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Opinions of Monday, 9 June 2014

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur Kobina

The failed June 4th revolution

The June 4th revolution was an utter failure. There is not one lasting achievement of that uprising that anyone can point to. Not one.
Three and one-half decades on, the evils that June 4th sought to correct are not just still with us—they have grown stronger.
That is why the advocates of June 4th should pipe down, hung their heads in shame, apologize to the families of those killed needlessly and allow us to endure our misery in peace.
It sought to institutionalize accountability but today, with judgment debts, GYEEDA, Akomfemgate, Merchantbankgate and an endless alphabet-soup of scandals engulfing government, there is no accountability.
It was meant to instill fear into public officials and make them fearful of being corrupt but these days, NDC party functionaries openly discuss how to amass wealth while in office as Ama Benyiwa Doe and Allottey Jacobs did on school contracts in the Central region—corruption is alive and well. Our governments happily buy our votes with our money so that they can continue looting from the public treasury. Indeed, President Rawlings himself acknowledged the futility of his revolution when he said, “The sacrilege we committed was that the NDC abandoned the alter of its high moral standing.” Indeed.
The hospitals that were grave-yards are still grave-yards and our healthcare system still stinks—except that they are worse. Ask the relatives and friends of Prez Mills and P.V. Obeng.
It was meant to bring justice and yet still, we sentence poor people stealing “akomfem” to years in prison while not prosecuting the elites who steal millions. The justice did not come. It has retreated further.
It was meant to instill humility but today, arrogance on the part of our leaders is the order of the day. The leaders of the NDC happily dance to defiant tunes of Lumba’s “Yentie obiara”.
The sad fact is that those who were in the front ranks of June 4th are perhaps the most egregious offenders. As President Rawlings put it, “If we were to use the yardstick of June 4th, 1979, a lot more people will be paying a bigger price.” Think about it. If we woke up tomorrow and had another group of young men shouting” let the blood flow”, who amongst the leaders of the party of Rawlings would escape severe punishment? President Rawlings? The President? General Mosquito? The civil servants with their paltry pay salaries and incongruously large mansions?
The NDC is conducting the most corrupt administration in the annals of our history and yet the man who inspired June 4th cannot raise his voice against the pervasive corruption. He has been reduced to reciting the fiction that all the evils in our society started with the Kufuor administration. He does not recall SCANCEM, the cement scandal—He does not recall MABEY and JOHNSON, the British construction firm that was convicted of paying bribes to members of his government. He does not recall the sale of state assets to his wife and her friends at “donkomi” prices!! He does not recall how a young woman, Ms Cotton, who knew nothing about growing rice walked off with 20 milling USD of our hard-earned money in what was probably one of the biggest heists in our history.
As George Bernard Shaw once put it, “No one can look at the condition of the masses without desiring revolution—and yet—revolutions have never lightened the burdens of tyranny. They have only shifted it on to other shoulders.”
We need revolutions that will leave something tangible for the masses—not just the big men. We need revolutionaries who will build and not destroy—men who will comfort the afflicted instead of just comforting the powerful.
Let us move forward--- together.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy