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Opinions of Saturday, 4 June 2011

Columnist: Adu, Kwesi

The June 4 Libation

*By Kwasi Adu*

*(Holding an open bottle of Henkes Schnapps in one hand and water –for
those who do not take alcohol- in the other).*

Nananom, Nsamanfo, mo ngye nsa nom. Here is your drink. LAC Osei Tutu, here
is your drink. Lt Agyeman-Bio, a drink! Cpl. C.C. Addai. a drink!. Sgt.
Matthew Awaar, Drink! Cpl. Halidu Giwa. Drink!. Sergeant Malik; your drink!
Pte Sylvester Tanti Adamogire, Drink! Pte Abdulai Gamel, Drink!! Ekow
Bonard, have a drink! Bartels; here is your drink. Kwame Adjimah, come and
take your drink. We cannot mention all of you; but to all our departed
friends, come for your drink. Tomorrow is June 4. On a day like this, we
remember all of you. All of you who rose up in the name of probity,
accountability, anti-corruption, abuse of power, impunity, defence of truth,
and protection of the poor and disadvantaged.

LAC Osei Tutu; have a drink. You were the first one to fall. That was on
May 15. You did not live to see what happened three weeks later. But when
others heard of the reason behind your move, they rallied and took action to
continue what you had set out to do. When you fell, your wife was pregnant.
Those with whom you moved on May 15 did not ask about, nor even visit your
pregnant wife.

Lt Agyeman-Bio! Have a drink. You are the real hero. You fell on June 4
even before the battle was won. It was your bravery and decisiveness that
made you lead the troops that very dawn. You led from the front, not from
the rear. What an Osahene! The ideals that you held, that spurred you on to
make that decisive move will live on. It does not matter that some of those
who you thought held the same views as you have turned into something else.
They have turned their backs on the very things that you thought they stood
for, and because of which you were prepared to lay down your life. They have
now done very well for themselves, doing the very things that you stood
against and which you thought they also stood against.

Lieutenant, in this world, there are people who for their own selfish
reasons, would pounce on other people’s noble ideals, own them, and make
everyone else think that they believe in them; when in reality they do not
believe a jot of those ideals. What they do is to ride on the back of those
ideals, and also on the backs of people who share those ideals, while
scheming to have personal advantage.

Now that you are on the other side, you know them more clearly now. That
they should have made you to think that they believed in the same ideals
with you and you exchanged you life for theirs is unacceptable. But now you
know the truth.

I cannot possibly mention all the names of the fallen heroes, because if I
start, we will not finish this libation. So collectively, all of you on the
other side, come and take your drink. You are the unsung heroes whom very
few people know.

The heroes that died later, all because you were betrayed, should come for
your drink. Cpl. C.C. Addai. Drink. You died while in exile in Lome in a
gruesome way. As you lay dying, you kept saying that you did not want to be
buried on foreign soil. You wanted to return to Ghana even if you would be
shot in your sick state.

Sgt. Matthew Awaar, (the very handsome one). Drink! Cpl. Halidu Giwa.
Drink!. Sergeant Malik; Drink! Pte Sylvester Tanti Adamogire, Drink! Pte
Abdulai Gamel, Drink!! They told you that 31st December was to redeem the
masses from poverty and want. They told you that although you were from
Northern Ghana, it did not matter if you overthrew a Northern President,
because the struggle was not about ethnicity. In good faith, you agreed.
Now, look at what they did to you later. Before you were murdered (for that
is what it was), you were called “bows and arrows carriers”. What a
turn-around! You paid with your lives, not knowing that they only wanted to
join the elite.

Akatapore (Saarge) is still alive. Zaya, Napoleon, Atamps, Gariba, Yen,
Explo, Nubuor, Braimah, Adabuga, Mambisi, Ali Yemoh, Okpara are all alive.
They all remember you. It’s been some time now since you departed, at the
hands of those for whom you had initially risked your lives. Drink! You were
all shot in the back, against the rules of the military, by people for whom
you fought to bring about 31st December. After you were shot dead, your
lifeless bodies were dragged along the ground in a manner that even a sheep
will not be treated. But you were soldiers, who should not have been treated
in that way. You were the foot-the soldiers, who were not just abandoned,
but murdered in cold blood by people that you originally trusted.

Private Abrokwa, you died while on duty, thinking that you and people in the
leadership were following an ideal. Today, come and see. The ideal has been
abandoned and replaced by self-seeking escapades. Cpl. Frimpong, while on
duty, working to achieve the ideal, you drowned on Nzuleso, in the Western

Dzakpata is here. Steiner is here. Your premature deaths meant that you
could not build the many mansions that the others have built; you could not
send your children abroad to have their education. You just died; just like
that. Very few people remember or know you. But as for us, you are always in
our hearts.

Bartels, another ultimate foot soldier. We remember you as if it were
yesterday. Dzakpata and Steiner salute you. After foot soldiering for so
long, you managed to get yourself a fishing licence. With the help of some
foreign investors, you acquired fishing trawlers to undertake fishing to
contribute to the economy. However, he came, took away your licence, and
gave it to his mother. You then became poor again, eating roasted groundnuts
like we used to do before. When you were diagnosed of diabetes, you did not
even have the money to pay for health services. Your leg was amputated; and
you finally died. How can a person be so callous to his fellow man,
especially one who was supposed to be a friend? But that is how they treat
their foot soldiers. These days, they have resurrected the foot-soldier
trick again. Strengthen the hearts of those you left behind to be bold.

Kwame Adjimah, here is your drink. On the morning of 31st December, when
several people were hesitant to come out to support, you accompanied me to
the June 4 farm at Kantamanso, to bring back the members of the Nungua June
4 Movement branch to hold the first demonstration. Later, they shot you,
first in the legs; and as you fell down, you held the feet of your PNDC
assailant and begged him not to kill you. What he did was to point his
pistol to your head, and pressed the trigger, blowing your head apart. Now
the Nungua branch of June 4 Movement is dead. Alex Bolabi, Naa Adjeley,
Stephen Borquaye etc. are all now “missing in action”.

To all of you, soldiers and civilians, we know that you were
well-intentioned. Even in spite of the betrayals, we plead with you to
forgive your killers and those whose “thank you” for all your work for them
was to murder you. Have a drink.

On such a day, our fond memories of you come to the fore. Be calm. Don’t
haunt your traitors; because if you do, you may be blamed for any calamity
that might befall them. Leave them to their own devices. They will meet
those with larger toes along the way. Send our greetings to the others. One
day, the truth shall be known. Nsa, nsa, nsa, nsuo, nsuo, nsuo!!