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Opinions of Sunday, 13 May 2012

Columnist: Sangaparee, Clement

How I Eluded Rawlings “Security Operatives in 1999” – Part 2

When the NDC was formed in 1992, Cadres were advised to stay behind and allow neutral people who supported the 31st December revolution on the quiet but did not personally take active part in the process to become party leaders. We were again instructed to look for influential opinion leaders and finally stay behind and support the party. After accepting to become the flagbearer of the NDC, Rawlings contacted his best friend. Mr. Sam Jonah the then Chief Executive Officer of the AGA to be his running mate, but Jonah refused to accept that position.
As a staunch W.D.C member in the mines there were two qualified people contesting the position of the AGA Chief Executive called Mr. Peter Addy and Sam Jonah, members of the W.D.C in the AGA including this writer strongly routed for Sam Jonah because he was a hard working gentleman who will never relax in his bungalow, but will drive around the 13 departments of A.G.A and paid surprised visits to both surface and underground workers at night, where some workers always sleep without working and expect to be paid at the end of every month. His surprised supervision paid of very well as production was high and some lazy workers who always slept at night shift and left their work were disciplined seriously, and word went round the whole mine, so no night worker could sleep because they never knew when Sam Jonah, the workaholic will strike in their department or section underground by surprise, that is the Ghanaian worker for you.
Naturally, such a hard working patriot would have enemies at all cost – apologies to Nana Akffo Addo. Therefore, scores of the workers ganged up to paint Sam Jonah more black as he was already naturally black in colour. He loved the W.D.C members because we helped the AGA security personnel to arrest workers who pilfered hard wares like, iron rods, car spare parts, engine oil at the mine stores and Transport departments as well as those miners who stole quartz underground.
Everything went well until I personally met him one evening sitting with an expatriate called Bill Hussey who was the then General Mines Manager and Sam Jonah revealed to me that some people were planning for his removal as the CEO and asked me what he could do. I told him to give me just 5 days, and all will end by force – Hei! How will you do it? I told him that I will write to inform the PNDC Chairman – Jerry Rawlings. Hei my friend, you are going too far, I then told him that If you are the CEO of A.G.A and some people get up and plan to under mine you, don’t you know that there were expatriates behind that plot? He nodded his head in agreement.
Well, I can’t tell, so do what you want to do he said.
I swung into action with a strongly worded letter to the PNDC Chairman in my capacity as the then Chairman of ARBICOM in charge of investigations in the whole Adansi District – with the heading thus.

UNDERMINING BLACK INTEGRITY. After drafting it I signed it and dispatched it to the PNDC Chairman at the Castle Osu, before showing a copy to Sam Jonah and he was shocked and asked me the reason why I did not show it to him first before dispatching, I told him if I did that, people would say that he drafted it for me to write and I didn’t want that to happen at all. On receipt of my letter, the PNDC, Chairman swiftly reacted by sending a powerful team to the AGA without even the knowledge of Sam Jonah and the treachery, undermining and false allegations against him ceased completely and we became very tight friends.

THE 1996 ELECTIONS
In 1992, the NPP boycotted the general elections by accusing Rawlings that he rigged that election, so they came out with a criminal publication full of fat lies entitled the “Stolen Verdict!” just to console themselves. Jerry Rawlings came again and asked Sam Jonah to be his running mate, not knowing that he was not interested in his mentor, Rawlings again, so he agreed and told Rawlings to allow him to travel to South Africa before coming to be his running mate. Rawlings informed the State media who were ready to interview Jonah. Sam Jonah remained holed up in South Africa until Rawlings chose Professor Mills and went on to beat Mr. J.A. Kuffour and his NPP again in 1996 – The NPP again stated that the 1996 election was a bought verdict. Feeling ashamed after predicting a humiliating defeat of Rawlings in 996 Sam Jonah could no more approach Rawlings at all.

FROSTY RELATIONS BETWEEN RAWLINGS AND SAM JONAH
When I welcomed Sam Jonah back again South Africa at his Executive residence inside the AGA, he told me that Rawlings had blamed him for refusing to help the NDC to win the Obuasi Parliamentary seat, and I asked him why should Rawlings blame him. Then he added that Rawlings should have known that he (Sam Jonah) was not interested in becoming an NDC running mate because he thought the NDC would lose the 1996 general election because of the massive negative media reportage against his gov’t. His face changed immediately because he knew very well that I had informed Rawlings that he (Sam Jonah) predicted his defeat and that was why he flew to South Africa and hid there. I never told Rawlings except today after Rawlings has left the scene since 2000.
Sam Jonah again told me to join the Reform Movement of Goosie Tannoh, I told him that I would be sacked by Rawlings – No. one can sack you. I am the Boss and the buck stops here. This man is very crafty, cunning and very dangerous, so I quit the Reform Movement because of his order. He started victimizing all CDR members in the mine and one could not tell whether the AGA was a Giant Mining Company or an International Political Organization. He instructed my immediate boss, one Mr. Timbila not to confirm my promotion as a senior staff and rather confirmed a stark illiterate called Alhaji Gambo of the Sinking Department. I called his bluff and told him point blank that he could never sack me because I am not a gold thief. He again set his crude AGA surveillance team as well as ordinary miners on me to eavesdrop by conversation and that when I ever praise Rawlings or discuss politics at work they should take witnesses and report me to him for my outright dismissal. I heard all his mischievous plans and kept them in my head because I also set my own spies on him too. Again I called his bluff by saying in my head that even some international trained BNI and Military intelligence operatives sent by Rawlings to pick me in 1999 because of my support for the Reform Movement were all outwitted by me near my house at Bogobiri, a suburb of Obuasi how much more such crude semi-illiterates in the AGA that were spying on me.
Whenever we go to work and his informants discuss politics, I warn them to stop or I will dismiss them. Therefore Sam Jonah failed to dismiss me.

The 1999 general Strike by AGA Workers
I was then a member of the Fire Service Council so l asked for permission to enable me attend the Board Meeting and it was granted. After the meeting, I was given one Fire officer to drive me back to Obuasi, so I decided to say hello to my good friend – Sam Jonah – come and see real anger of this AGA tyrant who wanted to know the reason why the miners’ were on strike as he was visibly shaken. This man wanted to know whether Rawlings NDC government was behind that strike as Mr. Kweku Baako was constantly at his best condemning Rawlings and praising Jonah to the high heavens. On Jonah’s table lay more than 12 mobile phones and I could not tell what he was using them for, then I realized that V.O.A and the BBC were all monitoring the deadly strike at Obuasi. This political novice wanted me to implicate Rawlings to enable his best friend Kwaku Baako Jnr. to splash it on his paper’s front page, but I told him the truth which he did not like to hear at all, but I again called his bluff and rather demanded money from him since I had no money on me – he shot back, I have no money to give you. I again demanded that I use the AGA staff bus, he got infuriated and told me that as a senior staff, you are supposed to be at work why are you here? He asked, I told him that A.G.A workers were on strike? Do you know that Senior Staff members are supposed to be at work when ever workers are on strike? I said yes, then he went on further to tell me that he has now got me, I shot back and told him that I have got permission to travel to Accra to attend the board meeting and I showed him my permission letter, so you have not got me yet, I said, may be you are yet to get me, because I duly wrote to my boss for 4 days permission and it was granted and signed by the personnel officer of AGA, where is your copy. Here is it Sir and the matter ended there, so Sam Jonah is another worse dictator even more than Rawlings. He is a strong member of the NPP, a Party whose members are all SNAKES because if you do good to them, they will bite you to death, they are very ungrateful people. Sam Jonah finally gave me redundancy and I left AGA as a foreman in December 2003, instead of leaving AGA as a senior staff both Rawlings and Sam Jonah are dictators even though Jonah is not a soldier, he also used cadres and dumped them with scorn; I have now regretted for using my position as a Cadre to help him in 1985. This had been my fate up to date 2012.

FACE TO FACE with the Rawlings Operatives In Accra
I visited Accra and attended a cadres meeting. At the meeting I identified two of the Rawlings Operatives who once came to Obuasi to cause my arrest in 1999. I heard them calling me by the fake name that I gave them that year before I fled to that village in the Brong Ahafo Region. “George Apanga”, I ignored their call and walked quickly and took my seat among the participants, again they called “Teacher Apanga”, I kept quiet.
As cadres were busy discussing the frosty relations between Mills and Rawlings, I raised my hand to speak and was reminded to mention my name first. The Bomb shell, I am Clement Sangaparee, Municipal Organizer, United Cadres Front – Obuasi I then told the participants that there are people from both the Rawlings and the Mills camp who were knocking their heads together adding that if Mills is our mother and he refuses to give us Food for 3 years after we have sacrificed to put him in power, will it be reasonable to give that power to his rival – Nana Akuffo Addo to provide such food for us? Let’s vote massively for Mills to win in 2012 first, and we then fight while our government is in powerr –A Heavy Applause Greeted me. Then I ended by telling the cadres that If they don’t know death, they must look at sleep because if we are suffering 10times today – Let Akuffo Addo become president in 2012 and we see – we would all suffer 60 times – Another Heavy Applause for close to 10 minutes – Comrade, where do you come from – Obuasi, Obuasi, Obuasi in chorus.
I then walked out to urinate and came face to face with those two operatives who congratulated me for eluding them in 1999. They were now retired and were rather very happy to see me still very strong and healthy. They said in their over 25 years of intelligence work they had never been tricked or deceived by a wanted man. Are you a policeman? I said No, but I was trained by the police, prison officers and the military as we worked together at the District CDR Secretariat during the PNDC era on secondment with me as the then Arbicom Chairman from 1983 to 1992. So they taught me simple security tips and it went into my head very well, and that was why, I was able to elude them – laughter, thousands of thanks to the Ghana Police and the Military for training me.
The Police detectives taught me how to commit a crime to prevent a crime, and I loved that operation very much but no further details about that any way. Do you drink? Answer, No – I drink water and Coca-cola laughter and they parted with a very interesting advice to me and later gave me GH¢50.00 as my lorry fare. We then exchanged our mobile phone numbers. Yes, the 31st December revolution was 70% BITTER and 30% VERY SWEET because we were in power for 10 years and survived over 22 coup attempts and the most serious coup attempt which nearly succeeded was on June 19th 1983 led by Cpl. Halidu Gyiwah but the Progressive Forces crushed him and later dispatched him to the NEXT WORLD in a manner determined by the undying spirit of June 4 and 31st Dec. revolution – Nonsense! Who Born Dog? Cadres went to Hell with Rawlings in 1982 and back. Is anybody listening? you keep your fingers crossed, I shall return when the need arise. I am done. “Jaanbie Iwaii” Aluta Continua!