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Opinions of Thursday, 20 March 2014

Columnist: Aminu, Adongo Richard

Afoko and reverse psychology.

It has become a maxim, or should I say an axiom especially in politics ( African Politics) that ‘ if u don’t know who your father is and wants to know, then get into politics’.

I had hitherto viewed this maxim cursorily. But the Paul Afoko case brought this sharply into focus. Being from the same Region as he, the name ‘Afoko’ was quite familiar to me, quite so because the family is a large one and a royal one.

But on Paul Afoko, I had some scanty and unorganized information about. But now, violaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…..politics has opened the pandorax box on Paul Afoko. On this issue, I should want to draw on some issues which Camron Duodu, one of Ghana’s celebrated journalists had to say about it. According to him, Mr. Paul Afoko, one Madam Bolco, the late Mr. Larry Bimi and others had seized Bolga’s GBC URA Radio to protest the unconstitutional overthrow of the government of the day then led by Dr. Hilla Limann. They used that FM station to call on the good people of the Upper Regions to demonstrate against the military regime and for the civilian rule to be re established.

Soldiers were unleashed on them in the course of their activities. Some of them (Paul Afoko and co) went into exile. The man himself was sent to jail. He was to decay in jail. But as fate would have it, there was a jail break and Mr. Paul Afoko took advantage of it.

Now, if what Cameron Duodu says is anything to go by, then some little interrogation of the issue would suffice for the average person to make an informed opinion about the man Paul Afoko and the allegations about him. First and foremost, Paul Afoko resisted the attempted and eventual overthrow of a constitution and a republic. This makes him a hero and not a villain. Not a hero by discretion or by choice, but a constitutional hero because the constitution (the one which was overthrown and the current one) enjoins us to resist such treasonable activities. For this reason, the state owes Paul Afoko an apology in the very least.

Secondly, he was unjustifiably imprisoned (following the above preamble). This too the state must apologise in the least.

Thirdly, that he broke jail? The state should pardon and strike out from his records immediately.

As it stands now, the above write up is without prejudice to the petition against the candidature of Paul Afoko especially so because the contents of the said petition remains very sketchy to the public. But if indeed their petition is grounded on some of the events and issues as raised here, then the petition should have been thrown out immediately.

Whatever the contents of the petition, what has become clear to a patriot like me and the several likeminded patriots out there is this: What has the state done for Paul Afoko for the gallantry and bravery he showed in defending it. Is it because he has stood his grounds on principle and has not made a U-turn like Larry Bimi and Bolco that he is being maligned like this?

Kweku Baako, the senior Journalist and many others have always maintained that the indemnity clauses which insulate coup makers and their assigns were smuggled into the 1992 constitution. He usually implies criminality on the part of the smugglers when he makes this reference.

The question which begs for answer is this: Should Paul Afoko be (remain) a ‘criminal’ because of the indemnity of the coup plotters and coup makers? Let us be serious as a nation and stop some of these needless mudslinging. I pray I am not shown who my father is, for daring to share my opinion on this Afoko issue.

As for reverse psychology and Paul Afoko, what I know is that, the attempt to discredit him and drag his name into the mud has rather made him more popular. It has endeared him to a lot of people. He would receive sympathy votes from others (delegates) during the contest. His family members (nuclear and extended) would gain some dividends in the use of the name they share with him. We have always been told ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country’. Paul Afoko defended Ghana in times past, what have the country done for him?