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09.10.2008 Feature Article

Former President Rawlings And The "Murderer" Tag

Former President Rawlings And The

Hon Kennedy Adjeapong NPP Member of Parliament for one of the constituencies in the Central Region has always made it his stock-in-trade to call former President Rawlings a murderer, anytime it suits his fancy and his political ploys to divert attention from the real "kenkey and fish" issues of the times and when serious people are busy talking about serious national issues.

Hon. Kennedy Adjeapong has been at it again during this crucial election year. His purpose this time is to sabotage Professor Atta - Mills' electioneering campaign by his puerile attempts to drive a wedge between the NDC and the former President. By tagging President Rawlings a "murderer" because of the executions that took place in the wake of June 4 Revolution, Hon. Kennedy Adjeapong hopes to destroy the chances of the NDC and Prof. Atta-Mills winning the crucial elections in December this year.

But Hon. Adjeapong's vituperations are hogwash, because they are not supported by the facts. Mr. Adjeapong must be told to take time off and research very well into the recent political history of Ghana before coming out with such balderdash.

To prove that Hon. Kennedy Adjeapong is completely ignorant of the events that took place in 1979, probably because he was too young at that time and also unwilling to educate himself, the present writer wishes to reproduce verbatim, an Article titled: "Who Killed the Generals,?" written by Justice Abban and published in the1 Daily Graphic of Saturday, June 28 2003. Quote...

“Who Killed the Generals? Asks Justice Abban - RECENTLY, an eminent Ghanaian lawyer, Mr. Adumoah Bossman, appeared before the National Reconciliation Committee, (NRC) in Accra. The appearance was for the lawyer to testify before the commission and cross examine ex-Corpora! Adabuga who had at an earlier sitting, made certain allegations and flat statements. ex-Corporal Adabuga claimed he was a leading activist of the June 4 Uprising.

“Some misinformation went into the presentation of the Ex-Corporal. It is for this reason that this writer seeks to corroborate some of the statements made by Mr. Adumoah Bossman and to straighten some of the statements made by ex-Corporal Adabuga.

“Following the June 4 event, some Ghanaian Army Generals were executed by firing squad. The executions started with a former Head of State, General Ignatuis Kutu Acheampong, and General Utuka, then Border Guards Commander.

The two executions were carried out because the Border Guards unit was said to be corrupt at the time. For Genera! Acheampong, Ghanaians were told that he said he was prepared to die. These revelations came up during the trails, whether kangaroo or human.

“Lawyer Adumoah Bossman worked closely with the power base of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, (AFRC), the Arakan Baracks. When the lawyer did appear before the NRC, he spoke about what he knew about some allegations made by ex-Corporal Adabuga.

“Since the NRC started sitting, I have always felt the urge to come out with a statement on a subject of national interest. However, I hesitated, for I knew the right opportunity will present itself. I do think this is the right time. In Ghana, the truth has always been bitter to some people. Hearsays are preferred to hard facts. And with due apology to the eminent persons on the NRC this is what is going on in some cases being heard at the NRC.

“Some of these cases coming up at the NRC are pathetic. Some people who suffered at the time were victims of circumstance. There is nothing wrong for them to be given the chance to tell their stories for true national reconciliation. This is all that the reconciliation exercise is meant to be. But for some elderly people to swear on the Bible, the crucifix or the Koran and colour their presentations with blatant lies does not speak well of the nation and the people in it. Our future leaders, the children must be told the truth, about the past. Part of this history, to me must come out from the NRC sittings untainted.

“Excesses there were along the way. Some soldiers took the law into their own hands and went beyond bounds in their actions. That does not mean June 4 must be wished away as pan of our history. Is the history of a nation made of only sweet memories? At the ongoing NRC sittings, however, some soldiers have been heard exonerating themselves and pushing blames on one person. My concern today is to help set the records straight, as stated by Lawyer Adumoah Bossman in his exposition concerning the execution of some army officers in 1979.

“AFRC Captian Boakye Djan and Major Mensah Poku, went into voluntary exile in the United Kingdom after the AFRC handed over power to the Limann Government. The paths of the members of the AFRC had crossed over the issue of "let the blood flow" by some extremists. Even a cross-section of civil society thought likewise. People perceived to be bad nuts in society had some compatriots calling for their "blood to flow". The clarion call for more executions was opposed by the moderate among the AFRC members, including the leader of the Junta, Fit. Lt. Rawlings.

“So I pause to ask, Who executed the army officers? During his presentation at the NRC, Lawyer Adumoah Bossman told the commission how Rawlings felt about the executions when he met him after they had been carried out. This attracted a sarcastic remark from a female member of the commission whether Fit Lt Rawlings was not in control at the time. The answer to the question I have posed above was given by those who committed the offence four years after the executions.

“Two former members of the AFRC, Major Mensah Poku and Captain Boakye Djan, at a news conference at the Ambassador Hotel in Accra claimed credit for the executions.

“According to them they had come from London to set records straight. The two men boldly hit their chest, so to speak, that they ordered the executions. They went ahead and said Fit. Lt. Rawlings did not know anything about the executions.

“The statement at the news conference is there in the newspaper of those days.

“Unfortunately, what Ghana Television recorded on film got burnt in the fire outbreak in 1987 that engulfed the production block which housed GBC's film library. So what are we talking about?

“When the ruling NPP came to power in the 2001, some presenters at some FM Stations, for want of cheap popularity and practice of yellow journalism, made noise about getting Captain Boakye Djan to Ghana for the truth about the executions to come out. These later day journalists, some of whom were still in elementary school in 1979, projected themselves on their programmes as "Mister-knows-alls". Instead of checking their facts or reading what lies in history to be abreast of the time and news, they went ahead casting insinuations at former President Rawlings.

“I beg to ask that three years after their noise making and their phone-ins with Captain Boakye Djan, why has he not come down to satisfy the whims and caprices of these presenters?

“This is time for him to come and confirm the statement made at the news conference in 1983. Ghanaians are waiting and they want to know the truth from the horse's own mouth. The world is such 3 wicked place and some people therein are terrible. God save Ghana.” Unquote

From the facts revealed in this Article by Justice Abban. Hon. Kennedy Adjeapong is advised to go after the actual murderers if he is minded to do so and forever leave former President Rawlings and the NDC and for that matter Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills in peace to go about their legitimate business of seeking a just society for all Ghanaians in the upcoming general and presidential elections in December.

For as Justice Abban stated, "The world is such a wicked place and some people therein are terrible".

Surely, Hon. Kennedy Adjeapong is not one of those terrible people in this wicked world? A world that is eternally ungrateful to its true heroes and heroines.

The writer welcomes comments, criticisms and other opinions. E- ail all such to [email protected]

MIKE SEGBAFAH
MIKE SEGBAFAH, © 2008

This author has authored 1 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: MIKESEGBAFAH

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