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Press Review of Thursday, 31 January 2002

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"I have no regrets for 1966 coup" - Afrifa's son

The Crusading Guide:

Last Monday, the exhumed mortal remains of the late General Akwasi Amankwah Afrifa-one of the military men who toppled a democratically elected government for the first time in the history of this nation in 1966-were reburied at his hometown, Krobo in the Ashanti Region.

At the burial ceremony, Baffuor Amankwah Afrifa, son of the late General, told Kwabena Akosa, BBC Correspondent, that he had no regrets for the 1966 coup d’etat.

Baffuor Afrifa underscored, “Yes my father did the first coup and I am proud of it, and he wasn’t so proud of it. He wanted democracy; and living in dictatorship, the only way to change things was to change by a coup.

My father himself when he took over, he handed back to a civilian government; he wanted democracy. And he also later on fought an election did so well. So the coup does not need to happen anymore.

His assertion was in response to a question posed by the BBC correspondent. Earlier in the interview, Baffuor had urged the Government to investigate the atrocities that happened which had prematurely sent “great people” into their graves in order to ensure that such things did not occur any longer and also bring the perpetrators to book.

Asked to explain what he meant by bringing the perpetrators to book, Baffuor Amankwah Afrifa said the perpetrators must be put before a Ghanaian court of law. “I want justice to be done; I want them to be put before a Ghanaian court and if they are found guilty- and I am sure they would be-the right punishment should be given them,” he articulated.

According to him, he detests further bloodshed, thus his call for redress before the court. He recalled that when General Afrifa and his colleagues took over power they handed over to a civilian government, saying his father wanted democracy and that once the country is enjoying democracy, there was no need for any more coups.

“We live in a democracy; so many people have died; so many people have suffered for us to get this far so please; we must cherish what we have got and use it to move forward”, he underscored.



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