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Opinions of Sunday, 21 May 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu, UK

Bongo MP, it was NDC that came out of a coup d’état!

I read with a glint of incredulity all over my face about the Bongo MP’s isolated thinker’s assertion that President Akufo-Addo is governing the country with a coup maker’s mentality.

“The Bongo MP, the Honourable Bawa, interacting with Akwasi Nsiah on Si Me So on Kasapa 102.5 FM, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, said the attitude of the new administration could be likened to a coup de tat” (See: Akufo-Addo is governing with a coup mentality-Bongo MP; kasapafmonline.com/ghanaweb.com,18/05/2017).

Sometimes, one cannot help, but to admire some of our politicians for their incredible dexterity in disinformation metastasising, or to put it euphemistically, their adroitness in systematic propagation of propagandistic materials.

Apparently, the meaning of propaganda traces its roots to the “Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide”- a committee of Cardinals founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV to oversee the spread of Catholicism abroad, by any means necessary”.

Consequently, the word propaganda came to mean the concerted effort to spread any belief the communist Propagandists are associated with. Therefore propaganda is regarded as "a deliberate attempt to alter or maintain a balance of power that is advantageous to the communists”.

Propaganda may also be defined in its most neutral and simple sense as “the persuasive dissemination of particular ideas or material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause”.

In other words, “propagandism” is the systematic propagation of a doctrine or information reflecting the views and interests of those propagating such information or doctrine.

In sum, the experts contend that a message can be classified as propaganda if it “suggests something negative and dishonest”.

Well, for the sake of balanced annotation, I shall delineate a few classical undertakings that could be said to have emanated from a coup maker’s mentality.

It is, however, important to point out to the Bongo MP that when the chivalrous NDC communist idealists burst into the scene, they tempestuously murdered people with more than two cars.

Let us also remind the Bongo MP that his party founders went to war with business men and women in the country in the times past.

You may believe it or not, some business men and women were exterminated for rightly securing meagre bank loans with a view to expanding their businesses.

Moreover, the founders’ of the NDC woefully replaced our educational system with that of a communist model and deceitfully turned round and sent their children abroad to study in the top schools.

Bongo MP, the preceding examples were initiated by the coup makers’, who also happened to be the founders’ of your beloved NDC Party.

I bet if you were to ask a younger Ghanaian on what is history, most likely, the first thing that would come into their mind would be about the untold stories on football world cup tournaments etc.

In fact, it is of great concern that an important subject like history has been removed from Ghana’s basic education system. How bizarre?

So, it is not surprising that a contemporary Ghanaian student does not even have a clue about Ghana’s history.

If the Bongo MP really knew his history, he would have realised that it was his beloved NDC Party that can trace its culture and ethos from a series of coup d’états.

“If you would look deeper, history is broad yet deep that binds the core existence of the world. Hence, history keeps the records of events that happened.

“History is a lesson in the past but can also be the greatest regret of the future. Yet the reason why there is history is because of the events that were created by man” (Hughes 2010).

The apparent hypocrisy and dishonesty being displayed by the NDC loyalists really bothers me, I must admit.

Somehow, the NDC faithful tend to forget their history, or should I say their ideology?

In any case, I feel duty bound as a bona fide Ghanaian to offer free history tutorials to the benighted and the younger generation.

On 4th June 1979, some rabble rousers unjustifiably released convicts and suspects from a lawful custody, including the founder of the NDC Party, J. J. Rawlings.

The June 1979 jailbreakers released suspects and convicts from a lawful penitentiary, deposed the government at the time, ruled despotically for over eleven years and went ahead and formed a political party, the National Democratic Congress, (NDC).

Let us remind the Bongo MP, the Honourable Bawa that we cannot make sense of the present happenings if we refused to take stock of the past.

If we revisit our history, 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 and his cohorts.

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

The rebellious soldiers subsequently broke jail and released Rawlings and his cohorts from a lawful custody.

After successfully deposing General Akuffo and his Supreme Military Council (SMC) 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 rabble rousers 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 mutinous jailbreakers proceeded with their intentions and callously exterminated prominent people including General Fred Akuffo, General Kutu Acheampong, General Akwasi Afrifa and many others.

After getting rid of individuals they viewed as a threat to their hidden agenda, the jailbreaking cabals decided to conduct general elections for political parties in the same year, 1979.

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

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

Indeed, Rawlings and his conspiratorial plotters unfairly kept criticising Dr Limann’s administration for what the obdurate jailbreakers perceived as economic mismanagement, until Rawlings and his jailbreaking geezers decided to depose Dr Limann.

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

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

Although the PNDC government back then 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.

Somehow, 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.

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 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 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.

As a matter of fact, Ghana’s revolution days under the jailbreaking founders of the NDC Party 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.

As a matter of fact and observation, Rawlings succumbed to the intrinsic and extrinsic 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 contest election.

Subsequent to 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.

In sum, the Honourable Bawa, the NDC Party was born out of a coup d’état, and will ever harbour a coup maker’s mentality.