Feature Article of Saturday, 17 March 2012
Columnist: Jacaboba, Kwabena Boateng
Ghanaians and Nana Akufo- Addo’s NPP victory in 2012 elections.
Note: Part of the information in this article draws out from Rawlings’1979 crimes and may re-echo alarming memories. I deeply regret any distress unintentionally caused.
Clearly one may look at different directions to talk about National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) government without hesitation. In this article, I will look at NDC’s birth from 1979 to 2012 and how this development threatens Nana Akufo-Addo’s -New Patriotic Party (NPP) victory in 2012 elections. Finally, suggestions will be made to Ghanaians and Nana Akofo Addo’s leadership under NPP to be widely awake to contain and restrain NDC’s suspicious and unpredictable political behaviour during 2012 elections.
Rawlings’ Propaganda Activities at Birth
Hitherto, the birth, nature and historical development of NDC as a party have always been characterised by misinformation and propaganda activities. Is there any doubt to say that, NDC has always been led by families and individuals with previous suspicious and dishonest abilities and skills?
In 1979 when the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) under the leadership of Jeremiah John Rawlings (JJ) began their military journey, they incubated and transmitted propaganda to farmers, professionals’ - civil servants, chiefs, Armed forces, the police, women and children. Combined with brutal force, Rawlings’ (AFRC) managed to contain Ghanaians from: 15th May 1979, and from 31st December 1981.
In controlling Ghanaians Rawlings used communication tools to spread propaganda ideas. The communication channels involved: radio stations, religion, television channels, leaflets and a section of the population. Can we include powerful international media such as British Broadcasting Corporation BBC and Voice of America - VOA et cetera?
To promote his political interest, Rawlings and his coup-engineers managed to condition the minds of majority of Ghanaians. The populace were informed that not only had previous governments institutionalised corruption to stagnate socio-economic progress but, further the country was ‘diseased’ with (poverty, social frailty, injustices, fraud, mismanagement, and professional misconduct).
To prevent corrupt practices, Rawlings and his AFRC contracted to offer Ghanaians ‘audacity of hope’. They embarked on the so called house cleaning activities. Rawlings informed Ghanaians that the AFRC had retrieved all the state asserts illegally acquired by the people into the state. Rawlings explained to the nation that the housecleaning exercise was to take out the bad individuals from the whole Ghanaian society. The population was also promised good governance and law and order. With the effective support and control of the Ghana Broadcasting Co-operation GBC, Ghanaians were programmed and hardened to trust and obey the Rawlings and his cronies Rawlings promised that the standard of living of Ghanaians would be perfect like Heaven – (the unknown world as described and speculated in the Bible by Europeans). What a religious marketing strategy?
GBC marketed Rawlings extensively throughout the country. The name Rawlings typically resonated not only within the mindsets of our badly–informed populace but, the entire Africa. Ignorant boys and girls around aged six and seven years old including me equally became excited in our town. Many Ghanaian population branded, labelled and marketed Rawlings as a redeemer’ ‘‘Moses’’ junior ‘’Jesus’’. Rawlings was ‘Jesus Christ’ indeed:
On a daily basis, Rawlings was represented by the media and a section of as society as a man with immaculate divine leadership qualities who would make Ghana a wonderful country. In lyrics, songs and hymns, Rawlings and his cronies happily terrorised the population and also killed many people in the country. Here was example of the song;
‘’Junior Jesus do something before you die’’
Junior Jesus let the blood flow’’
‘’Junior Jesus do something before you die’’
‘’Messiah do something before you die’’;
‘’Jesus Christ do something before you die’’
‘’Moses do something’’
‘’Mosses lead us into the Promised Land’’.
Where was the Promised Land? What is the Promised Land? Does Promised Land exist? May be not. In the name of ‘Jesus,’ our ordinary sensible population swayed and moved like a pendulum. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and the military officers massacred many Ghanaians across the country. Through propaganda in the name of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Moses’ Ghanaians suffered catastrophic consequence.
The Consequences in the Name of ‘Jesus Christ’
The actions of Rawlings in 1979 in the name of ‘Jesus Christ’ were heartless. Mr and Mrs Rawlings and their ‘disciples’ bumped off 3 former heads of state; (Ignatius Kutu Achampong, Akwasi, Amankwa Afrifa and General Akufu) – they were shot at Teshie Army Faring Range. The butchery did not stop at the slaughter field?
In a peaceful night when the nation were asleep, Rawlings and Mrs Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and their adherents covertly and forcibly captured and removed three high court judges from their homes and slaughtered them like cows. There judges were: (1) Mrs Cecelia Koranteng Addo, (2) Kwadwo Agyie Agyapong, (3) Frederick Sarkodie. Following the carnage, Rawlings and his believers’ burnt their bodies. It is believed that Mrs Koranteng Addo was nursing a three months old baby at the time of the uncaring murder. The stream of cold blooded shootings continued.
The butchery continued like Tsunami. Among other army officers exterminated were: (Goerge Amedume, Roger Fellis, Kotei, Yaw Boakye, Gen Utuka, and Air- Mash. T. Boakye, Nav. Comm. George Amedomeh, Maj. Gen. Kotie and Maj. Gen Felli, Major Dasana Nantogmah and Major Sam Acquah).
Some students at the Universities were systematically shot to death by Rawlings and his AFRC. It was reported that many people killed bodies were dumped at sea.
The epic centre of Rawlings massacre were the Akans, (Ashantis, Fantes, Brongs, Akuapems Nzemas, Sahwis and among others). And within the Akan tribes, the Ashantis became the major victims as compared to people from Northern Region –Upper East and Upper West and Volta Region.
In Kumasi and other part of the country, intimidation, torture and oppression of the people became the order during the 1979 Rawlings vicious junta. Women were beaten ruthlessness and deprived of their dignity. In a scorching sun, married women accompanied their husbands in cities including, Kumasi were forced to stripe-off their clothes and were whipped whilst naked as their husbands, passers-by and shoppers looked on helpless.
Rawlings and his massacre teams chased many Ghanaians out of their home into the bush, others could not return home until midnight. Ghanaian businesswomen and businessmen who had 50 cedis or more in their bank accounts were flogged, imprisoned and raped and others killed.
What judicial processes did Rawlings and his contract killers set up to prosecute Ghanaians before they were pilloried and hanged? What a hurting history have we inherited? Without misgivings, Rawlings murderers may still be members of the current NDC Mills administration. Can you see any of the murderer’s as chairman of our public services and board members of our institutions? Let us draw our attention to the birth of P/NDC.
The Birth of PNDC
Rawlings continued to kill until Ghanaians pressurised him to hand over political power to a civilian government. An election held in 1979 gave constitutional power to the late Dr. Hilla Limann’s (People National Party (PNP) on 24th September 1979. How long did PNP government last? Dr Limann’s administration ended prematurely on 31st December 1981 when Rawlings staged another coup d’état.
Following 1981 coup, Rawlings and his compatriots and relatives reinvented the 1979 pretexts, and informed our ordinary hardworking Ghanaians that he would rescue them. It was in 1981 that Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) was born under Rawlings chairmanship. Ghanaians were told that, PNC government was unaccountable and irresponsible to find solutions to high rate of: poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, mismanagement and corruption in Ghana.
The constitution was suspended, all political parties were banned - our nursing democracy was suspended. Once gain PNDC regime used terrors and intimidations as a weapon to govern. The intensity of detentions and killings in Ghana perpetuated unabated in Ghana from 1981 until 1992.
Whilst these wilful crimes were being committed by Rawlings and his schemers, the powers who always called themselves fathers of democracy and protectors of human rights in silent mood, were steadfast and relaxed in their ‘houses’ locally and internationally and watched whilst Ghanaians blood was being spilled by Rawlings and his murders. Who cared? Who were our true saviours upon PNDC’s murderers’ activities?
NPP - Ghanaians Resistance
Had it not been the resistance under the late Professor Albert Adu Boahen, Nana Akufo-Addo and good people of Ghana; we might have all been slaughtered. In 1990s when Nana Akofu-Addo and Adu Boahen asked Rawlings to hand over power to democratic government, in pensive mood and crystallised insult, Rawlings remarked: ‘‘hand over power to whom’. Rawlings believed that there were no men and women in Ghana. It was through sustained political pressure from Nana Akofo -Addo, Adu Boahen and good people of Ghana that made power-drank Rawlings to form National Democratic Congress (NDC) as a party in 1990’s from P/NDC.
With double-cross, Rawlings retired from the Army as Flat Lieutenant and cloaked himself as a civilian government to context 1992 elections. Do you think Rawlings and his followers ever dreamed of promoting democratic rule in Ghana, had it not been the efforts of Nana Akofo Addo and others?
One can pause and reflect here. Rawlings and his disciples under (AFRC) and (PNDC) managed to rule Ghana from: 15th May 1979, and from 31st December 1981 to 7th December 1992. One may question. Who might have engineered the overthrown of Dr Limann’s constitutional government? Can we ask and suspect the ‘powers who own the world’?
Powers of the World
One may hypothesize that Rawlings’ dictatorial military administration was crystallised and reinforced by covert support by ‘hypocritical imperialistic economic exploitative oppressive hegemonic’ powers that always present themselves as fathers and supporters of democracy and human rights, but on the contrary, roaring constantly like a lion, sucking the ‘blood’ of the powerless Africans.
Notwithstanding previous coups in Ghana, whether Rawlings’ 1979 and 1981 coup d’états were incubated locally or internationally, Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s account in his important book, (Class Struggle in Africa 1970) about Western countries constant involvement in fermenting (coup d’états, wars, exploitation, crimes and political instability) in Africa cannot be entirely ignored. What about Latin America countries?
According to Dr Nkrumah within six years, and between January 1963 and December 1969, 25 coup d’états were well orchestrated, planned, co-ordinated and executed in Africa. By who? Israel, Britain, France, Portugal, USA, West Germany, including the White settlers in South Africa and Rhodesia – the present day Zimbabwe. Be analytical here - Africans are always used in every plan – wars, dictatorship, civil wars, assassinations and frequent coups.
The Birth of NDC and 1992 Elections
As stated above, NDC was born from PNDC. The character and nature of NDC under Rawlings since 1979 have not produced any socio-economic change, political stability and positive improvement in Ghana. The inherent abuses from AFRC and PNDC continued to be rematerialized under Atta Mills’ leadership. NDC rigged 1992 elections. The consolidation of NDC’s vote rigging in 1992 elections was due to NPP’s political inability to police the electoral process well. NPP trusted NDC leadership and Ghana Electoral Commission under the leadership of Dr Affari Gyan for free and fair elections. From 1992 -1996 Ghanaians liberties and freedom were curtailed: NDC activities including, abuses, violence, murders and intimidations were institutionalised once again.
During the 1996 elections, NDC manipulated the electoral process to their favour. Following the elections, NDC once again became vile. The party never appealed to common reason to show remorse for their intentional crimes; NDC leadership under Rawlings used our resources including, guns, cutlasses, planes, secret police and secret army personnel and the media to terrorise the entire population both day and night.
Will one be in the wrong to describe NPP’s defeat in two uninterrupted elections (1992 and 1996) as a party that lacked political foresight and maturity? Will it not be correct to say that NPP became politically timid, electorally unsophisticated and one-sided? Why did NDC manage to use propaganda machinery to rig two subsequent elections from 1992 -2000 and continues to resurface? Including, 2008 elections.
Why NDC Propaganda Machinery Continues to Resurface
There are a number of factors that contributed to NDC’s come-back. NDC’s re-emergence may be attributed to high rate of illiteracy, poverty, national organisational deficit, weak institutional framework, and inseparable between religion and politics academic simplicity. Can we add our Electoral System, questionable law and order, dishonest leadership across and within our important institutions? Let us not also forget about incremental fragmentation and imperfections among Convection People Party’s (CPP). Disintegration of CPP is a sad history in point.
NDC has always capitalised on these weak institutional framework to control and manipulate the population. For example, the danger of high rate of illiteracy across our country might have resulted in the victory of Atta Mills’ government in 2008.
Can NDC Be Trusted?
During NDC’s campaigns in 2008 elections, the party sexed up stories and informed the whole world that, NPP was riddled with corruption. Where was corruption within NPP then? In questioning this, I do not wholly proclaim and conclude that NPP was free from political errors and sleazes during Kufour’s 8 years government/leadership. In saying this one also needs not be uncomplicated to realise that, since NDC came into power; the party with all the fabricated stories against NPP government, have not been able to prosecute any NPP members. Even if NPP ministers and government officials were involved in any financial mismanagement and corruption, one will not be wrong to say that, the failure and inability of a Professor-led NDC government to prosecute and imprison NPP officials, in ‘itself’, shows that NDC lacks honesty and competent skills to be voted for in 2012. Atta Mills and NDC lied to Ghanaian to win votes in 2008. What NPP can do is to use this as a political point to explain how untrustworthy NDC under Mills leadership will be when given them political baton in 2012.
We can write much about corruption within NDC three terms in government under Rawlings and Atta Mills? A typical example was the white colour crime committed by the late Victor Solermey which led to his subsequent death in prison. What about Tsatsu Tsikata’s financial criminality and imprisonment? Can one pen any persuasive achievements of NDC since Mills led the party in 2008? Probably not but, we can reveal the intensity of current corrupt activities and criminality. To mention the least, Woyomi’s ongoing financial issues which led to dismissal of our former Attorney General Amidu shows that NDC’s is not and cannot be trusted to re-govern from 2012. Clearly, NDC’s previous two administrations and the present Atta Mills led government have been running in the same socio-economic stagnated and insincere course. Will Ghanaians ask cockroaches to watch cheese? How can Ghanaians ask chicken and hawks to play together?
Ghanaians now must understand that NDC under President Mills’ government have not repented from ideological deceits and propaganda. NDC has not made any attempt to change its history, character and form. Professor Mills is unfortunate and has become a spoilt child of NDC’s propaganda: he is being used by some NDC cronies to stage, manage and exploit our country’s resources for the advantage of minority of the population. Will Ghanaians allow this to happen to them again? I hope not.
Atta Mills’ NDC politics have always been catastrophic to Ghana’s path to development. The origin of NDC is always questionable. Mills came to power under of ‘Better Ghana Agenda’. Where is the direction of the better Ghana? Once again Ghanaians have been trapped by NDC. Will you trust NDC in 2012 elections? Mills administration epitomises recycling of AFRC & PNDC extraordinary governments. NDC is a party that safeguards the interest of a few members and disadvantaged the majority.
Can we say that NDC’s previous election victories are all suspicious? Inversely, NPP that have democratic ability and vision to change the direction of Ghana sometimes presents as politically timid and this always gives NDC a chance to come back and destroy our development. Comparatively, NPP government is one million times better than NDC. It is possible that if NPP administration governs Ghana for the next 30 years and over, our country will be like other emerging economies in Asia.
NDC as a party always oozes, breads and sweats hatred and violence. It is the enemy of Ghana’s socio-economic and democratic empowerment. It is a party that has threatened our unique and celebrated tribal diversity and national unit and continues to threaten our freedom, peace, happiness and posterity. What should NPP and Ghanaian do then?
Possible Ways Ghanaians and NPP Can Win 2012 Elections
For Nana Akufo-Addo and NPP to capture 2012 election; the party need to carry out an in dept research to explore dynamics and trends that have maintained Rawlings/Atta Mills NDC government for approximately 12 years, excluding over 10 years AFRC dictatorial regime.
A significant analysis of Atta Mills’ victory in 2008 suggests that NDC captured the seat of government at less cost. The assessment and achievements of ex- president Kufour’s government in almost all sectors of the economy (infrastructure, health, peace and security, education, trade and industry, transport, housing, commerce etc) should not have convinced Ghanaian electorates to change NPP government. Where did the NPP get their political balance sheet wrong? Has NPP learned much about NDC’s propaganda machinery and history since 1979 to 2012?
The NPP’s political creativity and determination during the 2000 elections victory need to be revisited. Nana Akofo Ado and NPP must be politically resourceful, imaginative, socially matured and politically sensible. The Ghanaian population and voters need to be studied understood, listened to and planned with. This requires electioneering planning and sensitivity.
NPP needs to prepare to pay dearly at any cost to defend and police 2012 election processes. Through covert and overt means NDC may try to manipulate 2012 elections to win power. NDC must be feared in any countryside, village, town, regions and cities.
The presence of international election monitors is important but, equally, NPP should not trust any international institutions apart from their trusted trained election monitors and agents. In the same way NPP should be cagey about all the independent electoral institutions including, our own Electoral Commission for free and faire elections. What happened in America’s Elections prior to Obama’s government. Even in Britain’s recent elections; not all the electorates had the opportunity to vote. So it was written. You may find out why? We know that there may not be perfect elections results, but NPP and Ghanaians should not allow NDC to discuss this theory after 2012 elections.
As we will use Biometric Voting System for the first time in our elections; NDC could complicate the election results, especially in the rural areas and their safe heavens. NPP should train enough staff to understand how the Biometric Voting System works in terms of electoral data analysis, computations, probabilities, accounting etc. NPP should never trust NDC, they have rigged elections directly and indirectly before and they will definitely try again if given the opportunity. Will NDC maintain security, transparency in the entire election processes?
Nana Akofo Addo and NPP require immediate political tactics through vision. We know that prior to and during the last 2008 elections; Rawlings and NDC employed forceful and controlling machinery to condition the minds of many people in the villages, towns and countryside. For example, Rawlings, Nana Konadu, and NDC propagandists viciously informed Ghanaians that NPP members including President Kufour were violent, corrupt, and dishonest and drug traffickers, but they have not been able to prove this in any competent court since Mills’ NDC came to power in 2008.
The sense of urgency is now for NPP to be aggressive to inform the populace especially, people in the country side about how NDC under Mills’ government has badly managed the economy. Nana Akofo Addo and NPP have more political points now than before to win Ghanaian voters. We notice and read always about; NDC violence against teachers, verbal abuse against cocoa farmers, leadership crisis, weak economy, mass unemployment, lack of vision, insult against the populace, NPP must package and recycle these points and post to the voters in their kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, toilets, doors and their bedrooms.
Nana Akofo Addo and NPP need to train polling agents who understand the local communications and dynamics. In doing this the agents should be competent and knowledgeable about NPP’s previous achievements under Kuffour and their current manifestoes as opposed to NDC policies.
NPP should not be self-satisfied about mass media. We live in the world where scientific achievements, inventions and research unthinkable in previous societies are within our grips. The advancement in technological communications and information technology is capacious. This is the age of internet and radio stations. What happens in America today can be communicated to the entire world within minutes through internet, telephones, television, cell phones, news papers, twitter, and others? Equally, information in Ghana can be accessed by any person (s) in Iran, Venezuela or India. The effective use of mass media by NPP to counter NDC propaganda will truly dislodge Mills NDC administration in 2012 elections. Despite the fact that we live in the age of mass media; the best means for NPP to win this election is door to door campaigns.
The good people of Ghana, let us all come together and appeal to unfettered common sense and reason to study the form, content and nature of NDC and put what I have attempted to contextualise into perspective and give all the necessary support to Nana Akofo-Addo’s NPP victory in 2012 elections. For every country to develop; it requires nationalism combine with visionary leaders, committed and dedicated patriotism, honesty, political qualities, knowledge, broad based skills, and competent decision makers: President Nana Akofo-Addo under NPP government possesses all these leadership skills and qualities to change our beloved country – Ghana.
As Dr Kwame Nkrumah said; ‘forward ever backward never’. NDC party represents backwardness. NPP leadership stands for progressive development. Let us change and make a positive choice now.
God Bless Ghana. God bless Africans, God bless Nana Yaa Asantewaa, God Bless Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s soul. God Bless the fathers of our independence. God Bless us all.
Kwabena Boateng Jacaboba
Kwabena Boateng Jacaboba
Post office box 47,
Ghana, West Africa