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Opinions of Friday, 23 May 2014

Columnist: Adongo, Richard

P.V Obeng makes Ghana poorer.

Indeed!!!! The untimely demise of P.V Obeng has created a void in Ghana’s contemporary history that can never be filled. Here was an individual who by all standards was an intellectual and a self made man. Here was an individual who was very clever, industrious and successful man.
And yet here was the same man who decided to wine and dine with 'mere soldiers' who were qualified to be described as half literates. This same man decided to stick with these ‘soldiers’ who later turned subversionists. With his intellect and level headedness, he stays with them (subversionists) even when they turned murderous!!!
He placed his intellectual prowess at the disposal of these people. The questions that begs for answer is this: Why did P.V Obeng stick and stay with the Rawlings’ from 1979 through 1981 up to constitutional rule in 1993? What is his opinion (version) of the murder of the Judges and retired army officer? What attracted him most to Rawlings so much so that he was willing to literally lay his life for Rawlings?
The answers to the questions posed above can best be answered by no other person than P.V himself. The answers to the above questions and many more would have contributed in no small way to the much needed authentic history of the PNDC/NDC whose chapters are plain and vague in the books of history.
And where is P.V Obeng today? We are for instance told by Mr. Jebuni, a former police detective in his book who killed the Judges? of how Mr. P.V Obeng harboured Mr. Rawlings in his house around Tema when it became apparent that Rawlings was under security surveillance and there was the possibility of his arrest and detention. If these allegations are not true, then can P.V ever answer or respond to them, especially now? Can we take Jebuni’s word for it? By implication from Jebuni’s book, can we comfortably assume that P.V Obeng was complicit in all/most of the criminality executed by Rawlings and his administration between 1979 and 1982?
Of special interest to me would be P.V Obeng’s perspective on the indemnity clauses of the 1992 constitution. Were their insertion an act of cowardice by the then administration? If so, what is it that the Rawlings administration feared? Were the indemnity clauses ‘smuggled’ into the constitution? Were the insertion of the indemnity clauses of the 1992 constitution of Ghana a codition/demand by the soldiers and coup plotters in order to allow for the operationalisation of the constitution? Were the indemnity clauses tabled before the constituent assembly that promulgated the 1992 constitution? If they were not, then why were they not?
The questions are numerous!!!!! But where is P.V today? It is really saaaaaaaad.
It is time for the P.V generation to leave REAL and PALPABLE LEGACIES behind. Whether they like it or not, their time is due, and there is no turning back. We need to know what they really saw those days and why they acted the way they did. We need that information not only for historical value that that they hold, but as a guide to us, the young generation who are warming up to step in their shoes.
In this regard, may I hasten to congratulate the likes of Kofi Bentum Quantson, Henry Kwami Anhidoyo, Kabral Blay Amihere, Akenten Appiah Menka, Zaaya Yeebo, one of the Ahwoi brothers, John Dramani Mahama, Arthur Kennedy and the many others who have left some information by way of the books they have written about their experiences in public life and their dedicated service to God and country.
Let me illustrate how one of those books helped straighten distorted facts and opinions in my mind regarding the ‘Arkar’ issue. I am referring to Rawlings’ former Vice President. The name is in parenthesis because I am not sure of the right spelling.
I originally thought of Rawlings as a merciless bully who beat his Vice President just for the latter’s presence in a cabinet meeting in which he (Vice President) was constitutionally eligible to attend.
In his book Ghana, Peace and Stability, Chapters From the Intelligence Sector, Mr. Kofi Bentum Quantson revealed that indeed the then Vice President was under investigation for allegedly raping a young woman. Preliminary medical checks had proven the rape. Subsequent investigations of the case which was regarded as top secret because of the obvious implications on the state seemed in all probability to suggest the Veep was guilty. K.B Quantson had again revealed that while sitting as Ghana’s Vice President, ‘Arkar’ was also a running mate to the largest opposition at the time. This revelation changed my view of Rawlings as a bully. Though Rawlings may have acted wrongly in attacking his Veep, one can understand the frustration if one has all the facts.
I want to use this opportunity to appeal passionately to the following individuals to consider putting their memoirs in writing; Tony Aiddo, Martin Amidu, Totobi Kwakye, Kwesi Botwey, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, Alhaji Bature, Spio Garbrah, Kweku Baako, Tsatsu and Kojo Tsikata and Peter Nanfuri. These and the many others whose names have not readily come to mind for mention should do themselves and Ghana the honour by leaving some footnotes for the younger generation to follow.