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Feature Article of Saturday, 4 June 2011

Columnist: Fela O Fela

June 4th Revolution and The Relevance of JJ Rawlings

(Part 1)

MODERN PERSPECTIVES OF THE JUNE 4TH REVOLUTION. (2011)

When times are good people quickly forget how bad it used to be: it is therefore not surprising that some of the very people ( i.e., Kweku Baaku) who were chanting the infamous slogans, "Let the blood flow!!"... "Let the blood flow!!"...."Aluta Continua....Free The Man, Free The Man!!," are the very people who are quick to condemn the very catalyst and personification of that very much needed revolution (JJ Rawlings, that is).

To add insult to injuries, the very tag-alongs and beneficiaries or opportunists who were plugged from obscurity to be granted a pedestal in the political stage, are now condemning and desecrating the very founder and leader of the very political movement that gave them prominence in Ghana's political history. It's a shame, a crying shame!

The complete story of June 4th cannot be told without an honest recount/reminder of the horrible and morbid conditions that prevailed at the time and, needless to say, necessitated that fateful uprising/revolt/revolution.

Of that, I mean the incredible level of desperation and destitution (the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness) that had become the way of life at the time, or at least, as a least a decade and a half before then.

For starters: Lest we forget, from 1966, after the ouster of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, there was a coup d'etat or change of government every other year. In other words, at the first or second anniversary of every positioned government, there was a new government. Does that spell any form of security or social stability?

Let me clarity (crerify well well):

From the priceless archives of Ghanaweb.com (to give credit where credit is due and to further remove any iota of doubts from the confucious minds of the naysayers),

[1966 - military overthrow of 1st republic (by the NLM, forbears of present day NPP)

1969 - 2nd republic, Busia of PP is PM, 2 key parties (after the NLM banned the CPP from partaking in the election. This was led by NLM's chief legal advisor, Edward Akuffo Addo, ironically, father of present day flagbearer of the NPP, William (Nana) Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo)

1972 - military overthrow of 2nd republic

1978 - palace coup to restructure military government

1979 - junior officer uprising and military housecleaning

1979 - ushered third republic, Limann of PNP is President, 3 parties

1981 - overthrow of the constitutional PNP gov't by the PNDC military junta

1983 - Attempted overthrow of the PNDC junta by other junior army men 1992 - Rawlings of NDC is Dem elected as President, 2 parties **]

That does not include the fact that in 1967, around the one year anniversary of the overthrow of the Nkrumah government, Emmanuel Kotoka -who led the coup-- was assassinated, and about another year or two thereafter, CK Harley?, who was supposedly responsible for Kotoka's assassination was also assassinated!!!

Where is the sense of "stability" in such a nation!!!!

Now, let's couple such with economic doldrums/shambles/ unbearable under-development/arrested development/retrogression/social and economic degeneration that the nation found itself due to the series of military interventions and equally incompetent quasi-democratic civil regimes all of who took turns in festering, aiding and abating the life-threatening level of corruption and mismanagement of nation's affairs...with the exception of the governments of JJ Rawlings which brought a clear departure from the abominable norms of the times.

Need I mention the collapsed industries?

Need I mention all the abandoned progressive developmental projects of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah?

Need I mention the collapsed factories and institutions?

Need I mention the horrible or non-existent transportation infrustructure, where to travel from one regional capital to another or to the national capital --an hour's journey-- took almost a whole DAY, if not more?

What about the pervasive hoarding of locally-produced and imported food, goods, and general merchandises in order to induce artificial inflation just to be sold at astronomical prices while the merchants made unbelievable profit. It was called "Kalabule" and it was the culture at the time.

Oh, oh... What about all those businesses that were raking in unimaginable profits and yet paid NO TAXES whatsoever?

Need I go on....?

Although our beloved nation is still bedeviled by so many challenges, most of these aforementioned challenges are now a thing of the past; however, that is still the frightening reality of most of our sub-Saharan African neighbors.

So, my heart bleeds --and boy does it bleed profusely-- for JJ Rawlings when opportunist and beneficiaries of his legacy are quick to discard the very legacy that other countries in Africa are yearning for.

So unbearable was the situation that by the time Rawlings re-emerged in the dawn of 1982, of the approximate 12 million population, some two million alone had seek refuge in neighboring Nigeria! Not to mention the millions more in Houphuet Boigny's blossoming Abidjan the commercial capital of la Cote D'Ivoire.

In a nutshell, the June 4th Uprising affected the immediate leadership of the previous governments, the change thereof, and power was handed over in six months after election, as was promised!

Notwithstanding, two years into this new government it became more apparent that the problem of Ghana was rather systemic and sociological (tribalism, greed) and institutional, hence the second coming was necessitated to purge the system of these corruption profiteers and their neo-colonialist brethren in order to facilitate the reconstruction of a new Ghana: a grand, sacrificial initiative that most of Rawlings' critics and opponents secretly acknowledged to be of significant importance to the peaceful, equitable, and economically viable entity that Ghana has come represent. In deed, a nation of great potential (ankasa) that selfless nationalists and social democrats (NDC) and pervasive and predatory pseudo-capitalists (NPP) alike want to take control of, and rightfully so.

The relative tranquility and stability (though, now questionable) and equity that the opposition NPP has come to enjoy (instead of the good people of Ghana) would not have existed if not for the toils and real sacrifices of the P/NDC in eradicating the nation of the rots/corruption/kalabule, the very shambles that were created by the Danquah-Busia-Dombo neo-colonial fallacy after the untimely demise of the Great Kwame Nkrumah.

Looking at all the neighbors of Ghana (Togo, Benin, Cote D'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, even Nigeria) there has been changes of government, but none of these governments enjoys the kind of political and economical goodwill of the international community, not to mention the generosity, and political credibility and stability that NPP boasts of to be of its own making.

Even Gnansingbe Eyadema of Togo was holding elections, shams as they may be. So it begs the solemn questions: were there not elections being held in all these other African countries? So what makes Ghana's unique and worthy of praise and to be exalted as a "model" on the African continent?

The question still remains, why Ghana?

Tell me political stability and democratic credentials have nothing whatsoever to do with attracting international investments.

And can one applaud the stability and social progresses that Ghana enjoys, without directly and/or indirectly applauding the ingenuity and immeasurable sacrifice of JJ Rawlings and his eminent cohorts?

See, what Rawlings' adversaries find so difficult to admit is that the Rawlings Revolutions gave birth to or, at least, laid the solid foundation for Ghana's democracy and current political stability and its relative economic progress.

As aforementioned, having taken this trip down memory lane, there is no doubt that Ghana was a lawless nation before that fateful day....people lived in absolute fear/horror. So, when JJ stood up and demonstrated his ready-to-die-for-mother-Ghana galantry/valor that the masses never thought existed any longer, they hailed him waaa, and no one need be convinced that the man was heaven-sent.... as he still is!

In conclusion, some twelve years after his exit from power, JJ Rawlings still has an audience, a very huge audience. And why is that, you might ask?

In times of injustice, in times of hopelessness and helplessness, the people need a VOICE... and JJ Rawlings is that VOICE! The Voice of the Masses!

JJ Rawlings: Man of Valor, Man of Truth, Man of Principle!

May God, Allah, and the Soul of our Forefathers continue to exalt this Illustrious Son of the Land.

To be continued.... To be most definitely continued...

...NPP, get ready for Earthquake, Brimstones, Lightening and Thunder!!!

Fela O Fela : Guardian of the Revolution!

Felaofela@gmail.com

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