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13.04.2004 General News

Traditional ruler expresses concern over Rawlings

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Nana Amankwa Afrifa II, the chief of Mampong Krobo in the Ashanti Region and a brother of executed General Afrifa, one time head of state, has expressed concern that in spite of the efforts being made by the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) to reconcile the nation, NDC leader, ex-Flt. Lt. Rawlings seems not to have regretted the killing of the Generals.

"I do not understand why the Rawlings government decided to kill my brother when apart from the Acheampong regime that briefly arrested him, both the Busia and Akuffo governments did nothing to him," he told the National Reconciliation Commission sitting in Kumasi last week.

Alluding to the premeditated nature of his brother's death, he said it was questionable that apart from General Afrifa, none of the members of the defunct National Liberation Council (NLC) government was arrested by the AFRC.

Most of them were alive during the AFRC period. Nana Amankwa Afrifa, said soldiers numbering about 40 went to the late General Afrifa's farms called Okatakyie Farms, near Krobo in three military vehicles and arrested him, sent him to Kumasi before transferring him to Accra and then to the Nsawam Prisons.

He said all attempts by the family to locate and talk to General Afrifa while in detention failed. Nana Afrifa and other family members were still in Accra trying to locate the General when they heard on radio on June 26, 1979, that he had been executed by firing squad.

The chief produced a copy of a newspaper, which said Rawlings had boasted that, "Yes I Killed Afrifa".

Significantly, General Afrifa's brother expressed the concern of many Ghanaians when he told the commission that even current statements of Mr. Rawlings were very provocative and feared that with this year's elections approaching, the provocations of the ex-Flt. Lt. could be a source of trouble.

He therefore pleaded with the NRC to find a way of advising him to watch his statements.

The chief's appeal is one that should not be taken lightly because the ex-Flt. Lt. has served notice on a number of times that he would destabilize Ghana's peace and security to achieve his political aims.

Writing on the same theme in ADM last week Professor George Ayittey of George Washington University in the US argued passionately against appeasing Rawlings.

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