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Opinions of Monday, 20 February 2012

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Are Ghanaian Military Coup D'états always a Reprieve?

A soldier is duty-bound to protect his nation against external incursion. By the tenets of the military profession, it is always incumbent upon soldiers to safeguard the sovereignty of their country, by fiercely defending the nation and the people within against any external aggression. However, soldiers for reasons of some sort do dabble in politics by usurping the throne of governance, a total deviation from the basic requirement of their profession.

The oftentimes-autocratic nature of our elected leaders openly manifested in their complete abuse of power, seems to justify the compelling circumstances triggering soldiers to revolt and then seize power. In any such period of army insurrection in Ghana, the nationals see the soldiers as saviours, even if temporarily.

I have witnessed all the military coup d'états in Ghana right from that of the National Liberation Council (NLC) by Brigadier A.A. Afrifa and General Kotoka in February 1966 through to the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) by Flt. Lt. J.J. Rawlings in December 1981. The reasons assigned by the soldiers to why they have mutinied are usually the same. They carry out their rebellion because the government in place are always seen as callously corrupt, enriching themselves and their cronies, and abusing the fundamental human rights of the governed. The NLC government overthrew Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of the Convention People's Party (CPP) in 1966 for being a dictator. It was a fact. The entire country was happy for his overthrow and people quickly composed songs to tease Dr. Nkrumah. The Colonel I.K. Acheampong's National Redemption Council (NRC) overthrew Dr Kofi Abrefa's Progress Party (PP =Party Papa) government on 13th January 1972. The NRC accused the Dr Busia's government of infighting and corruption. The Gas who hated Busia with passion went on wild jubilation. NRC transformed into the Supreme Military Council (SMC 1) in 1975, headed by Acheampong who then promoted himself to a General. Lt. General Fred Akuffo deposed his boss, General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, in a palace coup in July 1978, accusing him of utter corruption and the stigmatization of the "Fa wo to begye Golf" scenario. Finally, Rawlings and his mutinous soldiers overthrew Akuffo's SMC II government in June 1979 and slaughtered many people with all previous Heads of State inclusive. They formed the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC). Rawlings handed over to the Limann's PNP government but quickly came back in December 1981 to overthrow it and then formed the PNDC government.

In the entire successful coup d'états, the deposed governments were accused of corruption and taking the governed for a rough ride. Ghanaians in all such instances have gone on wild jubilation on the overthrow of such democratically elected or otherwise, governments. From the above, I can conclude that the current NDC government have by far and large surpassed the evils of the previous governments for which they were overthrown. The President Mills' NDC government are not only grossly incompetent, insulting, internally acrimonious but also, excessively corrupt. The gigantic stench oozing out the corruption in perpetration by President Mills and his government has reached the Higher Firmaments. The smell is so foul that the heavenly bodies are pinching their noses. They are frantically trying to avoid the choking nauseous stench by appealing for God's assistance to chase the NDC out.

Should Ghanaians blame a greedy soldier who sees the corruptive nature of the NDC government as a window of opportunity to strike? If such a soldier strikes, believe you me, Ghanaians will as usual proceed on wild celebration with songs composed to tease President Atta Wayo and his bunch of incompetently abusive mediocre State Ministers and ignominious Deputy Ministers. The current NDC government is by far and large corrupt. A case in point is the government having connived with an individual, Alfred Agbesi Woyome, to swindle Ghana of GHC58 Million. They also condoned with Carl Wilson to steal posh cars from the country's harbours to share among the NDC gurus and activists. They have intentionally paid judgment debts to their cronies and ghost names for no job done. They condone with the recipients to dupe Ghana in order to take a kickback from such payments to enrich themselves and their party. The ongoing Woyome saga is a vivid instance of how the President Mill's NDC government are neck-deep in the execution of corruption.

There is more than enough justification under the Mills' administration for soldiers to dabble in politics than never before. President Mills should therefore put things right as Ghana cannot afford to have soldiers ruling us again, as the soldiers are never better if not worse. The NDC purporting to be the latter Saints are rather the latter devils.

Rockson Adofo