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28.10.2004 Feature Article

NRC Report – Are we all Guilty ?

NRC Report – Are we all Guilty ?
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I have done my best for the Bedfordshire Congolese Association, worked damn hard to ensure that the Association serves the need of the local Congolese community who have fled their homes, families and loved ones. Some of the stories that are told by the migrant Congolese and Rwanda refugees are heart rendering I have met guys who have committed unimaginable crimes, looked straight into their eyes and wonder how they did it?
When I worked in Poland (Grudziadz) I visited Auswitchz a few times, befriended an old lady who had lived thorough out the genocide. She found me interesting and thought I asked too many questions. I kept asking her what did the local people do when the Jewish progrom began. How about the churches? Her answers were solemn- she will say, “ My son we were all involved”. I have stood on the site of the Warsaw uprising, prayed and left a flower on the exact spot where once upon a time there was a huge Jewish estate and community. Now there is none.
Folks, my tiny mind cannot understand or comprehend evil. I am fully aware of hundreds of young men, children and women being thrown into toilet pits in Rwanda; of innocent Jewish children (angels) singing their way in to the gas chambers, of virgins and decent women being raped; whole villages pillaged and families being wiped out. In our own country we went through a terrible patch.
The NRC report on the 1986 trials, the torture of Goka, Boamoah et al and the implicit complicity of the authorities and our silence as a society make all of us culpable.
I cannot bring myself to give human names or dignity to that “animal – RSM “ and his lot. The authorities and top echelons at the time knew from (day 1) that they would kill Mawuli, Boamah and co. They knew that the trial was a charade as Agyekum has made it clear in his rebuttal (Ghanaweb 23 October). The truth of the matter was – there was no rule of law, our country had descended into chaos and anarchy. Commandoes acted with impunity – they were the law. That much there is no dispute. At that time we were all cowards- some “animals” masquerading as commandoes had ransomed the nation. Senior Army Officers, Judges, students, farmers all of us kept silent. It took Professor Adu Boahene's speech “Culture of Silence/Fear” to awaken us.
I have written in this column how my Senior Brother Nana Antwi Adjei Kufour Nkusuohene of Nkawie was physically mishandled at Gondar barracks when I went with him to plead for the release of my big brother Andrews Kufuor (Joe) who had been arrested on the orders of Colonel Partington. I watched in disbelief, I was paralysed with fear and did nothing
As Agyekum(legal Consultant and Criminal Justice expert ) says what else could he have done? What could Peter Nanfuri, Dr Koranteng et al have done? I understand you mate – we were all guilty For one thing the suffering that this young men went through was hell. Their pain is now our pain, their suffering our collective shame, their agonies our agony, their cries our tears, their deaths a stain on the conscience of a nation.
The current administration is not vengeful, hateful or spiteful. The President has said they will be no witch-hunt. In our good old Ghanaian tradition most of our folks would “ say fa ma nyame”. As a country and a people we are forgiving and God-fearing. Vengeance is mine says the Lord
I only wish Agyekum had been a bit more contrite, had shown a bit of remorse and not used 8 pages of Ghanaweb to engage in diatribe and “big English and legal jurisprudence”. He was right in one thing “ a coup plotter is a coup plotter, corruption is corruption, causing financial loss is causing financial loss and when uncovered, arrested, arraigned tried and found guilty and sentenced so be it and so shall it be” – Fighting talk. Oh Agyekum, come of it – when did splitting ones penis, cutting ones flesh and burning testicles become acceptable as a form of trial?
When did this primitive form of torture entered into our psyche? Where did “Bebli and co developed such animal instincts? Torture is not new to mankind it has been used and continues to be used by even civilized states. Denial of food, submerging one in a tank full of water, throwing one to the Crocodiles (Charles Taylor), dumping enemies in Acid, throwing them from airplanes and even removing toenail continues to be practiced by despotic leaders.
What I have not come across is splitting ones penis and cutting ones flesh to give it to him to eat. I am not sure that even in medieval times that would have been acceptable?
My only prayers is that as a nation we must never allow ourselves to fall into the pit of darkness, we must all work like mad to entrench the democratic principles in our bellies, we must never allow the gun to be the determinant of our future. We must never allow a situation when Ghanaian women are stripped naked and assaulted by men in uniform; when young guys like Goka, Boamah et al are cannibalized?
To all those indicted in the NRC report your conscience will be your judge. For my part, I ask the good Lord to forgive me, for keeping quiet, for passing by and not being my brother's keeper. I understand my mortality.
What non of us can escape is the final day - one day we will all meet our maker and maybe just maybe “”Bebli” would see Goka and Boamah again- remember Lazarus?
God Bless Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.


Kufuor Appiah-Danquah
Kufuor Appiah-Danquah, © 2004

The author has 30 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KufuorAppiahDanquah

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