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24.10.2007 Author

Attention! Disappointed Revolutionary Cadres


If you were a 30-year-old young man or woman when Rawlings came storming the Ghanaian political arena with his AK 47 assault rifle in 1981, you would be 56 years today. In four year's time, you will be 60 years and due for pension.

If you were a 30-year-old cadre of the revolution and spent all your youthful years serving the revolution, you have lost all the chances to make it in life.

The truth is that those who served the defunct revolution were jettisoned like an unwanted cargo in a cargo vessel. These cadres were like the young Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs), who also laid down their lives during the 1979 uprising.

The sages were right when they said revolution devours its own children. A classic example can easily be found here in my holy village. Those who joined the revolution and could not continue their education are now destitutes.

They are simply unemployed people who live from hand to mouth. During the revolutionary days these young men were drafted into the Workers' Defense Committee (WDC), Militia, Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), Civil Defense Organization, (CDO), the People's Defense Committee (PDC) and many more.

During those wish-to-be-forgotten barbaric days, the cadres were masters of all what they surveyed. They were the self-appointed judges of the people and did not tolerate any nonsense.

Anyone who refused to move in sympathy with the revolution was either chased out of the country, killed or simply made to vanish.

When a certain bearded Kwamena Ahwoi set up his Citizens Vetting Committee (CVC), it was these cadres who reported people perceived to be amassing illegal wealth to the outfit. Like the Young Pioneers of the Nkrumah era, they even reported their parents to Ahwoi's outfit.

As for the WDCs, they made sure even directors kowtowed to them; they could easily request for the transfer or summary dismissal of a manager. Oh!, for the power and the glory!!

These were people who believed in the tenets of the revolution and worked tirelessly to keep the revolution going.

They helped foil many, many coups and made sure the leader of the revolution, J.J. Rawlings got the much needed respect from Ghanaians.

You dared not criticize Rawlings in the presence of a cadre. In fact, anyone who did so could get lost in the night.

It was the cadres who supervised the curfew hours in our villages and could call in the military to take action in case anyone 'played the fool' in the villages. My brother, we suffer before o!

Today, they have grown old and most of them are living in abject poverty while their leaders are swimming in ill-gotten wealth. Like the leader himself, the big men of the revolution are living in buildings of architectural wonder.

Go to East Legon and see wonders! They ride in flashy cars while the real foot soldiers who actually preached the gospel according to the 31st December Movement are living in penury.

To add insults to injury, these cadres have come to realize rather too late that whiles they were revolutionizing, Rawlings and his cohorts were seriously educating their children.

The most disturbing aspect of the lives of the cadres is that, because they were living with the people and still live with them, people continue to curse them for what they did to them during the days of the revolution.

These were men and women who helped also in no small way to rig the 1992 and 1996 general elections for the NDC to come to power but were later treated with contempt by seasoned politicians in the NDC! Very sad indeed.

I remember in the run-up to the 2000 general elections, then candidate Professor Atta Mills met with a cross-section of the cadres at James Town and pleaded with them to join the rank and file of the NDC so that the party could win power one more time.

That message did not sink in because they were peeved already and did not allow themselves to be lured into sacrificing again for no reward.

When Egya Atta lost that election, many of the cadres who were drafted into the National Mobilization Programme and NADMO also lost their jobs. So you see the predicament of the cadres?

Come 2008, Atta Mills would try again to call the cadres to duty. Like the previous call, they will respond but surely, they will not sacrifice.

There is a saying in my village, that it is only a fool who will allow his 'balls' to be trampled on twice. Them no go sit down make you cheat them everyday!. Abi I de lie?