As usual, the obvious detractors of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have gone on the attack, a gratuitous onslaught that may be aptly deemed, in real terms, to be even bloodier than the mayhem wreaked in Anloga last Thursday (11/1/07).
Still, what more than grates and rankles the refined sensibilities of many a well-meaning Ghanaian, is the fact that the very elements that created the poisonous environment that culminated in the repugnant, heinous and abject human butchery that took place in the Anlo capital, would also have Ghanaians perceive them to be placid voices of reason and conciliation. Else, for instance, how could Professor John Evans Atta-Mills, the perennially-decreed presidential candidate of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) be faulting the Kufuor Administration for “allowing innocent Ghanaians to die before making lame attempts at dousing the flames”?
Americans have a quite instructive dictum that: “The devil is in the details.” What the preceding quote simply means is that the reality of the Anloga chieftaincy carnage was anything but spontaneous. And here also must be highlighted the fact that the Anlo Traditional State, whose seat of indigenous governance is located at Anloga, has been without a Paramount Chief for a little over a decade. This, in effect, means that the series of unfortunate events that swelled to a head in the ugly clashes of November 1, 2007, actually began to simmer under the swashbuckling tenure of the so-called National Democratic Congress. And we must also further observe the quite pedestrian fact that traditionally, Anloga ought to have had a new Paramount Chief installed by the eve of the democratic assumption of the reins of governance by the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Alas, as is the political hallmark of the Rawlings-chaperoned NDC, the latter chose to shirk this most critical responsibility, very likely with the view to creating mischief and thereby reaping a lurid and invidious political capital out of what has now become known as the Anlo Chieftaincy Carnage.
What makes an evidently bad situation unpardonably appalling is the fact that Ghana's de facto strongman for some twenty extortionate and protracted years, Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, is a native of Anloland. And so the logical question becomes: Why did the one-man, one-toilet radical revolutionary allow the Anlo chieftaincy impasse to unnecessarily fester and crudely explode in the manner in which it did on November 1, 2007?
One thing, however, is inescapably clear: The involvement, or appropriation, of AK-47 assault rifles in the Anloga massacre could not have been sheer happenstance. For the Anlo Traditional Area, or State, appears nowhere on any map as an AK-47-manufacturing region, or locality, either in Ghana, itself, or abroad. Simply put, the first port-of-call, by way of forensic investigation into the Anlo Chieftaincy Carnage, is to establish the supply source of the AK-47 assault rifles used by non-military personnel in the widely-reported human butchery that took place. And it goes without saying that once the necessary evidence has been gathered, all the culprits, or suspects, involved must be promptly arraigned before a legitimate court of law and unreservedly sanctioned.
We must also significantly recall for the benefit of well-meaning Ghanaians two salient facts. One is the fact that until Mr. Rawlings violently appeared on the Ghanaian political scene with his self-styled posse of gangsters called the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), most Ghanaians had never heard of an assault rifle called “AK-47.” To be certain, prior to his bloody onslaught in June 1979, most Ghanaians, including yours truly, could not tell the difference between a Winchester double-barrel hunter's gun from an AK-47. And so, perhaps, Ghanaians ought to be thinking about renaming the AK-47 “Jerry Joe Jato” or some such historically accurate designation. And it is precisely for the foregoing reason that Professor John Evans Atta-Mills must promptly and aptly be told off for his imperious hypocritical pretense.
Second, must be recalled the fact that the apparent glut of AK-47s in Ghanaian society began with the introduction of Commando Forces by ex-President Jerry John Rawlings, in a bid to instilling morbid fear into many a well-meaning and unsuspecting Ghanaian citizen, thereby perpetuating his sanguinary tenure. Indeed, it is in reminiscence of the preceding incontrovertible fact that this article comes by its succinct and proverbial title of “Chickens Come Home to Roost at Anloga.” For eerily strikingly, Mr. Rawlings, in cavalierly presuming to either personally supervise or induce murderous outrage against other non-Anlo-Ewe Ghanaians, appears to have woefully forgotten that the fate and destiny of his own Anlo tribesmen and women are inextricably intertwined with those of every other Ghanaian, irrespective of ethnicity, creed or station in life.
In his rather opprobrious and desultory press release, Professor Atta-Mills makes the following self-righteous and self-serving observation: “It is highly unacceptable[,] the way President Kufuor and his NPP government are carving an image which portrays them as people who only act after the worse [sic] has happened.”
Exactly what the one-term Rawlings second-bananas means by the foregoing is not quite clear; unless, of course, the preceding is in direct reference to the fact that President Kufuor and his New Patriotic Party government took over a shell-shocked Ghanaian political landscape veritably, unconscionably and unabashedly minted by the gross mis-governance of the so-called National Democratic Congress. Then again, would Professor Atta-Mills deny the obvious fact that Ghanaians endured far many more chieftaincy disputes under the so-called Provisional National Democratic Congress (P/NDC) than any postcolonial Ghanaian government? And so why would this purportedly expert Ghanaian lawyer attempt to offer such a bold-faced lie in apparent exchange for the sacred mandate of his countrymen and women? Unless, of course, he takes Ghanaians for dupes? Or does Professor Mills think that December 2008 is so far away as to give him ample time to cover his devious and mendacious tracks?
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of twelve books, including “Sounds of Sirens: Essays in African Politics and Culture” (iUniverse.com, 2004). E-mail: [email protected]
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