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Opinions of Thursday, 31 December 2015

Columnist: Hardi, Ibrahim

Jerry John Rawlings,The Hero!!.

''I am asking for nothing less than a revolution- a revolution that would transform the socio-economic structures of the country''. That was Jerry Rawlings on 31st December 1981 who further said that he was prepared to face the firing squad if what he had initiated was not acceptable to the majority of the people.

By November ending 1981, a revolution was seen to be inevitable in Ghana. The proclamation made in the early hours of 31st December, 1981 by flt Lt, J.J Rawlings was an intervention. Many may see it as a coup d'état but to some of us it was a revolution. For the general accepted opinion, I think partial coup/revolution. The jubilation of the civilians from North to South was attested to the fact that it was a popular revolution. 31st December 1981,therefore was like a festival day for the suffering people, the unemployed and exploited. They jumped into the streets without prompting and some joined in the looting of shops belonging to the Lebanese and Syrians. Cadres who answer the role call from 31st December 1981 were cadres from the June Four Movement,( JFM) headed by Comrade Alolga Akata-Pore,Sergent, The New Democratic Movement ,(NDM) headed by Comrade Chris Bukari Atim, Africa Youth Command (AYC)headed by comrade Nyenya Yen, Kwame Nkrumah Revolutionary Guards(KNRG),headed by comrade Nicolas Atampugri and the People's Revolutionary Movement(PRM) also headed by comrade Kwesi Adu and others. With this people in positions, I stand to be corrected in their roles in this bodies,Rawlings really trusted his "comrades- in- the -struggles" And everything was left entirely in the hands of the above cadres.

Hence, taking their inspiration from both the Cuban and the Libyan experiences, they thought it wise to establish committees in same "Photo-scenario" as those in Havana and Tripoli. The idea was sold to "unsuspecting" Chairman Rawlings. These cadres were very influential in management decision making. Also, in both cities, towns and villages, there were organizations similar to the above.

In early January 1982, there was amalgam of revolutionaries of June Four Movement (JFM) and the New Democratic Movement (NDM). In this type of revolutionary congregation lay the beginning of their disagreements, vis-à-vis a National philosophy or an ideological basis for the PNDC. Chairman Rawlings again still maintained, sustained and above all, the trust he upheld for his team from the inception of the revolution was still in him.

There was mistrust between these amalgam revolutionaries' bodies. The New Democratic Movement (NDM) thought that the 31st December Revolution was not necessary, ill conceived and considered and classified their partners from the June Four Movement as "Misfits". Hence a socio-ideological conflict had been natured.

It therefore stands to reason that, because of these defects and mistrust within the central committee of the PNDC, National affairs could not move as expected and Chairman Rawlings with all the ideas was left in the limbo. It was alleged that, the ante-Rawlings within presidium of the PNDC hatched a wicked plan that will make Jerry Rawlings looked bad in the eyes of the citizenry.

On the 30th June, 1982, three High Court Judges(Jusice Cecilia Koranteng,Justice F.B Sarkodee and Justice K.A Agyepong) and Major Sam Acquah(Director of personel,GIHOC) was brutally murdered by some criminals who presented themselves "As people taking some instructions from above". May their souls rest in peace . Special investigation board was constituted on the 15th July 1982 by Jerry Rawlings to investigate these murders. Lance Corporal and Joachim Amartey Kwei and some run away accomplices were found for this madness. They were finally executed by firing squad in August 1983.

This then set the PNDC and dissidents on a collision. It will surprised you to know that fifteen (15) coup d' etat was attempted on Chairman Rawlings. The main aim of the dissidents was to eliminate Chairman Rawlings himself. Their afore-thought was, if Jerry Rawlings is eliminated, they will have their way to implement their ideologies. I will not talk about the alleged J.H Mensah's and his people in the far away foreign land.

On 29th October 1982, a collaboration of some dissidents within presidium of the PNDC and outside, a coup d'état was attempted by some junior officers. On 23rd November 1982 came another attempted coup d'état lead by Akata-Pore and his group. Akata-Pore was arrested and detained whiles Chris Bukari Atim,one of the suspects of the above coup d'état managed to escaped to Togo. Senior military officers were implicated and Rawlings was forced by this act, to ''overhaul'' his establishment.

On 27th, Feb. 1983 about nine (9) soldiers and two (2) civilians were arrested around Achimota forest in Accra. In April 1983, various types of foreign mercenaries allegedly recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A) of America and the Israeli intelligence Wing were set to invade Ghana through Aflao. The most serious of them all 23rd April 1983, was the plot which was to have coincided with the PNDC political Rally in Kumasi.

19th June 1983 was the ''Master of all coup attempts...'', they attacked Ussher Fort (James Town) prison; and some other secret military locations within the Accra metropolitan area. They succeeded in releasing some men who were arrested on the 23rd November 1982 as a result of the failed coup d'état. These descendents succeeded in temporarily capturing ''Ghana Broadcasting and Television'' station. On the same day, 1 oclock,a spokesman of the PNDC announce to the Ghanaians and the world that, Chairman Rawlings is still in control of Ghana and no one else. It's interesting to know that, in the trial of the coup d'état suspect, at least ,twenty (20) death sentences were passed and only five (5) of them who were in detention at the time of Judgment finally faced the firing squad. For most of those convicted either might have died during the exchange of fire between the revolutionary guards of the PNDC,but majority of them were sentenced in absentia.

In the spirit of third anniversary of the 31st December revolution, that is 1984, Jerry Rawlings granted a general amnesty to prisoners in Ghana and it was extended to some of the ''Coup d'état suspects'' who were already serving various sentences , but were found to be of Good behavior.

On the 2nd February 1985, a plot was hatchet to assassinate Jerry Rawlings in Kumasi, when he will be delivering a speech during a durbar. Five military men and a civilian (Mallam Tula) were apprehended. In the middle of March 1986, Mr.Godfrey Osei, a Ghanaian fugitive from Jail was alleged to have recruited 18 mercenaries, eight (8) of the American and ten (10) Argentine nationals. 26th of May 1986, Nine (9) Ghanaians were put before a military tribunal as alleged coup d'etat suspects. Among them was Captain Edward Adjei Ampofo, A former head of Ghana Military Intelligence.

Finally on 22nd June 1986 about sixteen (16) suspects were arrested. Dissidents will not stop their advances towards the destabilization of the Rawlings regime.

Whatever you may look at it,Jerry Rawlings is my Hero.

Ibrahim Hardi 0208235615