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24.01.2004 Feature Article

Anti-Constitution Coup Fears - Rejoinder

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In his article on Ghanaweb, former AFRC member F. Ansah Atiemo sought to justify the now infamous 1979 mutiny as an exercise to restore constitutional rule. Mr. Atiemo clearly revealed his true color. Mr. Atiemo’s article was the typical insidious and anti-democracy canard employed by African tyrants and dictators to bolster their absurd claims to power. We have heard this refrain before. What made this particular article interesting was the timing. Mr. Atiemo wrote this article to coincide with Mr. Rawlings’ subpoena to appear before the NRC. Mr. Ateimo did not have to choose this circuitous route to mislead Ghanaians. How can he use the constitution to justify a mutiny? What he failed to mention was that before the AFRC mutiny, a process was already in place by the SMC to return the country to constitutional rule. The nebulous concept of Union government had been rejected massively by Ghanaians. Political campaign was in full swing. What the AFRC did was to unleash a reign of terror on the nation. House Cleaning Exercise During the heady days of the so-called revolution, the general refrain was “house cleaning exercise”. House cleaning they did. They did not throw away everything they found in the house. They found many valuables in the process and kept them as perks. Who wouldn’t do that? Rawlings’ apotheosis to ‘Junior Jesus in business suit’ from the famished Flight Lieutenant of June 4 1979, scholarships to AFRC members and other gratuitous awards, illegal seizure of private properties all occurred during the AFRC era. In fact it was the AFRC rule that paved the way for the second coming of Rawlings. Mr. Rawlings relished being the cynosure of Ghana politics. Rawlings delighted being called the Head of State. The pomp, the cameras, the microphones make that office a narcissist's delight and Rawlings is no exception. Other than executing the seven generals, and soiling the name of Ghana, Rawlings was a remarkably inconsequential leader. Never intended to be sidelined, he came back to unseat the constitutional government. Now Mr. Atiemo is telling us that the AFRC came to restore constitutional rule? This is hogwash. His unwillingness to accept the reality of his predicament should not surprise anyone. All the AFRC members are either delusional or grotesquely naïve in assessing their place in Ghana’s checkered history. Their political monomania evolves around that absurd messianic logic of arrogating to themselves the right to call the AFRC the “Saviors of Ghana”. Misguided Romanticism The AFRC members were more driven by the misguided romanticism and idealism of their youth rather than by an attempt to restore democracy in Ghana. Disdain or affection for Rawlings and his AFRC mutineers has roiled public discourse on democracy in Ghana. Today Ghanaians have seen with their own eyes who were the true beneficiaries of the AFRC mutiny. Mr. Atiemo’s article is another disingenuous attempt to perpetuate the myth of AFRC as a group of democratic idealists. His article makes a crude attempt to substitute a democratic euphemism for a military dictatorship. It is too late in the day to resuscitate an anachronistic concept that was poignantly rejected by the good people of Ghana as tyrannical when they voted to usher in constitutional rule. A military putsch under any guise is unconstitutional. It’s time to abandon any false ideology of calling the AFRC rule an attempt to restore democratic rule in Ghana. A coup is a coup is a coup no matter how you slice it. AFRC rule, a democratic rule? Give me a break. Baffour Ennin.(Washington DC) Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Baffour Ennin
Baffour Ennin, © 2004

The author has 18 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: BaffourEnnin

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