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19.06.2005 General News

I Don’t Deal With Fools -Boakye Djan


… Indeed, Not The Rantings Of A Buffoon Former Deputy Minister for Defence in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) Dr. Tony Aidoo has once again come under severe lashing for making unguarded and loose comments on the Osahene Major (rtd.) Boakye Djan.

In yesterday's issue of The Crusading GUIDE, Tony Aidoo referred to the Osahene as a windbag and a coward, who though claimed he was the architect of the June 4, 1979 popular revolt of junior officers and other ranks of the Ghana Armed Forces, against military dictatorship, failed to answer for the unintended consequences of that event.

Reacting reluctantly, Osahene Boakye Djan expressed surprise at the comments of Tony Aidoo, saying he (Tony) and others of his party were supposed to have debated him on Citi FM radio station on t he “June 4” issue, but disappointingly they chickened out leading him alone to do t he programme, only for Tony Aidoo to return later with the advantage of hindsight to spew forth insinuations which was no debate.

“But I have been debating whether to go further with what I consider to be no more than the rantings of a fool, indeed, a buffoon”, the Osahene said of Tony Aidoo.

“And that because”, he proceeded, “when I was growing up, my father used to caution me and my other siblings that we should never be tempted to argue with a fool publicly, for onlookers may not see the difference”.

According to him, his father further advised that “if you are wearing a white calico and you are passing by and there is somebody struggling in the gutter in the mud and he is envious of you and then starts throwing stones at you, abusing you, never be tempted to descend into the gutter to wrestle with him because you may not come out clean”.

He noted that the two analogies he had drawn had taken care of Aidoo's mad effusions, “and I was tempted to keep my father's counsel and never deal with it”.

“But there are key pointers that I would like to draw your paper and your reader's attention to. This is not an attempt to argue with him, but just to point out the facts of the matter to him and to your readers”, said the Osahene.

According to him, the first was the insinuation that he was a windbag, which to him, was not based on fact and for that reason there was little for him (Osahene) to say.

He debunked as a big lie Dr. Aidoo's assertion that, he (Osahene) could not sustain his claim as the architect of “June 4” and the criticisms of the unintended consequences of that event for the past 25 years.

“That is a big lie”, said he, “because even a kid in this country knows that I have consistently defended “June 4” for the principles of it, but only had conceded on the basis that it was regrettable because lives had been lost”.

According to him, he was the first person to go to the National Reconciliation Commission (NRC), though uninvited, to defend “June 4” as necessary and inevitable but regrettable given the fact that certain people were wrongly caught in their effort to restore constitutionalism.

He said it was after he had gone there (NRC) that Tony Aidoo's boss J.J. Rawlings gathered the courage to go there, after having been invited for not less than nineteen times.

He said of all the four military regimes that were listed as unconstitutional, he was the only person who had gone to the NCR to defend what they did.

“To date nobody, including Tony Aidoo, was brave enough to go to the NRC and defend the record of their regime”, said the Osahene reiterating that, “Nobody had done it except me, for my regime”. That is not the stuff cowards are made of, right”, he stressed.

According to him, it is false to assume that he was a coward because he did not get himself arrested, jailed or perhaps executed, in fighting the 31st December coup d'etat.

“You see, there is difference between intelligent calculation pursued in one's interest and a foolish bravado that ends you up in jail to be executed”, said the Osahene.

He cited Rawlings as having exhibited that foolish bravado on the 15th May, 1979, that saw him arrested and on the verge of being executed, only to be saved by him (Osahene) and his colleagues using their brains in an intelligent and brave manner.

“I always indulge in an intelligent calculation of my interest and that is why I have never been arrested and handcuffed”, observed the Osahene adding that “but that does not make me a coward”.

He disclosed proudly that he had been very effective in bringing the 31st December illegality to a close in 1992, not by exhibiting any foolish bravado.

According to him, it was only cowards who through acts of cowardice would subject defenceless civilians like his brother and others to such unprecedented inhuman treatment ending in their demise, just because they stood against the 31st December, 1981 illegality.

On the question of the allegation that the Osahene hid in his wife's house when “June 4” struck, he said he was not in the habit of trading allegations.

“If I were, I would have told him (Tony Aidoo) that a lot of people have come to me in London to allege that he (Tony Aidoo) is a madcap, and that he was once hospitalized for mental breakdown as a result of sustained inhaling of an illegal and harmful substance”, said Osahene.

According to him the title “Osahene” which Tony Aidoo tried to deride was not a stool based title, but was conferred on him by his colleague soldiers for his bravery.

He said the chief and elders of his town also deemed it fit to honour him with the same title for having led June 4 and bringing it to a successful end unscathed.

Major Boakye Djan dared Tony Aidoo and his likes to stop hiding behind unfortunate populist and gullible crowds, and rather meet him on sound intelligent platforms for intelligent debate of issues. Stay tuned for the full transcript of the interview with the Osahene on this matter in our next issue.