He said the former president is no doctor to determine what killed the late president Mills, ahead of the medical postmortem.
“The former president is not a medical doctor and he does not work with President Mills to claim to know more about his health status than those of us who work closely with the late President,” he said.
Nii Lantey said “I think as an elderly statesman he [Rawlings] did not conduct himself properly and his statement is totally irresponsible,” adding that the former president needs to be told that his behavior indicates he is becoming a ‘social deviant’.
“If Madam Naadu Mills were to be my mother and I was to be Sammy Kofi Mills [the late president’s son] I will tell former President Rawlings never to enter my house again,” he said.
Former President Rawlings had said in an interview with the BBC in Congo that President Mills’ death was not unexpected, and that he had been battling with cancer for a long time and he was unable to sit meetings for more than three hours because the cancer had affected his sight and hearing.
Mr. Rawlings also said President Mills could have lived longer than he did if he had gotten better advice and done something wiser.
But Nii Lantey Vanderpuye said Mr. Rawlings is in no position to make those statements, adding that he could have asked the interviewer to wait for him to return to Ghana and get the full facts instead of making such “irresponsible and premature comments.”
He said those who worked with the late President knew that he could work for more than the three hours Mr. Rawlings talked about, adding that Mr. Rawlings rushed to pass those comments possibly because of the hatred he had harbored for the late President.
“As a leader you should know how to talk – when to say what – and where to say it – that was no platform and no good time for him to have made such statements,” he said. “It is time some of us tell people that no matter their age that when they make such mistakes that they are becoming social deviants.”
Nii Lantey Vanderpuye was also worried about what Mr. Rawlings said about President John Dramani Mahama when he was asked whether he believed the new President is competent and capable to lead the country.
The former President said “I don’t know but I hope so”, and Nii Lantey says that was not fair, particularly when the interviewer made reference to the fact that Mr. Rawlings once appointed President Mahama as his Minister of Communications.
Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako agreed with Nii Lantey Vanderpuye that Mr. Rawlings’ statement was premature and totally uncalled for and unnecessary at this time.
“You don’t make such statements when the whole country and the whole world is mourning the late president who we all agree was an honorable man,” he said.
He said the best Mr. Rawlings could have done was to have waited and gotten in touch with the late President’s wife and consoled her, talked to her about such sensitive issues before making public pronouncements on them, even if he knew what may have killed President Mills.
Kwaku Baako however admonished Nii Lantey Vanderpuye to go slow on the former president by virtue of his [Nii Lantey's] position as a presidential aid and the fact that he is still mourning the late president.
Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona/Adom News