If you have been reading this column between the lines, you would have noticed that there are many times I would have wanted to, and possibly, ought to have, used the expression coup d'etat. Being a coward, or maybe just hopelessly optimistic, I always skirt around it. It's been ammɔdin (taboo word); not knowing some compatriots of this our beautiful motherland still would want to think it, to the extent of getting involved in it. Good grief! Some people want to stage another coup d'etat in this motherland?
Frankly, damn me for saying that anyone who lived and saw the consequences of February 24, 1966; April 17, 1967; January 13, 1972; May 15, 1979; June 4, 1979; December 31, 1981 and June 19, 1988 and would be thinking or doing a coup because it is beneficial to the motherland, must belong to another planet. Like those before those kinds of people, it's a thinking of milking the motherland and definitely not making it.
As kids, we were told stories of democracy and compassion to match stories of authoritarianism and oppression. One never-to-be-forgotten; story was about the reign of dufurɔkyeɛ (dead wood) and the reign of sukɔnkɔn (crane) bird. Both ruled over a chiefdom populated by frogs. Frogs jumped all over lifeless dufurɔkyeɛ with no checks of misbehaviour. Then came the crane which swallowed any frog which dared misbehave.
Military rule has had foul-ups and retarded or destroyed railway development and industrial growth. Akasanoma electronic assembling (including its military revival in the pre-set radio) were destroyed by military coups. Nkrumah's rural industry, Busia's cottage industry and Acheampong's Boafo automobile are all of one district one factory. They don't differ from one district, one factory, one village one dam, and planting for food and jobs. It means we have been there before but we haven't gotten any where because of coups. Whatever military Acheampong might have achieved, it was a coup that destroyed what he was doing.
The longest serving military regime, however, can't be seriously credited with accelerated grassroots industrialization. It ruined Acheampong's effort. Once, someone's people were asked to talk him out of coups. We need more of that now than ever. A coup benefits only its maker if he should succeed. So, none should be condoning it.
Everything the chairman who was born out of a coup said on a recoded tape has come to pass. The greedy ones justified the 1981 return from 1979 that they would never be elected to lead the nation to plunder its resources. Year 1979 had been sheer luck to attain national dominance. They felt they made a mistake by letting go the territories, hence their massive return in 1981 to the longest prolonged harvesting of the common wealth for self and group.
It was coup makers who presided over deteriorating and eventual killing of rail transportation. To profit by the death of the railway, they introduced the road destroyer articulator. Another dictator's administration finished it off, clueless about how to fix a broken rail system.
Jamming technology, complex and sophisticated listening devices, photo-shopping and other new technologies are sharper and more penetrating propaganda tools for coup. The more one thinks technology the more it appears realizable; implausible becoming more plausible. A chairman's tape recording is replete with “they are keeping us out” even when they have had it for the longest uninterrupted stretch.
Upon all the motherland's suffering from state sponsored killings, no one needs another coup. Some (Bawa and Odartey-Wellington) may have died in service to the nation. Others have killed their fellow soldiers to prosper. They are living like kings; receiving envoys and admonishing others against corrupt practices they profited from by putting others to death.
If you said let the blood flow in 1979 or 1981, I assume you have grown older, wiser and out of it. You should've repented for supporting greedy, avariciously selfish pretenders who betrayed the cause of fighting corruption. Please stand up. Raise your voice against any further coups. If you were an agent or involved in a coup, denounce it the loudest in atonement, for being directly or indirectly complicit. You helped maltreat innocent compatriots. If you personally suffered injury or impoverishment, shout even louder against another coup, because you could suffer worse with another.
Remember and admit that coups in this motherland have not given us anything better than civilian administrations. The sufferings of the innocent from their brunt have always been far worse than anything that was a 'gain.' To degrade coup mongering, thinking, planning and events, we should dismantle making heroes out of coup makers in which we immortalise their names in airports and whatever.
It's a shame to be worrying over coups. It's makers are its only beneficiaries whenever it succeeds with them alive. Coup a bas!
By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh