Rawlings Regretted the Rotten Fruits of His Populist Revolution
I am not the least bit surprised that a daughter of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings would so casually and unconscionably presume to justify the wanton atrocities perpetrated by the leader of the so-called December 31st Revolution against the good and hardworking people of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, otherwise known as Third-Republican Ghana (See “Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings Justifies Her Father’s 31st December Coup” Modernghana.com 1/18/21). Ms. Asantewaa Rawlings is reported to have made her remarks justifying the savage slaughtering of the Accra High Court Judges and the retired Ghana Army Major, among a host of largely innocent Ghanaian citizens, at a tribute-paying ceremony hosted by a group called Cuban-Trained Ghanaian Graduates’ Association (ESBECAN).
Among the Akan, there is a popular saying that “A good son/daughter does not point to the direction of his/her father’s hometown with his/her left hand.” Still, the major problem that Ms. Rawlings has here is that since standing down from the Presidency, both as a military strongman and a brutal dictator, as well as a democratically elected leader, some twenty years ago, till the very end of his life at 73 years old, Chairman Rawlings never ceased regretting the fact that he had produced a far worse caliber of politicians than ever existed prior to launching his so-called December 31st Revolution and, prior to the latter catastrophic event, the equally brutal and bloody so-called Housecleaning Exercise, also undertaken by the Rawlings-led junta of the so-called Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), which shortly turned out to be a veritable Ethnic-Cleansing Exercise.
For example, Chairman Rawlings is on record as having incessantly and caustically castigated former President John “Akonfem-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama, one of his vintage “revolutionary” products and his former Communications Minister, as being incontestably the most thoroughgoing corrupt President ever to have emerged in postcolonial Ghana and, in particular, Ghana’s Fourth Republic, and a diabolical politician who made Mr. Rawlings deeply regret his summary execution of former military rulers like Generals Acheampong, Akuffo and Afrifa, among several others. Now, precisely how does the preceding wistful and rueful observation and public confession by the late morally self-righteous bloody half-Scottish and half-Ghanaian dictator square up with the insufferably mendacious testimony of Mr. Rawlings’ own daughter, namely, Ms. Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings? And precisely what wrongs did the man who introduced the naked stealing of state-owned real-estate properties correct during the protracted course of his dictatorship?
As well, it is equally significant to underscore the fact that Ms. Rawlings was much too young to have fully appreciated the critical details of the so-called Rawlings Revolution, especially regarding the fact that in less than two years after criminally ousting the Limann-led democratically elected government of the People’s National Party, the Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) had resorted to pursuing the very same IMF-World Bank-cocktailed economic policies which Chairman Rawlings gave as his main pretext for overthrowing the Presidency of the democratically elected Dr. Hilla “Babini” Limann. Mr. Rawlings did not have much that was flattering to say about the late President John Evans Atta-Mills either. At the gravesite of the first Fourth-Republican Ghanaian President to die in office, a visibly disoriented and agitated Chairman Rawlings irreverently declared his great disappointment in the manner in which his former protégé and Vice-President had governed the country.
It must also be significantly observed that the privileged and extravagant comfort of the children of Chairman Rawlings, and the Rawlings family, in general, to be certain, likely heavily cushioned “Super-Class” Ghanaian citizens like Ms. Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings against the deleterious and, in many instances, the lethal ravages of the globally discredited Kwesi Botchwey-midwifed Structural Adjustment Program (SAP). I have noted ad nauseam that the so-called June 4th Revolution or, properly speaking, Uprising, was absolutely needless because the Akuffo-led junta of the Supreme Military Council (SMC-II) was already on the verge of handing over the reins of governance to a democratically elected civilian leader and political party. By June 4, 1979, when the bloody Rawlings Posse struck, the hitherto military ban on the civic activities of political parties had been lifted, and electioneering campaigns were in full blast and high dudgeon all over the country.
To be certain, the so-called June 4th Revolution actually set back the onward clock to Ghana’s Third-Republican democratic development by at least two months. Plus, the government of the Limann-led People’s National Party was never really given the chance to expertly resolve the socioeconomic problems of the country, which were further compounded by the hopelessly inept Rawlings-led junta of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council. You see, rather than wax blockheadedly about rotting cocoa beans in the hinterlands that direly needed to be transported to the ports for export, Ms. Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings needs to inform Ghanaians precisely what economically progressive and constructive policy measures and initiatives were put in place to industrially transform the country’s cocoa industry. I have often queried, without success, the annual salaries and perks paid the Rawlingses by the woefully under-resourced Ghanaian taxpayer during the 11 years that Chairman Rawlings dominated Ghana’s political culture as a de facto strongman.
This is the crux of our national fabric of rank and rancid corruption that Ghanaians ought to be talking about, especially in view of the fact that all the officially known children of the late Chairman Rawlings and his now-widowed spouse and former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, were, each and every one of them, schooled abroad in some of the most expensive academies anywhere on Earth.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
January 19, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]
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