The late Former President Jerry John Rawlings is one of the few people Ghana has seen do things that could not easily be understood.
He is famously known for recruiting most of his Ministers and other government appointees who never had political background or even had a higher educational background.
In the quest for recruiting people into his government, the late Former President Rawlings had a unique style of conducting a personal interview with a former minister in 1993.
Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has recently revealed that, the late former President Jerry John Rawlings interviewed him with piloting skills.
Revealing this in an exclusive interview with TV Africa, Mr Spio-Gabrah said in 1993 when the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) transited to the National Democratic Congress (NDC), President Rawlings was then looking for competent hands for his cabinet and so he put out a request to him through some of his aides and asked if he (Spio-Gabrah) would be happy to serve in his government.
“He invited me and another colleague who were both working with the African Development Bank; we came to Ghana went to see him at Osu Castle where he had his office and we had some discussions”
“After he that, he told us he was going to Akosombo and wondered if we would you be able to come along? My friend I and agreed to to go along”.
“So at the appointed time, we came to the Osu Castle, drove to the Air Force base where they had the planes. So we sat in one of the planes and he took off. Less than 10 minutes into the flight, he just turned back and asked my friend and I, which of you is willing to take over? I looked at my friend he shock and he also looked at me but he shook his head and said he was not willing to take over. Quickly I calculated my risks very well and said yes I’m willing to take over”, he recounted
Then he asked ‘are you sure’? And I said yes. There was a co-pilot so he asked me to come and take over and asked the co-pilot to go back and I sat with him”.
“He said now watch me, I’m gonna teach you how to fly a plane in less than five minutes. He said a plane is just like a car if you turn left it turns left, if you turn right it turns right. If you wanna go down you push down, if you wanna go up you push it up, you got it and I said yes I got it. So I watched him for about 10 minutes and we flew. I watched him and before I knew I was in charge of the plane and I was flying. So in less than five minutes I became a pilot.”
According to Mr Spio-Gabrah, he never discussed his experience to his boss yet he is optimistic that, the late Jerry Rawlings did that to test his capacity and willingness to either take instructions or do things at short notice.
“But I’m sure he had done that to a lot of people already. That is the story that made him decide that Ekwow-Spio Gabrah will serve in his government”, he disclosed.
Mr Ekwow Spio-Gabrah was the Ghana Ambassador to America under Rawlings administration from 1994 to 1997. He was later appointed as the Minister for Communications from 1997 to 1998. Between 1998 and 2001, was served as the Minister for Education all under the late Former President Jerry Rawlings.