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13.07.2004 General News

Fight Breaks Out Among AFRC Leaders

By ALFRED OGBAMEY
Fight Breaks Out Among AFRC Leaders
Rawlings and Boakye Djan were cowards – Baah Achamnfour Baah Achamfour lied to NRC - Ansah Atiemo
AN ALL-OUT WAR has broken out among leaders of the mutinous Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) junta that once ruled this country, following the recent appearances of Major (Rtd) Kojo Boakye Djan and Captain (Rtd) Kwabena Baah-Achamfour before the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC). And in a departure from the days when the former members of the erstwhile military regime abroad pitched camp against their former colleague Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, they have this time unleashed their guns on themselves. The latest arsenal to be unleashed in the current war, sparked by the appearance of Baah-Achamfour before the NRC a fortnight ago, is a press statement issued last Friday by L/Cpl Ansah Atiemo in which he described Baah-Achamfour as a traitor. The accusation is in response to revelations by Baah-Achamfour during his appearance at the NRC. During his appearance, the former AFRC member accused both Rawlings and Boakye Djan of not telling the full truth behind the June 4 uprising and claiming unwarranted glory for events of the day. “…People should be responsible. My Lord, l came here by myself to tell the truth as l know it because the truth had not been told by both Major Boakye Djan and Flt Lt Rawlings, and at the same time I'm here to correct wrong impressions made.” He levelled charges of cowardice and desertion in the midst of the uprising against Major Boakye Djan. He also reiterated an accusation first made by the Rawlingses in the Chronicle, but added more meat to it when he told the NRC that the respected Army Major abandoned his troops and fled the Support Services which he was charged to keep, went home and swapped his military uniform for a civilian attire and went into hiding at the Batsonaa bushes in Accra only to emerge again in his military uniform after one Corporal Atakora went there to inform of the success of the coup. That was 36 hours after the June 4 began, Baah-Achamfour claimed. Not to be out-done, he again told the NRC that ex-President Rawlings wept like a baby when soldiers went to release him from prison cells and begged them to spare his life, thinking that he was billed for execution. He also confirmed that the executed generals were not tried. Baah-Achamfour again apologised for an incident regarding a statement he made in the heat of the uprising during a visit to Mampong in the Ashanti Region. But in his sharp response to Baah-Achamfuor's testimony, Ansah Atiemo fired his salvo last Friday and served notice that he was doing it on the basis that Boakye Djan would present a collective response from other members of the AFRC on the issue soon. Boakye Djan incidentally appeared before the NRC in the name of the group abroad, with the exception of Rawlings and three others . Atiemo accused Baah-Achamfuor of lying before the NRC in his statement. “Whatever your take is on the issue, one conclusion is inescapable; Either Baah Achamfour lied yesterday or he is lying today. Either way he is now an established liar whose personal tales at the floor of the NRC could not be taken seriously. He cannot be trusted, period. Therefore, the general public, Commissioners, and all those who choose to accept his claims today must beware. Baah has become the classic untrustworthy character: the original “Anomaa ko-ko-ne ko-ne”, Atiemo wrote. Below is the full text of the statement, which was copied to Ms. Yvonne Osei Gyau, Acting Executive Secretary of the NRC, Major Boakye Djan, ex-President Rawlings, Harry Obeng, Owusu Adu, Sheikh Tetteh Mensah Gbedemah, Peter Tasiri, Alex Adjei, Mensah Poku; Owusu Boateng and Baah Achamfour. It was titled: BAAH ACHAMFOUR: A WITNESS OF UNTRUTH This is my brief contribution to the public debate of the issue ahead of the AFRC collective response to the NRC on the submission by Capt. Baah Achamfour at the NRC. The collective response is at the moment being coordinated by Osahene Boakye Djan, the official Spokesman of the AFRC, on key policy matters affecting the Council. Baah Achamfour, a member of the erstwhile AFRC, has become a witness of untruth by his attempt to mislead the nation when he appeared on the floor of the National Reconciliation Commission to tell his personal and un-corroborated tales about the June 4th Uprising and AFRC short term in office.
Based on the information I have put together so far on what role Baah-Achamfour claimed he played or did not play during the June 4th Uprising and AFRC time in office, it has become clear that not only did Baah try to mislead the Commission and the nation, he twisted facts to suit his personal agenda.
Baah-Achamfour went to the NRC and offered an apology not to the Nation of Ghana like Osahene Boakye Djan and some of his former colleagues have done. Baah's apology was limited to the people of Ashanti Mampong. Thus, Baah set out to use his appearance at the Commission as a vehicle to appeal to the ethnic group he belongs, the people of Sekyere his district and the people of Mampong his district capital for his role in the execution of the late Lt Gen. Afrifa, also from the Sekyere area.
Baah's approach was to tell untrue personal tales first to appease members of his ethnic group and then make his former colleagues of the AFRC the “bad” guys and he, Baah-Achamfour, the only “good” guy. This is the stuff traitors and myopic minds are made of.
Composition of players of June 4th Uprising & AFRC Based on the information available in the public domain already and to me personally, I can confirm that the June 4th Uprising and AFRC consisted of the following four groups or camps:
(1) A highly organised and secretive group of the Free Africa Movement that launched the operation led by Osahene Boakye Djan, Agyeman Bio, Harry Obeng, etc.
(2) Another highly organised group who were on trial for the May 15th coup attempt which included J.J. Rawlings, Newton Gatsiko, Peter Tamaklo, etc. They were also members of the Free Africa Movement. It was the pronouncements of this group during their trial that incensed Ghanaians so much and therefore provided the spark for the spontaneous and fluid June 4th 1979 Uprising;
(3) Those who emerged as leaders in the course of this spontaneous reaction, included the late Commander Akpaloo, Mensah Gbedemah, Mensah Poku, General Hamidu, etc.
(4) Those who were in secure custody on suspicion of attempting to overthrow or undermine the military government of SMC II, consisted mainly of Baah-Achamfour, Mark Atinga, Peter Tasiri, etc.;
On that backdrop, whatever Baah-Achamfour has said on the NRC floor should be treated with extreme caution especially against the following claims of his that clearly mark him today as a witness of untruth:
(i) Baah-Achamfour claimed at the NRC floor that Jerry Rawlings and Boakye Djan played no role in the fire-fight phase of the June 4th operation. In fact, Baah was in secure custody waiting to be tried and punished, on suspicion of planning and plotting to overthrow the military government of SMC II. He was picked up and put under close arrest and was released when the fire-fight phase was already under way. Even here he was ordered by the leadership to help secure the 5th Battalion of Infantry area in his capacity as the platoon commander in the Support Company while the fighting elsewhere was being coordinated by others. From a tactical point of view he could therefore not have been in the position to accurately access the roles Jerry Rawlings, Boakye Djan, Newton Gatsiko and others played or did not play in making the operation a success.
(ii) Baah-Achamfour also claimed that Newton Gatsiko and Ansah Atiemo were involved in the exchange of fire that resulted in the death of Colonel Enninful. This statement by Baah is an atrocious fabrication to discredit his former colleagues. The circumstance leading to the death of Colonel Enninful has already been told on the NRC floor as it relates to misunderstanding between the Colonel's bodyguards and the troops the late Lt. Agyeman Bio had led to the Colonel's house to pick him up for a protective custody. Baah-Achamfour was not in the position to have known what actually happened at the Colonel's house. This is another obvious fabrication of his.
iii) Baah-Achamfour was not a member of the AFRC until two weeks after the formation of the Council and therefore it is possible that he may not have taken the trouble of apprising himself on both the structural organisation of the Council and the legal parameters for punishment as set by the Council prior to the first execution. Baah was not made a member of the AFRC until a later period based on the fact that some key members on the Council did not trust Baah because of his loose mouth and his reputation for careless talk that led to his arrest and detention.
(iv) Baah-Achamfour claimed to have been angry during a Council meeting in the morning of the second execution. Information at hand reveals that all the members of the AFRC present at the Council meeting that morning, particularly Jerry Rawlings, Boakye Djan, Mensah Poku, and Newton Gatsiko were angry not over the need for the execution of the military men. That issue had been settled the previous night by a Council meeting at which Baah-Achamfour was present and did not oppose it. The anger Baah hopes to take credit for, was caused by the fact that the execution was being turned into a carnival by many angry people who had gathered at the Teshie Range to hoot and shout insults at the military men who were to be executed. The execution had not been carried out by 6 a.m. that day. The Council, upon hearing the news tried to halt the execution on that day, but by the time the messengers got to the range the execution had already been carried out. Significantly, Baah was not present at this morning meeting of the Council; he was part of the execution team at the execution site when the meeting occurred.
(v) It is on record that after the execution it was Baah-Achamfour who led the firing squad team and a group of soldiers at the Tehsie Range for the burial and thereafter, led a route march as a mode of military acknowledgement for an accomplished mission, in the Burma Camp. Baah did not express any sign of anger then, so why now? If Baah was indeed as upset as he is claiming today on the NRC floor, then that was a strange way for a soldier to show his anger and dissatisfaction - leading the firing squad team on a route match after the execution!
(vi) The most bizarre part about Baah's claim of anger over the execution is that just two days after the second execution he flew with Jerry Rawlings to Ashanti Mampong where he categorically announced that “Agya bi wu a, agya bi te ase”, claiming that he, Baah- Achamfour, was a fairer, equal or better substitute of General Afrifa for the citizens of Ashanti Mampong and Ashanti.
Today, this same Baah-Achamfour would like you and I to believe that he was angry about the execution of the military men in 1979 because he does not believe they were tried. Well, readers pick your take on Baah as a witness at the National Reconciliation Commission.
Whatever your take is on the issue, one conclusion is inescapable; Either Baah-Achamfour lied yesterday or he is lying today. Either way he is now an established liar whose personal tales at the floor of the NRC could not be taken seriously. He cannot be trusted, period. Therefore, the general public, Commissioners, and all those who choose to accept his claims today must beware. Baah has become the classic untrustworthy character: the original “Anomaa ko-ko-ne ko-ne.”


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