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Opinions of Friday, 29 July 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

NDC: Violence is your family name

On 15th May 1979, a group of disgruntled junior army officers led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings failed in their insurrection against General Fred Akuffo’s regime, which culminated in the arrest and trial of Rawlings.

Nevertheless, a group of army officers who happened to be Rawlings’s apologists revolted on 4th June 1979.

The rebellious officers subsequently broke jail and released Rawlings and his cohorts.

After successfully deposing General Akuffo and his Supreme Military Council (SMC)government, the mutinous officers went ahead and formed their own government, which they called as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and appointed Flt. Rawlings as their chairman.

Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters vowed to lustrate the country of the rampant sleaze, corruption and social injustices which instigated their coup d’état. So in their attempt to purge the country of the perceived injustices, they carried out what they termed “house cleaning exercise”,--they dealt with perceived offenders arbitrarily.

The cabals proceeded with their intentions and callously murdered prominent people including General Fred Akuffo, General Kutu Acheampong, General Akwasi Afrifa and many others.

After getting rid of those they saw as threat to their hidden agenda, they decided to conduct general elections for political parties in the same year-1979.

Following the successful conduction of general elections, Dr Hilla Limann and his People’s National Party (PNP) won the day in 1979.

Nevertheless, Rawlings and his cohorts did not give Dr Liman the opportunity to carry out his mandated responsibility. For Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters unfairly kept criticising Dr Limann’s administration for what they perceived as economic mismanagement, until he, Rawlings, decided to depose Dr Limann.

And to fulfil his lifetime ambition of becoming the head of state, J.J Rawlings and some obstreperous army officers took arms and succeeded in overthrowing the constitutionally elected government of Dr Hilla Limann on 31st December 1981.

Interestingly, according to one of his accomplices, just before mounting the 31st December 1981 coup d’état, RAWLINGS brought out a bulletproof vest to wear. When one of the soldiers asked why he alone was protected, he argued that he has only one in his possession and it cannot be shared amongst them.

More so, “he was the leader and if he died, so many things would go wrong”.

To cheer them up he said, “gentlemen, from now on you guys are going to prosper”.

Rawlings subsequently formed a government which he called the Provisional national Defence Council (PNDC) and appointed himself as the chairman.

Although the PNDC government boasted some seasoned politicians, the vast majority of the military personnel who headed the core Ministries were novices in the political terrain.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, the PNDC regime back then, adopted a seemingly disastrous Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), which was introduced under the auspices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In a way, the apparent unfavourable Economic Recovery Programme culminated in a catalogue of hardships. And on top of the harsh policies which threatened the economic fundamentals, the population had to clutch itself for food shortages, a situation which the world press somehow ignored in favour of the concurrent Ethiopian famine that resulted in millions of deaths.

But then again, perhaps, the 1983 famine was comparable to that of the Ethiopian famine back then. Nevertheless, Ghana’s famine was not hyperbolised by the global media.

In a way, both Ghana and Ethiopia were back then ruled by uncompliant military dictatorships that looked on cluelessly and somehow unperturbed whilst the citizens endured widespread hunger.

And, as food shortages escalated in Ghana, some traders started creating artificial shortages of goods by hoarding them so as to charge exorbitant prices at a later time.

And in his weird attempt to get rid of sleaze and corruption, many Ghanaians were unjustifiably murdered or tortured mercilessly for apparent infinitesimal offences.

Regrettably, however, some market women were stripped naked in the public and whipped for either hauling their products or selling on high prices. While their male counterparts were shaved with broken bottles and whipped for offences that would not even warrant a Police caution in a civilized society.

As if that was not enough, three eminent high court judges and a prominent army officer were barbarically murdered by PNDC apple-polishers on 30th June 1982 for carrying out their constitutionally mandated duties.

The PNDC apologists savagely murdered the three eminent high court judges because their judgement did not go in their favour. How cruel some people could be?

Ironically, when Rawlings bamboozled onto the scene, he vowed to get rid of corruption and challenged Ghanaians to “shoot” him if he failed. Nevertheless, Rawlings did not even get rid of the rampant corruption within his erratic government let alone the entire nation.

Even though Rawlings supplanted power under the pretext of acting as a peripheral Panacea, he cunningly spent a little over eleven years and bettered his life and that of his family before lifting the ban on political parties in 1992.

As a matter of fact, Rawlings succumbed to the internal and external political pressures for him to step down and allow multi-party democracy.

Subsequently, he lifted the ban on political parties in 1992 and resigned from the military simultaneously to allow him to put himself forward for election.

Following his retirement from the military, Rawlings went ahead and formed a political party, which he named as the National Democratic Congress (NDC), a progeny of PNDC.

Ironically, Rawlings and his cohorts cunningly dropped the letter (P) in the PNDC and maintained ‘NDC’,--an illustrative case of a wolf in a sheep clothing.

Indeed, NDC party was born out of violence. So one must not be surprised to see the national executives of the party needlessly defending the three Montie contemnors who happen to be members of the NDC.

Kudos to the eminent Supreme Court judges for putting the three boisterous and homicidal brats behind bars. For the good meaning Ghanaians do not want to witness another 30th June 1982 barbaric incident.

Violence is thy family name, NDC.

K. Badu, UK.

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