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02.08.2006 Politics

Josiah Aryeh tells own story

By JFM
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Law lecturer, former National Democratic Congress scribe and Ga Dangme activist Nii Armah Josiah Aryeh, who for sometime now has elected to hibernate in a self-induced political limbo following the change of guards at the NDC headquarters after the party's acrimonious Koforidua Congress will, in the next few weeks, launch a book.

“Crucify him – the attempt to wreck the NDC from within” is the title of Dr Josiah Aryeh's autobiography, being published by Sakumo Books. The Statesman has the exclusive rights to preview the book, the launching of which may be timed to coincide with the nomination of a new presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress.

The book's 21 chapters, charts the former General Secretary of the NDC's life from early education, his life at East London, through the penultimate chapter, Sour Grapes, to After word. There is a whole chapter on the founder of the NDC, Rawlings, and a chapter self-descriptively titled, Who Will Cast the Cruelest Stone, through Alive in a Coffin, to Withdrawal.

It is the voice of a man who feels betrayed. The book opens with Psalm 137(3), “And they that wasted us required of us mirth,” which gives the reader a taste of what to expect.

The preface tells the bitterness that the author has carried with him out of a party he believes he sacrificed so much for. “He worked tirelessly and wholeheartedly for the Party. In return he got more than his fair share of pain and disappointment.”

“In my capacity as General Secretary,” says Dr Aryeh, “I was never paid a farthing. My office denied petty cash and I had no imprest whatsoever. In a word, I was denied the wherewithal to perform. Not even travel and vehicle maintenance allowance were put my way.”

The law lecturer notes, “In saying these, I am aware of seductive propaganda put out to the contrary. I do know also that rather than disprove assertions such as these with solid evidence, the usual style in our country is to get some compromised individual to make a few statements on radio and in the print media with which to further tarnish the victim.

It is my intention here to lay that and other falsehoods and wicked inventions to rest once and for all.”

The aura of importance he believes has been invested in his autobiography stems from “the web of lies, conspiracy and betrayal” surrounding the author's “departure from office as the General Secretary of the nation's largest opposition party…”

His prolonged and heated differences with Obed Yao Asamoah, who was NDC Chairman when Dr Aryeh was General Secretary, are here chronicled at length. Dr Aryeh describes Dr Obed Asamoah as a man with a determination to destroy.

A cursory reading of the book may deceive the author to think Obed was everything that was wrong with the NDC and with his departure all will be well.

Dr Aryeh writes, “There is a canker in the heart of the party deriving from the ambitions and underhand schemes of one man he describes as a “nasty incubus”.

“Under Obed a sclerosis of objectivity afflicted the Party. Every way to a solution was barred. Internal democracy was manipulated,” says the author.

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