He accused her of walking out on the gathering when she got to know she had been replaced by the vice president as the key note speaker for the opening of the event.
“Humility is very important when you hold office. It’s not everything that the President does agree with or that I like. But you cannot take away from him, his humble way of doing things, his likable nature. I’m afraid some of the characters around him have a problem,” Ex-president Rawlings said, adding, "this sort of disrespect is not acceptable.”
Hanna Tetteh was initially delegated by the president to represent him but was later replaced by the vice president in what ex-president John Rawlings said was in fulfillment of protocol arrangement.
But the Foreign Minister has defended her decision to walk away.
In a statement, which Myjoyonline.com cannot independently confirm is coming from Hanna Tetteh, the Foreign Minister is purported to have said she left the conference only when the vice president arrived and was ready to take over the duties early on assigned to her.
"As soon as the the VP arrived he went to JJ to greet him and other dignitaries (who i had also greeted when i got there). They were all chatting so i slipped out of the door and left to go to Cabinet.
Admittedly i didn't tell all the people i had previously greeted that i was leaving, but i felt it wasn't really necessary to announce my departure..."
The following is full statement
"I heard the Joy FM story. The facts as far as I am concerned are as follows:
On Monday as far as I was concerned the No. 1 item on my agenda was the emergency Cabinet Meeting for 10.00 am. I got a call from Amb. Quartey - Sec to the President at 9.45 asking me to stand in for the President at the Mayors Conference, and that the program was starting at 10.30 am, I asked for the speech to be emailed to me so that I could leave, at 10 am my Chief of Protocol started calling me frantically that the program had been brought forward to 10 am but that while the Mayor of Accra was indicating the VP was coming when he called his protocol officers there was no response and so could I hurry up & come because the program was to start. I rushed to the Conference centre to be told by the Mayor that he had spoken to the President and the VP was coming.
My response was that if that was the cased then there was no need for me to be there.
I decided to sit & wait to see if the VP would come because my understanding was that I was to stand in, and give the President's speech and I thought it wasn't a good idea to leave and be called back. I was sitting on the other side of the room from JJ.
As soon as the VP arrived he went to JJ to greet him & other dignitaries (who I had also greeted when I got there), they were all chatting so I slipped out of the other door and left to go to Cabinet.
Admittedly I didn't tell all the people I had previously greeted that I was leaving, but I felt it wasn't really necessary to announce my departure & explaining to everyone the reason why as the program was already running very late & I was sure the focus would be on getting started. Now how is that disrespectful?"
Signed Hanna Tetteh