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Opinions of Friday, 4 June 2010

Columnist: Akoto, Akwasi A. Afrifa

This is what June 4th is Really About.

Every nation has dates that they collectively hold in the highest esteem. Each nation also has events and dates that they try to relegate to the back of their minds; to foot notes of history. Some nations even go great lengths to erase some of these dates and memories from their history.

All the multiple reasons why a nation chooses to remember or to forget certain dates and memories are glaringly obvious. (Your time would not be wasted here.) But the most significant events that nations choose to remember, aside from Independence, are the events of tragic proportions. For example, the most significant date for Texans (a self-assumed nation within a nation) is the Siege of the Alamo, where two hundred and fifty Texans chose death rather than surrender to Mexican forces. (“Remember the Alamo”). Leonidies and the three hundred occupied a similar place in Sparta history.

On the other hand, the Germans are trying as hard as possible to forget the tragic days of the Third Reich. Whereas, the U.S is implicitly, trying to erase the massacre of the Native Indians from its history books. (Thanksgiving holiday is about …….and not due to the Indians only) But in what above category would one place June 4 and his twin brother, 31st, two tragic events?

We know what we know and they know what they know. But the real question is what does June 4th and 31st mean?

General Afrifa was shot. We say it is murder; they say it is a penalty. Why was General Acheampong shot? They say it was a revolution; we say it was cowardice. Why stage a revolution? Democracy was on its way and Democracy was already in place, we say; they reply, twice the democracies were a sham. Over all when we ask what we should call the events of the twin brothers, so as to give it meaning? They say it is a revolution thus, we must hold them in the highest esteem and celebrate as such; we say it is a coup d’être and must be punishable by death but we prefer non acknowledgement.

For we do not understand why, a revolution would replace democracy, twice, with a democracy, when it is universally known that the only way to legitimately replace a democratic government with another democratic government is through the ballot box; but not through a revolution.

History tells us that the Spirit of 76 completely replaced Monarchial Constitution with a Democracy; Robespierre and Co overthrew a Monarchy for Republicanism; Castro kicked out Dictatorship and brought in Socialism; Lenin uprooted the Royal tenants from the Kremlin, installing Communism.

History also tell us that a true revolution starts, and only starts, after years of political education designed to awaken the revolutionary spirit of the people in order for them to rise up on their own. It tells us that it is not a revolution if and when a few men storms a Palace kill the democratically elected occupants and then proceed to impose a doctrine on the people. That is regarded as a palace coup; a coup d’être. The situation becomes more tragic when these few people, later gives back to the people, the very same thing that they initially, deprived them of. That is called lack of vision and wickedness. Furthermore, History warns us that if the message dies before the messenger, he is a false Prophet.

History has, therefore interceded into this debate and has rendered a judgment thus:

With each passing year, June 4th continues to lose steam. With every passing year, the fervor which surrounds these events continues to diminish. At the moment, more than half of the nation does not acknowledge it. All these signs lead to only one conclusion: That no significant date or event would exhibit these symptoms; symptoms of decay, symptoms of lack of energy, symptoms of apathy on the part of the populace. June 4th and 31st are neither revolutions nor country changing experiences. We are right back to where we started. When History dissects June 4th and 31st with his microscope, they are nothing but two of those unfortunate and meaningless events that every nation experiences and only meaningful to the “Hermits” of a nation. Finally, as these “hermits” and their opportunistic disciples continue to celebrate these dates, (for the only reason that, they serve as templates and inspiration for future revolutions to replace democracy with democracy), so must we continue to remember these dates in order to keep our instincts sharpened for the prevention of a seemingly and an inevitable reoccurrence.

Akwasi A. Afrifa Akoto.