•Over Rawlings Toilet Water
Mr. Chris Asher Jnr, the lawyer who escaped from prison custody during the days of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) junta and went abroad, has hit at former President Jerry John Rawlings for deriding the country before the foreign media.
The former President, in an interview granted to Reuters, a foreign news agency some time ago, had said that the water in his water closet was cleaner than that which the rural folks in Ghana drank.
“The water in my toilet tank is much cleaner that the water that the majority of our rural folk are drinking,” he had told Reuters in his criticism of Ghana's Golden Jubilee celebration.”
Chris Asher said such an utterance, coming at a time when the country was about to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of her independence was not only humiliating but an insult to its people, especially from somebody who ruled the country for 20 years.
“God have mercy on this man who sees himself as a god and saviour of this nation,” he stated with sarcasm and scorn.
Condemning the decision to send a delegation to the former president to have him grace the celebration, he said the Chief Executive of the Ghana @ 50 Secretariat should have asked one of his operatives to deliver such an invitation, not the caliber of citizens which did so at the behest of government.
Government, last week, sent eminent personalities comprising Council of State members, the clergy and traditional leaders to formally invite the former president to the activities of Ghana @ 50.
The Prof Daniel Adzei Bekoe-led delegation was expected to brief President Kufuor yesterday on its visit to the Ridge residence of Rawlings.
During their visit, members of the delegation received tongue-lashing from the former President, who refused to see them off.
Speaking from his base abroad, Chris Asher took exception to Mr. Rawlings' criticism of the celebrations during his interview with Reuters.
Mr. Chris Asher made a spectacular appearance at the hearings of the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) after a botched attempt by some groups to have him stay away from the proceedings.
He testified in the matter of the murdered judges, relating how he met fugitive Cpl Amedeka at the Nsawam Prison who confirmed the killings during their incarceration by the PNDC junta headed by the then Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
Chris Asher derided Rawlings' statement that “Ghana has nothing to celebrate because the freedom that was unleashed as a result of the revolt in 1981 and its creative energy has been destroyed by the ruling NPP.”
Such a man, he noted, should have been behind bars as the country marked her Golden Jubilee “with the water in his WC so filthy and stagnant that it can change his complexion.”
He said only one thing could win Rawlings to President John Agyekum Kufuor and that, he said, was “handing over the governance and the reigns of power to him. If you want to do so, just go ahead.
Otherwise let Jerry Rawlings continue to eat his misery. The man has no respect for you, your government and the nation.”
Mr. Asher therefore pleaded with President Kufuor not to bother himself with winning Rawlings to his side because doing so would be sanctioning the atrocities credited to the former Air Force pilot.
“Mr. President, you have done enough to win the respect of the nation and the world at large. Winning Rawlings to your side won't add an iota of honour to your achievements,” he said.
Rubbishing the oft-mentioned 'freedom' by the former president, Chris Asher who is an ex-serviceman, having served in the Army Education Corps, asked “what freedom did the murdered judges and the retired Army Major get before they were murdered under your junta?
“Did the eight top military officers who were murdered get the type of justice Abodakpi got?
“Did anybody get the type of justice Tsatsu Tsikata is getting under your junta as the man walks about, making mockery of our judicial system?”
He asked yet again, “What freedom did Dr. Chris Asher (his elder brother) have to protect his property and his press from seizure and pillage and even have his pet dog and three sheep riddled with bullets?” The questions could go on and on, he said.
Many Ghanaians, he said, lost their lives as a result of the unbearable treatment they received at the hands of Rawlings, pointing at the late President Limann, de Graft Johnson, Okutwer Bekoe and many others.
Ever since his spectacular escape from prison, Asher has lived in exile just as his elder brother Chris Asher, the journalist.