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Opinions of Friday, 27 September 2013

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

On Al-Shabab, I Agree With Kofi Annan, But...


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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

At the time of this writing (9/23/13), former United Nations Secretary-General, and Ghana's sole Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mr. Kofi Annan, had released a press statement roundly condemning the massacre of some 68 people (at last count) by the Somali-based Islamist militant group Al-Shabab, in the sprawling upscale Westgate Shopping Mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, as both "shocking" and "horrifying" (See "I'm Shocked and Horrified by Kenya Mall Attack - Kofi Annan" JoyOnline.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/23/13).

For me, though, while the University of Ghana's Chancellor is dead-on-target in his unreserved condemnation of the Al-Shabab terror attack, Mr. Annan would be far more effective if he could also boldly come out with a definitive statement equally condemning the annual "revolutionary" celebration by Messrs. Jerry John Rawlings and John Dramani Mahama, and their cohorts, of the June 4, 1979 bloody putsch that saw the brutal and summary executions of tens of hundreds of Ghanaian citizens, largely law-abiding and innocent people, in the fascist name of "probity, accountability, transparency and justice."

In essence, the objective of Al-Shabab and the Rawlings posse for recklessly and wantonly shedding the blood of the innocent and defenseless is glaringly the same: to remove a stumbling block of oppression, repression and domination. In the case of Mr. Rawlings and his so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), the salient subtext of the December 31, 1981 overthrow of the Limann-led People's National Party (PNP) was to "ethnically cleanse the country of its Akan majority," especially Akans in powerful and influential positions of public trust, in order to make Ghana more "Ewe-friendly" for hard-nosed opportunists like the late Prof. Kofi Awoonor, who accidentally and tragically got wasted in the sanguinary attack by Al-Shabab in Nairobi last Saturday.

There is, indeed, an eerily striking "revolutionary semblance" in the apparently systematic and methodical manner in which the Al-Shabab goon squad reportedly went about its bloody onslaught in Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall, and the midnight abduction and summary execution of the three Akan-descended Accra High Court judges. For instance, reliable eyewitness accounts quoted in the New York Times indicate that the gunmen - there must have been at least one woman among them - shouted commands in Arabic for Muslims who might have been either working or shopping in the mall to fade out, or rush out of the building, before the report of gunblasts in the barbaric onslaught and slaughter began.

If the foregoing account has validity, then it painfully recalls that apocalyptic day of June 30, 1982, when the three Accra High Court judges were abducted from their homes at gunpoint, in Stygian darkness, and summarily executed, Mafia-style, at the Bundase Military Range, by soldiers specifically instructed as such by at least two cabinet members of the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC). Reliably documented evidence by the Blue-Ribbon committee that produced the SIB (Special Investigations Board) Report indicates that far more than three judges were initially rounded up; and that it was only after what might be aptly termed as an "Ewe-Language Speaking Litmus Test" had been conducted that the three non-Ewe-speaking Akan judges were marked down for summary execution.

The one Ewe-speaking judge that, as I recall, was let go was one Judge Adzovie, whose son also, incidentally, happened to be my classmate at St. Peter's Secondary School (PERSCO) at Okwawu-Nkwatia. In the curious case of Judge Adzovie, a mock apprehension feint was allegedly staged somewhere near the Achimota Forest, to make it appear as if the forty-something-year-old Judge Adzovie had, somehow, been accidentally able to successfully escape the well-trained crosshairs of his considerably younger would-be abductors and assassins.

The apocalyptic story of Somalia's Al-Shabab terrorist organization in Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall is too strikingly similar to both the brutal execution of the three Akan-descended Accra High Court judges, and the firing-squad execution of some of the key operatives of the Acheampong- and Akuffo-led Supreme Military Council (SMC-I and SMC-II) juntas to escape the critical imagination of any well-meaning and responsible Ghanaian citizen. And until we honestly come to terms with these glaring cases of state-sponsored acts of terrorism, the country is unlikely to transcend its current state of abject political decadence and the unconscionable exploitation of the lumpen-poor and powerless by the ultra-rich and powerful.

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*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Sept. 23, 2013
E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net
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