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22.02.2004 Feature Article

NRC- One of the Questions Rawlings Wasn't Asked

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Some of us who have been observing the proceedings of the NRC since its inception were recently very surprised not only about the drama surrounding the appearance of Ghana's former head of state, Jerry John Rawlings, but about the sole question that was addressed to him and his response to it. It beggers believe that after all the hype about getting to the bottom of the truth of some of the truly despicable acts that occured on his watch, the NRC concentrated on only one question and failed to seek answers to other very contemptible acts which can be directly attributed to him.

One of the questions that comes to mind which I beleive is equally very important, to hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ghanaian folks is "Why did you demolish Makola Market and put other relatively successful Ghanaian Enterprises out of business ?

If we should cast our minds back to 1979, Makola was undoubtedly one of the power houses of Ghanaian Entrepreneurship and wealth creation. The Women and Men of that era who were engaged in meaningful economic activity, which was very relevant to the socio economic development of the country and its citizens had their livelihoods terminated with just another stroke of thoughtleness by a young hothead who had proclaimed himself the saviour of his countrymen.Have we really realised that on that fateful day in 1979, not only did thousands of hard working Ghanaian entrepreneurs, women and men, suddenly loose their jobs and assets but hundreds of thousands of their dependants were plunged into poverty and deperation unneccessarily.

The hard working entrepreneurs, their families and relatives had worked very hard, secured their own sources of finances, built their own businesses through sweat and toil under difficult circumstances and were operating in the prevailing economic environment. Hey, a few of them may have been indulging in illegal activity, but who wasn't in the shameful era of military adventurism that we experienced in the period preceeding the first coming of "Jesus' younger brother"

Now Ghana did not have a welfare state then, and it certainly has not got a welfare system now. For example it was common knowledge that a Makola Woman operating in those days, did not only have responsibility for the welfare of her children and even husband, but in most cases was looking after the welfare of tens of other distant relatives in her hometown. She was probably feeding them, paying for their school fees, helping other siblings to set up on their own and in most cases was the sole source of finance for the whole extended family.

As usual our Country does not see the value of research, but I am sure if one should have been undertaken to determine the reasons for the poverty and hunger that subsequently afflicted the country for many years after this despicable act, I have no doubt that one would have found out that, not only was the welfare of a significant section of the Ghanaian enterpreneural community and their dependants reduced to ruin , but a lot more of the beneficiaries of their efforts lost their lives, hopes and aspirations. Some of Ghana's citizens and their dependants are still suffering and the state is not even thinking of compensation for their plight.

Did the leader of the "glorious revolution" care about them ? No they were left to their own fate and the repurcussions are still being felt in various communities up and down the country. Is this not a classic example of how the actions of an uneducated, uninformed mindset of an aspiring leader of a country can cause serious harm to the economic welfare and advancement of its own citizens.

Too many peoples lives have been ruined by other thoughtless actions, perpetrated by other followers of "Jesus' Junior Brother" and if the country is to heal, all these issues must be looked at and the NRC must seek explanations to determine the mindset that made some of these crimes possible. That is the only way we can exorcise the ghost of the sad episode of one Ghanaians inhumanity to another Ghanaian, that occured in our recent history. Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Stephen Nyako
Stephen Nyako, © 2004

The author has 15 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: StephenNyako

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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