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Opinions of Saturday, 21 July 2018

Columnist: K. Badu, UK.

A historical digest: What is NDC’s political tradition? (II)

The phraseology, political tradition, is used as a descriptive label for a set of ideas and values about political parties in a democratic dispensation. Political tradition, therefore, comprises the body of ideas that undergird the conduct of political parties.

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong for a group of people to come together and identify themselves as the revolutionary enthusiasts, or the ideologues of transparency, probity and accountability.

However, it is hypocritical and deceitful if a group of people who claim to be the exponents of such ethos turn around and dip their hands into the national coffers as if tomorrow will never come.

Understandably, though, the NDC faithful would never agree with some of us for persistently critiquing the current affairs through the lenses of the past events. But I am afraid we cannot make sense of the present happenings if we refused to take stock of the past events.

To be quite honest, some of us cannot help but to shrill, grouch, censure and highlight the revoltingly risible proclivities of the so-called devotees of the 31st December 1981 revolution.

If you may recall, when the revolutionary enthusiasts (the founders of NDC) burst onto the scene, they went into conniption-fit and tempestuously tortured and murdered people with more than two vehicles.

However, as I write, the same revolutionary enthusiasts are hypocritically in possession of not less than two vehicles per household. How deceitful?

Believe it or not, the vast majority of house owners were punished severely for having more than one toilet facility in their households.

But the last time I checked, the vast majority of the so-called revolutionaries have uncountable toilet facilities in their luxurious mansions. How pathetic?

Moreover, the founders of the NDC impertinently exhibited their communist ideals by going into war with business men and women in the country.

The founders of NDC, regrettably, tortured and murdered innocent business men and women, many of whom were bizarrely accused for legally borrowing meagre sums of money from banks to support their businesses.

Strangely, albeit truism, the so-called revolutionaries who repugnantly collapsed innocent peoples businesses now own business outlets all over the place.

Some innocent business men and women, so to speak, were abhorrently humiliated and their businesses were either seized or destroyed by the despotic NDC founders.

Worst of all, billions of cedis (in 50 cedi denominations) were seized from ordinary Ghanaians, albeit without a trace. How bizarre?

The NDC founders, ironically, replaced our educational system with that of a communist model, while deceitfully turned around and sent their children abroad to study in what they saw as a superior educational system.

I have previously informed dearest readers that I used to be an unsuspecting disciple of Jerry John Rawlings, who succeeded in proselytising some of us with his sugar-puffed propaganda.

Of course, like many other students back then, I naively thought J.J Rawlings was a Messiah sent from the Heavens to intercede for the downtrodden, and how wrong I was. Indeed, I am among those admirers who have come to their real senses.

Apparently, I engaged in a deep introspection, mulled over Jerry John Rawlings real intentions for usurping power and then overcame my ‘benightedness’.

It is important to note that Rawlings bamboozled onto the scene under the pretext of redeeming Ghanaians from the economic mismanagement and wanton corruption, but he couldn’t even get rid of the rampant sleazes and corruption in his NDC government, let alone the entire nation.

Somehow, the sceptics maintain that the founder of NDC, J. J. Rawlings, paradoxically, goes about preaching probity and accountability, but fails to practice.

The critics insist that it is quite ironic that someone who bamboozled onto the scene under the pretext of eliminating the widespread sleazes and corruption would turn to a fantastically corrupt former Nigerian president Abacha for a hard cash gift.

For more news on Nigeria’s former president Abacha’s alleged gift to J.J Rawlings, see: (Nigeria’s Abacha gave me $2 million and not $5 million-Rawlings: citifmonline.com/.../nigerias-abacha-gave-me-2m-not-5m-rawlings-conf... ; ‘Abacha’s $2 million gift to Rawlings: Vitus Azeem is only after the truth’,: www.ghanaweb.com/.../Abacha-s-2m-gift-to-Rawlings-Vitus-Azeem-is-o... ; ‘Rawlings must return Abacha’s $2m gift-Nigerian journalist’: www.ghanaweb.com/.../Rawlings-must-return-Abacha-s-2m-gift-Nigeria...).

Following a carefully considered reflection, I adjusted my views on Rawlings and his NDC’s non-existent principles of probity, transparency and accountability, and have thus become ‘a born again’.

If we stroll down memory lane, General I. K. Acheampong led a group of mutinous soldiers and deposed Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia’s government in 1972 and formed a government which they called The Supreme Military Council (SMC).

Nevertheless, in 1978, General Acheampong was accused of economic mismanagement, and was forced to resign by a group of senior army officers led by General Akufo.

A sequential account was given, though anecdotally, that the harsh living conditions during The Supreme Military Council regime prompted a group of patriotic citizens to stand up against the injustices and demanded a democratic rule.

But before the country could reach a consensus on the question of civilian rule, a group of disgruntled junior army officers led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings revolted against General Fred Akuffo’s SMC2 regime on 15th May 1979.

However, the cabals failed in their insurrection, which culminated in the arrest and trial of Rawlings and his cohorts.

Nevertheless, the judicial process was halted prematurely by a group of soldiers sympathetic to Rawlings, who revolted on 4th June 1979.

The rebellious soldiers (mobsters) broke jail and released Rawlings and his cohorts from a lawful custody.

After successfully deposing General Akuffo and his Supreme Military Council2 (SMC2) government, the stubbornly impenitent jailbreakers 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 friends vowed to purge off the rampant sleazes, corruption and social injustices which instigated their coup d’état.

So in their hasty attempt to purify the country of the perceived injustices, they carried out what they termed “house cleaning exercise”,--they dealt with perceived offenders arbitrarily (instant justice).

The mutinous coup makers proceeded with their intentions and callously exterminated eight prominent officers, whom they accused of committing sleazes and corruption without trial.

The Officers included General Fred Akuffo, General Kutu Acheampong, General Akwasi Afrifa amongst others.

The coup makers however transferred power to Dr Hilla Limann and his PNP Party following the successful election in 1979.

The story was narrated, in a historical standpoint, though, that the Limann government assumed office at a time when the economy was stagnant; all credit lines to the country had diminished and were finally blocked due to brutalities and confiscations at the harbours and other points of entry into Ghana.

However, through well-executed negotiations, policies and programmes, PNP government back then initiated a prudent approach with the view to resolving the socio-economic standards of living.

It was however reported that the PNP government put in dint of effort to repay the short-term debts and showed commitment to meet the debt obligations.

More importantly, Dr Limann’s government was able, within 18 months, to restore virtually all traditional credit lines (Source: PNC).

Disappointingly, however, Rawlings and his cohorts did not give Dr Limann and his PNP government the breathing space to govern the country, as they relentlessly breathed down the neck of President Liman.

Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters, who were later to become the founders of the National Democratic Congress, as a matter of fact, unfairly kept criticising Dr Limann’s administration for what the coup makers perceived as economic mismanagement, until Rawlings and his jailbreaking geezers decided to depose Dr Limann.

Subsequently, J. J. Rawlings and the other obstreperous jailbreakers took arms and succeeded in deposing the democratically elected government of Dr Hilla Limann on 31st December 1981.

And, Rawlings and his friends formed a government which they called the Provisional national Defence Council (PNDC) and appointed Rawlings as the chairman.

Although the PNDC and NDC administrations back then paraded some seasoned politicians, the vast majority of the military personnel who headed important Ministries were novices in the political scene.

It was, therefore, not surprising a bit when Rawlings’s administration adopted a seemingly calamitous Economic Recovery Programme (ERP), which was introduced under the auspices of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Regrettably, however, the vast majority of tangible national assets, including the state owned enterprises were allegedly sold to friends and families for pittance.

In practice, the apparent unfavourable Economic Recovery Programme culminated in a catalogue of hardships. And, on top of the harsh programmes and policies which threatened the economic fundamentals, the population had to brace itself for food shortages, a situation which was comparable to the concurrent Ethiopian famine that resulted in millions of deaths.

Perhaps more than anything else, the initiation of the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Costs of Adjustment (PAMSCAD) did nothing to improve the unfortunate situation as untold hardships permeated many households.

Starvation, so to speak, visited the vast majority of Ghanaians, and as a result developed hideous collar bones which the humorous Ghanaians renamed as “Rawlings Chain”. That was indeed the pernicious extent of the hunger.

And, in their weird attempt to get rid of sleazes 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 wickedly 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 henchmen 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.

Ghana’s revolution days under the jailbreaking founders of the NDC, so to speak, could be likened to: “in the China of “the Great Helmsman,” Kim Il Sung’s Korea, Vietnam under “Uncle Ho” , Cuba under Castro, Ethiopia under Mengistu, Angola under Neto, and Afghanistan under Najibullah”.

Even though Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters supplanted power under the pretext of acting as a peripheral Panacea, they slyly spent a little over eleven years before lifting the ban on political parties in 1992.

Rawlings, as a matter of fact, succumbed to 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 so as to contest election.

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

And to the amazement of discerning Ghanaians, the power intoxicated founder of the NDC, J. J. Rawlings appeared as a chameleon by idiosyncratically metamorphosing into a civilian president in 1992.

It is, however, worth stressing that Ex-President Rawlings 96 months democratic rule came to an end in January 2001.

Disappointingly, however, former President Rawlings and his coup making cabal memorable achievement was to send us to the membership of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com