on the “throne”; rather they were part of the actors and engineers on the ground with the people.
“My wife was not sitting at the Castle drinking tea. She was in the villages around the country; she was sleeping in very rough places. And we had no choice but to get involved with the people and that was tiring,” Rawlings narrated to Kwaku Sakyi-Addo on Asaase Radio’s Sunday Night programme.
He added that his leadership style was related to being compassionate and having respect for the people.
“However, there are those who lead using the medium of fear; the fear factor. And people who use the medium of fear are able to relax and orders are obeyed because people are afraid of the government,” he observed.
“But knowing very well that my intervention drove away a lot of that fear factor, there was nothing you could do. Besides, I resented the use of the fear factor.”
He lamented that it was very unfortunate that in his quest to drive out the fear factor from his appointees, there were others who were really afraid of him.
“I was one of the first people to actually criticize the atmosphere [of the] culture of silence,” Rawlings controversially stated.
He explained that the criticism he gave was provoked by a canoe which capsized on Lake Bosomtwe, adding that the passengers realized that the canoeist was drunk but nobody spoke out.
He added that having been identified as a leader who was always on the ground and with the people during his military rulership, he naturally had to continue when the constitutional rule was restarted by him in 1992.
“It was a very tiring business because you were not enjoying the luxury of giving orders. You’ve to be on the ground and have the time to lead things.”