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Opinions of Sunday, 2 October 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Mr. Debrah, It Was NDC Leaders Who Executed General Acheampong

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 30, 2016

He just turned 50 the other day. And so the Mahama Chief-of-Staff may be forgiven for shamelessly and opportunistically invoking the name of the brutally slain General Ignatius Kutu-Acheampong to hoodwink the chiefs and people of Wa about the intention of the unarguably incompetent and incurably lethargic Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the massive promotion of agriculture, should the very regime that tribalistically and criminally botched the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) be afforded a highly unlikely second term in office (See “Chief of Staff Promises Acheampong’s ‘Operation Feed Yourself’” / 9/20/16).

He may be forgiven because at only 50 years old, Mr. Julius Debrah was not quite old enough to have witnessed the downright savage manner in which an effectively ousted and rank- and honors-stripped General Acheampong, then thoroughly humiliated and under house-arrest, was unconscionably taken from his home-village of Asante-Trabuom, in the same Atwima district which former President John Agyekum-Kufuor represented in Parliament during Ghana’s Third Republican dispensation, and transported to Accra, some 200 miles down-south, and summarily executed by firing squad by the Chairman Jerry John Rawlings-led Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

Back then, Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and Capt. Boakye-Djan, shortly to be promoted to an Army major, accused General Acheampong, who had been statutorily reduced to an ordinary Ghanaian citizen, to wit, Mr. Kwasi Acheampong, had been accused of promoting an unprecedented level of official corruption in the country. Acheampong and his junta associates, among them Major-General Utuka and General F.W.K. Akuffo, would also be charged with the capital crime of having stunted the healthy growth of democratic culture and economic development in the country.

Two decades later, the self-righteous Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, having served 11 years as a “revolutionary” junta leader and a two-term democratically elected leader, would confess to a Nigerian media operative that, indeed, he had received the much-rumored payola sum of at least some $2 million from the late General Sani Abacha, the infamous dictator. The said amount, which continues to be hotly disputed by the recipient, had, of course, been stolen from the coffers of the Nigerian taxpayer. Chairman Rawlings, who has been denying ever receiving any monies from the Abacha junta for nearly two decades, now claims that he had “only been offered $2 million.”

Interestingly, however, the official messenger who hand-delivered the suitcase containing the payola insists that he had delivered at least $5 million to the Osu Castle, the erstwhile seat of the Ghana government, and directly into the hands of the man who has executed more Ghanaian citizens in the name of corruption, both official and commercial, than any other postcolonial Ghanaian leader. Obviously, we have chosen to highlight the Rawlings-Abacha Heist because Chairman Rawlings is also the official Founding-Father of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

Indeed, were I a member of the Kutu-Acheampong family/clan, Mr. Debrah would be meeting me in a legitimately constituted court of the land to explain precisely why he ought not to be sued for vainly and publicly invoking the name of the man who, in just over six years as Head-of-State, did more to develop the country than the 30 protracted years of the effective domination of our national political landscape by the Rawlings-led juntas of the so-called Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), and that veritable hive of robber-baron politicians called the National Democratic Congress.

I am also quite certain that General Kutu-Acheampong and his National Redemption Council (NRC) junta, later renamed the Supreme Military Council (SMC-I), apart from the provision of public housing projects, brought far more qualitative development facilities and ventures to the residents of Wa, the Upper-West Region, than every one of the leaders of the so-called Provisional National Democratic Congress (P/NDC) has/have done in 30 years.

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