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Opinions of Friday, 22 June 2007

Columnist: Asamoa-Baah, Kofi

John Mahama @ June 4 Celebration: What an oddity!

“Jerry John Rawlings has every right to celebrate June. Who wouldn’t? This was the day that changed his entire life from absolute hopelessness and failure, to a life of opulence and luxury.”

The longer I am privileged to live, the more astounded I am at the yawning gap between our intentions and the things that drive us into action. In the first week of June, Ghana’s marvelously misnamed party (National Democratic Congress – Democratic?) convened at Somanya in the Eastern Region to celebrate June 4; a macabre day in our history, a day that made Ghana sadder, poorer but hopefully wiser!

Calling the NDC democratic is like calling Hitler a friend of the Jews. This is a party that was founded, is financed, orchestrated, manipulated and controlled by one man – he who must be obeyed Mr. John Jeremiah Rawlings. Can anybody imagine anybody doing anything of consequence in the NDC without the consent and approval of this man? Democracy indeed!

At this so-called celebration, party faithful took turns to extol the virtues of June 4, and to lambast the present government. to the glee and gushing admiration of the so-called “Founder”.

On this day, Mr. Rawlings outsourced his usual childish ranting and mindless boom speeches to his surrogates. It appears one of the fastest way for acceptance and upward mobility in the NDC is to praise the “founder” and try to out-scream him.

The usual screamers were there in full force: Tony Aidoo , E. T. Mensah, Ama Benyiwa Doe , Doe Adjaho, Asiedu Nketia and the others . The more they barked, the more they won nodding approval from their Czar.

Tony Aidoo: “The NPP is a bunch of criminals. If Ghanaians were disciplined, they would not have voted for them.” Oh now, the good people of Ghana are stupid for voting NPP. They weren’t stupid when they voted NDC!

Nuamah Donkor : “The killings that happened on June 4 was pre-ordained by God.”. May be the Antoa Nyamaa that his boss believes so much in… NDC National Organiser Ofosu-Ampofo accused the media, the judiciary, the police and every other state organ of being in bed with the NPP as if they have no minds of their own. There were other prominent speakers present who issued threats and more threats to the good people of Ghana.

One speech after useless speech was given on this sad day to threaten and attack. They barked and screamed to the delight and approval of their Great One. There was nothing new here. The Grand Master was around and they were supposed to bark in obedience to their master’s command! The whole day was a sad drama of trying to sanitize an event that the majority of Ghanaians have repudiated a long time ago.

One person who broke my heart though was Hon. John Mahama , one of the few politicians who has earned national admiration and respect, not only for what people saw as his intelligence and independence but also for his outward expression of civility and moderation. Listen to John Mahama on that day: “June 4 was not about violence and bloodshed, but about Probity and Accountability.” Not John Mahama too; what a stunner! Wait a minute John. Let’s fast forward to 1992. What about the Indemnity Clause inserted in the Constitution without any referendum, absolving Rawlings and his cabal from any prosecution. Is that accountability?

It hurts to see what looks like a fine gentleman like John Mahama go down this road, but I guess the old axiom is true: If you lie with dogs, you rise with fleas! The question most people are asking is this: Does John Mahama really believe what he said on that day? I think not!

Given the occasion and the indentured servitude in the NDC, John had to say something to win approval from the godfather and enhance his chances of being selected to partner master poodle Agya Atta Mills in Election ’08. It is obvious that anger, violence and mayhem have become a credential for membership in the NDC.

At a time when a broad majority of Ghanaians in their collective wisdom have chosen multi-party democracy, these delusional group continue to preach violence and mayhem to a country that wants neither!

John Jerry Rawlings has every right to celebrate June. Who wouldn’t? This was the day that changed his entire life from absolute hopelessness and failure, to a life of opulence and luxury. He now leads a life that he never dreamt of before June 4. He enjoys a quality of life that was the death sentence for hundreds of other people. This once “one man one toilet” philosopher now has more toilets in his mansion than there are in my entire village! It strikes me as hypocritical and disingenuous that suddenly the apostle of “Probity and Accountability” will not tell Ghanaians how he funded his children’s education abroad or how he could afford mansions and super luxury bullet proof SUV’s fit only for a king. Being able to relax in comfort in a jacuzzi is a hell of a lot better than relaxing in some stolen aircraft seats in years past! Let nobody delude themselves into thinking that violence does not pay. It certainly paid for Rawlings and his family! Rawlings certainly has reason to celebrate June 4.

Time has a way of eroding memories but Ghanaians are still haunted by the horrors of June 4. Trying to justify the debauchery and atrocities that happened on that day and discounting the pain unleashed on Ghanaians will not work, my dear John.

June 4 is an artifact of our times and must be expunged from our collective conscience. June 4 was a sweeping saga of killings, torture, lawlessness and anarchy that did not move the needle one bit in our development.

Indeed the seed of violence that was planted on that day has now come into deadly bloom, and that explains the spike in recent years of armed robbery in the country! Lawlessness in Ghana has its roots in June 4!

There is a word for continuing a behavior after its destructiveness has been clear: ADDICTION. Someone please whisper to these people that “You catch more flies with honey” and not with “buga buga”, or promises of fire and brimstone! Yes, Ghanaians want EVOLUTION (evolution of their society to make it better) not REVOLUTION, especially a needless and useless one like June 4. I have a small idea for the NDC; continue the ego gratification of your founder; continue to celebrate June 4; you will continue to be in opposition. Ghana is and will be better for it!



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