Feature Article of Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Columnist: Mensah, Nana Akyea
A rejoinder to: “Demystifying” “Hon.” Kwesi Pratt, by Yaw Opare-Asamoa, Feature Article of Sunday, 13 September 2009.
By: Nana Akyea Mensah, The Odikro
"So is Kwesi Pratt a traitor as Alhaji Bature wants us to believe? Maybe or maybe not, depending on where you stand... Let’s just say that the evidence used against Kwame Pianim, many years ago, was not manufactured... There was this other journalist who went into ‘exile’, supposedly, in a neighbouring country. He was later to come home and be part of the then ‘newly-formed’ NDC. High-level intelligence reports indicate that he played the role of a ‘mole’ for the PNDC. He relayed vital information from Ghanaian ‘dissidents’ in exile back to the PNDC government. Remember Halidu Giwa and his failed attempted coup?...
Years ago, the country was the ‘loser’ when the much anticipated confrontation between Kwesi Pratt and Kwaku Baako was called off at the last minute. I do not know which of them balked away but a lot would have been revealed from that encounter. Revelations that would have shocked many in the country. Kwesi Pratt talks like a socialist but does he back his words with deeds? Does his lifestyle match his ‘rhetoric’? He has successfully positioned himself as a ‘defender’ of the masses but is that really the case?"
Yaw Opare-Asamoa, “Demystifying” “Hon.” Kwesi Pratt, Feature Article of Sunday, 13 September 2009.
"Years ago, the country was the ‘loser’ when the much anticipated confrontation between Kwesi Pratt and Kwaku Baako was called off at the last minute." "Those who know what really and truly happened owe it to the next generation to ‘release’ the information. Ghanaians need to know the truth of what has happened in this country in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and plan for a better future." "I am not ready to drop names here but I know Kwesi Pratt himself knows what the truth is regarding this matter. Let’s just say that the evidence used against Kwame Pianim, many years ago, was not manufactured." - Yaw Opare-Asamoa, “Demystifying” “Hon.” Kwesi Pratt, Feature Article of Sunday, 13 September 2009.
DON'T GHANAIANS NEED TO KNOW THIS FROM YOU, MR. YAW OPARE-ASAMOA?
WHY DON'T YOU DROP THE NAMES HERE?
IF IT IS BETWEEN ONLY YOU AND KWESI WHY ARE YOU DOING ON GHANAWEB?
One thing I like about contemporary history is that there are living witnesses to the stories WE TELL. Secondly, the monopolization of the truth by any one faction is virtually impossible. Neither can the obvious be mystified by political vultures like the author of the silly article in question, particularly, in this case involving no less a person than Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.
Every honest historian knows that history is always a point of view. That is why the real historians begin their accounts with "a history" of say, the Gold Coast, or the slave trade or the pyramids etc. The non historians are noticeable with their tittles "The History of ..."
Other non-historians are subtle. They give no historical accounts at all. The just do neocolonialist propaganda by desperately trying to look objective, whilst all the time aiming to do maximum damage to the target without ever suggesting any material fact that would put him in trouble with a court of law, because in order to substatiate the allegations he may have to manufacture lies that he himself can not defend in a court of law.
Thus for me the reason why Yaw Opare-Asamoa is "not ready to drop names here" is obvious: the author of the forgery stands to face serious consequences if found out, and since the only way to nail Kwesi is to come out with facts and statements that make full meaning, Mr. Yaw Opare-Asamoa "does not want to say the important something", even though he himself pleads for information, he is not ready to release what he has on his chest! "Those who know what really and truly happened owe it to the next generation to ‘release’ the information. Ghanaians need to know the truth of what has happened in this country in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and plan for a better future." What a clown!
" I am not ready to drop names here but I know Kwesi Pratt himself knows what the truth is regarding this matter. Let’s just say that the evidence used against Kwame Pianim, many years ago, was not manufactured. It had to have come from somewhere and I believe someday, we will all have the privilege of knowing where."
Meanwhile the same character who claims to have the truth appeals to Ghanaians to come forth with it:
"Ghanaians need to know the truth of what has happened in this country in order to avoid the mistakes of the past and plan for a better future. Years ago, the country was the ‘loser’ when the much anticipated confrontation between Kwesi Pratt and Kwaku Baako was called off at the last minute. I do not know which of them balked away but a lot would have been revealed from that encounter. Revelations that would have shocked many in the country. Kwesi Pratt talks like a socialist but does he back his words with deeds? Does his lifestyle match his ‘rhetoric’? He has successfully positioned himself as a ‘defender’ of the masses but is that really the case?"
Once again, I remember what was going on. It was at a time Freddie Blay still had some semblance of dignity and respectability. No one knew he was prepared to sell his own mother for power yet. He had not said that then. Of course, it was the time he was the Speaker of Parliament. It was at the crucial time that the NPP desperately wanted the CPP in the pocket as a banker against an effective NDC challenge. Kweku Baako was in the plot. Freddie Blay was in it. Paa Kwesi Ndoum too was part of it, together with Kofi Coomson, Kwasi Agbley.
To carry this through with the approval of Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., as the Publicity Officer of the CPP is just like expecting Mrs. Konadu Agyemang Rawlings to vote for Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, especially after the Akyem dwarf intensified his teasing of her husband with the "Yor ke Gari" "problem". No way! Over his or her dead body, as the case may be, for I am sure neither would cede!
Every one knows who killed Kwame Adjimah. It was Warrant Officer Class One, Joseph Kwabena Adjei Boadi, former Member of the erstwhile Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC). Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. published these events as long as 1992. Around the same time, I was shocked that Adjei Boadi who would sue for defamation involving 250.000 cedis would did nothing to defend himself all those years! On the contrary I saw him once greeting Kwesi politely at a funeral. The man who never stopped accusing him of murder!
When it suited them, it was evidently clear that Adjei Boadi would have an axe or two to grind with Kwesi for pestering his life with the murder of Kwame Adjimah. Like a Hollywood movie, Adjei Boadi, a notorious murderer accuses an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience, ace human rights activist of international repute, of an involvement in his nefarious activities and you want to take a known and culpable murderer's word against Kwesi? This only bears testimony to the nature of some of the politicians we have in Ghana today. The disgraceful manner people who were vying for public office decided to base their campaign strangely on lies and how to bring down the man they all saw as their OBSTACLE NUMBER ONE.
In the early days of 2001, just after the NPP victory, Kofi Coomson, who was the secretly plotting to be an NPP parliamentary candidate, attacked Kwesi Pratt in "a ferocious debate" on radio over Dr Kwesi Nduom. Reports said "The debate later turned nasty off air when Coomson challenged Kwesi, calling him a traitor and revealed that he knew that he grassed on Kweku Baako, Kwasi Agbley and Freddie Blay, all three very close personal friends of both Kofi Coomson and Pratt."
The Chronicle, which Kofi Coomson founded featured an article which stated "Since the stunning revelation by the former PNDC hatchet man, WOI Adjei Boadi, at the ongoing NRC sittings, that Kwesi Pratt operated as a double agent who caused the arrest of his friend, Kweku Baako, and but for his timely intervention, Kweku Baako would have summarily been executed, the question of the credibility of the named parties involved has agitated the minds of many observers of the unfolding drama."
A lot of water has passed under the bridge since these allegations. Ndoum failed to become President, Kofi Coomson could not even go past the NPP primaries. and Kweku Baako is now well known for being an absolute opportunist. All those who tried to discredit Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. have been discredited. This attempt to hint at discredited facts without stating them clearly is no attempt to enlighten the public but to throw dust into their vigilant eyes!
I am challenging the writer of these stupid insinuations in the name of public interest to substantiate the allegations or else withdraw them. If we have any sense of decency, before this man dies, Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. must be credited as one of the most important architects of the democratic dispensation that we are all enjoying today under the Fourth Republic of Ghana. It was Akoto Ampaw and Kwesi Pratt, Jnr who following the mandates of the KNRG, NDM and URF went to see Professor Adu Boahene to discuss the formation of the Movement for Freedom and Justice in order to form a Kwame Nkrumah-Busia-Danquah coalition across the political spectrum, against the dictatorship of the PNDC!
But even if History is a matter of point of view, no matter where you are standing, no one individual from the people now attacking Kwesi as if there is no tomorrow can claim half of what people like Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. have personally done to bring us all where we are today. Nana Akufo Addo publicly acknowledged this role and mentioned Kwesi by name,at the press conference announcing his candiature for the presidency. Rawlings has already acknowledged this fact. President Kufour did. And so has President Atta-Mills!
I must be able to properly honour and show respect to those in the NPP who gave the call from Nkrumahists like Kwesi, a positive response, particularly Mr. Ray Kakraba Quarshie, and the late Mr. Kwesi Lamptey. I also know what happened when people like B. J. da Rocha were approached, and why apart from Adu Boahene none of the NPP presidential aspirants wanted to work directly with the MFJ and preferred not to sit in a meeting to save Ghana from the military dictatorship because it was chaired by an internal political rival!
Professor Adu Boahene was the second Busia-Danquah person to join the MFJ but he did not join without conditions. His only condition was that he would never join it if he was not made the chairman of the new movement! Kwesi's reaction was very funny. "Take it, we give it to you!" He thought he had just made a breakthrough! Being the Chairman was the thought farthest from his mind. His was complete dedication, not hunting for posts like some people from the party with a thousand and one presidential aspirants.
Any one who says that the overthrow of the PNDC was the work of just one individual must belong to bedlam. In the final analysis it is the collective efforts of all Ghanaians occasioned by increasing international pressure to stop bullying the population and allow government by universal suffrage that did the trick.
Yet history would not be complete if we forget the self-sacrifices and courage of men like Kwesi Pratt in those crucial moments. People would not even dare compare Rawlings with Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. He has no blood on his hands to begin with, whilst Jerry Rawlings needs to account for the whereabouts of 246 Ghanaians who disappeared or were extra-judicially murdered under his military junta.
I have always known that truth never hides. After the 1966 CIA-inspired coup d'etat, we were all here when the use of the name, photo and image was banned and possession of them was made a criminal offence by those who claim to be following a tradition that promotes democracy and freedom of speech. Desîte the bombs, the coups, the bannings today, we have the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, and next week on the 21st of September, 2009, Ghana and the rest of Africa shall be observing a special national holiday in his honour of the cetenary anniversary of his BIRTHDAY.
To the chagrin of his traducers Nkrumah is being taught to a new generation of Ghanaians in eloquent and practical ways. One such self-sacrificing apostle of the Osagyefo is the fearless Comrade Kwesi Pratt, Jnr. The one thing some people can not stand about Kwesi Pratt, Jnr., is the kind of things he says about Kwame Nkrumah:
"Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was not just the first President of Ghana but a very extraordinary man whose life and works contributed significantly to changing the world." He recently wrote, "He grew from a little village boy in Nkroful in the Western Region of Ghana to a world leader fully devoted to the struggle to free all black people from all forms of racism.
He was also against everything which kept people irrespective of their colour in conditions of slavery. He opposed oppression and exploitation in all its forms.
Many historians including Basil Davidson and F. K. Buah credit Nkrumah with the leadership of the struggle which led to granting independence to many African countries under various forms of colonialism. Indeed Nkrumah is placed in the same category as Einstein, Karl Marx, V. I. Lenin, Toussant L'Ouverture and Mahatma Gandhi whose ideas and actions helped to make the world a better place."
Certainly not the kind of language that those Busia-Danquah elements that the CIA referred to as "pathetically pro-Western" would take kindly to!
For the economy of time, and without affecting simplicity at the cost of accuracy, I want to launch an open challenge to the senseless attempts to undermine the integrity of one of easily the cream of the cream of Ghanaians who toiled day, and deep into the night, woke up with insufficient sleep in the eyes to go to demonstrations, tired before it begins because he was constantly a centre of action!
If today, Ghanaians are enjoying the praises being heaped on us by the international community and expecting to reap the fruits of peace, political stability, and God-willing economic prosperity with our soon to be out-doored credentials as an "Oil exporting country", in dignity and in peace, it is squarely thanks to the yeoman and gargantuan efforts by people like Mr. Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.
The recruitment of the NPP leadership into the MFJ must not be under-estimated, because like the open letter of Dr. Hilla Liman that broke the culture of silence, the formation of the MFJ is what marked the begining of the end of the PNDC dictatorship. It was an initiative between the NDM and the KNRG. The URF and the AYC joined later. The AYC pulled out as they refused the admission of Adu Boahene on the basis of chairman. They would have preferred one of the original brains to head. Translated into everyday language, it means Nkrumahist because all the founding groups were Nkrumahist groups.
The attempts to smear Kwesi, ridding on the waves of the current uproar shall not work. And no one can deny the noble role he has played and continues to play in our nation's history. Certainly Kwesi alone did not make everything happen, but Kwesi was certainly a medium when he was sent by his colleagues to see Adu Boahene about the MFJ. Because Kwesi readily agreed with him to chair the movement the MFJ was able to put to sleep the Nkrumahist tag and assumed a truely national character. Because Johnny Hansen was the Vice Chairman, Kwesi Pratt, Jnr as Secretary, it was also not a purely Busia-Danquah affair. The fact that Prof. Adu Boahene himself testified several times that this unity was thanks to a great extend the personal chemistry (I'm sorry, Kwesi, but for the lack of a better word!) was fundamental in creating the united front. The trials of Kwesi and Adu Boahene was also another way of looking at the sights and sounds of the heroes of the 4th republic.
The MFJ was the first national political opposition to the PNDC. It was the first national political front to ask for the 4th Republic. It became the midwife that saw the birth of the 4th republic. The chairman of this movement was recruited by Kwesi Pratt, Jnr.
Now, Mr. Yaw Opare-Asamoa, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE IMPORT OF WHAT YOU HAVE JUST READ?
One comment made under the article is worthy of everyone' notice;
"It is obvious to any discerning reader that the author is someone who rates Kwaku Baaku over and above Kwesi Pratt. However, the evidence on the ground proves the contrary. Both of them say they are Nkrumaist but whilst Pratt will defend Nkrumaism at any cost, Baako will defend Nkrumaism as long as it will be convenient or expedient to do so. Thus when President Kuffour tried to woo both of them in 2001, it did not take long for Pratt to fall out with Kuffuor because of Kuffuor's anti-Nkrumah rhetoric and acts but Baako stuck to Kuffuor and almost became the propaganda secretary of the NPP on National T.V. seeing nothing wrong with anything done by the Kuffuor Government since the largess of Kuffuor was too irresistible for Baako. And no one should attribute this prostitute behaviour of Baako to his personal hatred for the NDC because the reasons adduced by him for hating the NDC are equally applicable to Pratt - both were imprisoned by Rawlings and badly treated by the PNDC government. However, Pratt has clearly risen above these personal feelings and considerations whilst Baako uses them conveniently to his own ends. With this irrefutable evidence, I don't need any nasty and uncivilised confrontation between these two old journalists to be able to tell which of them has integrity or true character. The good old people say true character cannot be hidden for long. Please forget what they each did in the past for people can make mistakes and can change over time so concentrate on what and who they are today!!!" - J. P. TERIWAJAH, THIS ARTICLE LACKS LOGIC,* *Comment, 2009-09-13 12:59:39 on “Demystifying” “Hon.” Kwesi Pratt, Ghanaweb, Feature Article of Sunday, 13 September 2009.
In other words, according to Calculus, at 2009-0913 11: 55:01, and I am sure he has not changed his mind, Yaw Opare Asamoah article was simply, BALDERDASH!
Nana Akyea Mensah
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