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Opinions of Friday, 10 June 2011

Columnist: Yeboah, L. Kojo

Only Rawlings And Family Should Celebrate June 4th In Ghana

Last Saturday, from far away United States of America, I was privileged to listen live, courtesy of JOY FM ONLINE RADIO, to Ex-President Rawlings’ June 4th speech in Kumasi. He was commemorating the 32nd anniversary of the putsch that liberated him from a Death cell and stamped his name in the annals of third world revolutionary legends, categorizing him (at least in some Ghanaian and Nigerian minds) with the likes of ‘Ernesto (Che) Guevara’ of Latin America.

Expectations were high for this particular speech. Members of the media jostled for positions to receive what was dubbed as the “biggest boom” from the boom master, Ex- President Rawlings. And who can blame them? The NDC founder himself had told Ghanaians (on the day his wife picked up papers to contest for the party’s flag-bearership position) to wait for his speech on this faithful June 4thday.

He was going to deliver the goods on his own party’s corruption! He would dissect the NDC’ internals: Expose the underlying corrupt tissues surrounding the “incompetent professor” for all to see. Junior Jesus was to lay the velvet carpet for his wife’s triumphant entry to save party and country. The second coming of God’s chosen Ghanaian family was to be crystallized amid shouting and chanting, heading towards Sunyani to be crowned in July by party! Blessed is she that cometh in the name of Rawlings!

On the Kumasi Jubilee Park, speaker after speaker including the candidate herself whipped the crowd up for Ft. Lt Rawlings to deliver the coup de grace. But when the moment finally arrived, lights, camera, action: A-n-d fizzle! What a disappointment? The mother of all booms fell down with a dull thud. The boom master woefully failed to make the case for his wife’s presidency. His speech lacked cohesion and logic. His nonsensical joke about the Carpenter who ate the landlord’s chicken, did not work. Let us recap what the Ex-President said or did not say in Kumasi and show the inconsistencies therein.

Rawlings charged Corruption within NDC. He claimed NDC elders visit him, Rawlings and candidly tell him about corruption, misdeeds and misgivings in the party but are afraid to tell same to President Mills. Countrymen, savor this claim for a moment. NDC elders are bold enough to look temperamental Rawlings (who is on record for physically beating his vice president) in the face and tell him the truth but fear the wrath of mild tempered “sick old professor Mills?”

Is it not the same Ex-President Rawlings who told Ghanaians that President Mills has no clout and the “greedy bastards” around him do as they please with impunity? Does Rawlings think we have forgotten the famous “who born dog” quote? Folks are afraid to tell you Mr. Rawlings the truth not the professor!

He claimed the Mills government has not prosecuted any members of the Kufour administration. False! Kwame Mpiani, Richard Anane, Anthony Akoto Osei and Richard Crabbe of the NPP were prosecuted in Court recently by the NDC. He claimed prominent members of the NDC and NPP are scratching each other’s back in corruption. Wait a minute - did corruption not die on June 4th 1979 when Rawlings’ AFRC brought their so called ‘accountability and probity’ to Ghana? What was he celebrating in Kumasi then? On a serious note, these outlandish and childish claims do not even deserve comment, next?

He claimed the NDC was sabotaging his wife’s position as vice chairperson of the party, making her irrelevant. But in the same sentence, he said that party members were trouping in and out of her office keeping her so busy she did not even have time to go home to husband and children. What a contradiction! His wife had the busiest office at her work. All party members were flocking to work with her yet the very people clamoring for her attention were making her irrelevant. J. J, tell us another!

He claimed the NDC was refusing to spend Ghana’s money to import Madam Yadzi to Ghana to testify against Ex-President Kufour’s corruption. He also said Kufour has stolen enough money to be the king maker in the next election. The question we ordinary Ghanaians ask is; and whose fault is that? Even if the NPP Ex-President is guilty of corruption as charged, the 1992 Constitution you, Rawlings, supervised ensure that Ex Presidents cannot be prosecuted for any act done while in office – corruption included!

You sir, wanted to save your own skin in 1992. Indemnity clauses were tailored to protect your past atrocities in the AFRC/PNDC and presidential immunity was cooked up for your future acts as President of Ghana. Guess what? If Kufour stole Ghana’s money as President, he did so with your blessing! Look in the mirror, smile and pump your chest with pride. You did it! You gave Ghana thieving Presidents! Congratulations! You and other Presidents will never be accountable to Ghanaians – no matter how much money you steal. So much for your so called accountability and Probity!

The most ridiculous statement from Kumasi however, was Rawlings’ claim that in office he respected Ghanaian women so much that other people began killing the women. What? Women killed because Rawlings respected them? Who can forget how Ft. Lt Rawlings’ coups degenerated women in our society? Our mothers were physically stripped naked in markets and public places. In some cases, we, young boys were forced to watch as Rawlings’ soldiers made our naked mothers crawl on their hands and knees while barking like dogs or bleating like sheep and goats on city / town and village streets. Rawlings did not just physically brutalize our mothers. He also stripped them financially naked by taking away their livelihood. In 1979, he bulldozed down markets all over the country. Who can forget the destruction of Makola in Accra? Ghanaian women who work mainly in markets were the losers. Then in 1982 he demonetized the 50 cedi note. In one fell useless decree, successful traders were rendered instant paupers as all their working capital and years of toil vaporized. Our trader mothers, who carried their money in special pouches around their waists, knew no corrupt bank officials to bribe. They could therefore not change their 50 cedi notes in the short time Rawlings gave them to do so. Rawlings and his cohorts should stop attempting to re-write our living history. The wounds are still raw, the pain still hurts. And what weird coincidence: As Rawlings decides to respect our women, they get murdered???

JUNE 4TH I979 WAS NOT A DAY OF PROBITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: IT WAS JUDGEMENT DAY. It was a Day of Judgment for the Supreme Military Councils (SMC 1 & 2). It was no Ghanaian version of the Arab Spring as Rawlings claimed in Kumasi. Ordinary Ghanaians did not take to the streets to revolt against our leaders on that day. Two good things happened that day. First, the SMC government was toppled. Second, a condemned sympathetic Ft Lt Rawlings was liberated from certain death. Ghanaians, including my insignificant self, welcomed both events. We had no idea about what was to follow.

On June 5th 1979 Ghana was transplanted into hell. Bestiality was let loose among our soldiers. Ordinary Ghanaians were subjected to public humiliations, whippings and other stark abuses of power that culminated in the summarily executions of SMC members and long retired Gen A. Afrifa. We lived in the Wild, Wild West and 13th Century Inquisition. Various Ghanaians were judged and sentenced by junior soldiers. Every gun toting soldier had a target to exact vengeance, death or inflict pain on.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN POLITICAL ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE HISTORY OF GHANA! Rawlings and company perpetuated a lie! Merriam-Webster Online dictionary defines accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.” Members of the SMC did not do that. Rawlings and Co found them wanting; that is judgment! Rawlings and Co have never accounted for their own actions. No past leaders of this county have ever submitted themselves to Ghanaians for examination. Accountability and probity is a false propaganda. It has never happened!

It is very surprising that the NDC Party has allowed itself to be embroiled in this hoax when the party did not even come from the AFRC. The party should scrap the false obligation to celebrate the Junior Armed Forces Revolt of June 4th. The day does not belong to the NDC. It doesn’t even belong to the AFRC anymore; doubters should ask the men who freed Rawlings from death: Osahene Boakye Gyan and Captain Kwabena Baah-Achamfour. JUNE 4th BELONGS TO J. J. RAWLINGS AND FAMILY. Only they should celebrate it every year, forever! J.J. was a condemned man waiting for death on June 3rd 1979: His wife, a young widow in waiting; his one year old Ezenator, an orphan in waiting; his other children unborn! On June 4th he was liberated by the coup plotters, some of whom died so that he can live. ------------------ By L. Kojo Yeboah, Raleigh USA