A soldier cannot stage a coup d’état. It has to take serving soldiers, retired soldiers and even civilians to plan and stage a successful coup d’état. Coup d’états are shrouded with secrecy and in some cases even those involved in the enterprise are kept out of some of the secrets of the coup.
Even though I am a living witness of all coup d’états staged by soldiers in this country, particularly June 4, 1979 and December 31,1981, I took time to watch the Joy TV documentary titled: “The Scars of the Revolution”. After watching the documentary and the subsequent interviews of some of the architects of both coup d’états, I came to a conclusion that one must be careful of those he moves with. One must fear human beings.
I also followed the proceedings of the National Reconciliation Commission and I have a copy of the report of the commission which I have read over and over again but the recent documentary aired by Joy TV has opened my eyes as to what really happened in the two bloody revolutions. I have also learnt a lesson as to how to move with people I think I trust. Men can be very treacherous. When the going is good, you have good friends but when the going turns bad expect to get bad friends who will not hesitate to betray you.
I believe the buck must stop on the table of the leader of any revolution but I do not believe those who took part in any revolution should shy away from taking some of the blame of which they themselves might have committed in the cause of the revolution, Osahene Boakye Gyan, the spokesperson of the June 4 revolution tried to take some responsibilities during the hearing of the National Reconciliation Commission but he fell short of genuinely apologizing to Ghanaians for the exercises of the revolution which saw the execution of six top generals, including three former heads of state. His swaggering and body language at the hearing of the commission forced the chairman of the commission, the late Justice Amoah Sekyi, to tell him the following: “Thank you for coming but you are not apologetic enough. You may leave.”
Listening to ex-Sergeant Daniel Alolga Akata-Pore when he was interviewed in the documentary and the insults he heaped on Flt Lt. Rawlings, his former boss, I nearly hit my TV with an ash tray. How can one be so treacherous? During the heydays of the December 31 revolution, Akata-Pore was more fearful than Rawlings. He led most of the operations to terrorize Ghanaians and there he was, putting all the blame on Rawlings. As for the younger generation the name, Akata-Pore sounds so distance away but to some of us who lived in those bloody days of the wish-to-be-forgotten revolution, the name, Akata-Pore is synonymous to violence and blood-letting. Akata-Pore was the one who led the non-commissioned officers to commit most of the atrocities at the blind side of the chairman of the revolution, Flt. Lt Rawlings.
In fact, the non-commissioned officers of the revolution answered quickly to orders made by Akata-Pore than they responded to the call of Rawlings to order. He run away to sojourn in far away UK, where he is enjoying his share of the booty that they grabbed. In fact, but for the December 31revolution, nobody ever heard the name, Akata-Pore. Today he has the guts to insult Rawlings and bastardize the revolution he actively participated and played a meaningful role in. Na so the world be!
And there is this one called Baah Acheamfour who tried desperately to distance himself from the murder of the generals when he granted an interview during the documentary. Much as he tried, it did not add up because whether he likes it or not he was a member of the AFRC. To tell us that he was not part of the decision to execute the generals was neither here nor there. The fact still remains that the AFRC of which he was a member executed the generals. Why has he taken so long a time to distance himself from the bloody episode?
I really pity Mr. Rawlings who is now at the receiving end. In fact he has himself to blame. He was so concentrated in consolidating the revolution to the extent that he never looked back to see what some of his drunk and drugged soldiers were doing. In fact he was virtually a captive since these unruly soldiers kept threatening him. Today, those who actually committed the atrocities have distanced themselves from him and will not touch him with a long stick.
What is most embarrassing is the silence of the senior members of his two revolutions. The Ahwoi brothers, the Tsikata brother, the Gyima Boadis, the Ato Dadzies and a host of them who are still alive and kicking but sadly they have kept quiet while only Rawlings receives the blows. Ghanaians have forgotten the Citizens Vetting Committee, led by then bearded Kwamena Ahwoi, which forcefully seized the properties of hardworking Ghanaians under the pretext of acquiring them illegally.
Members of the Workers Defense Committees, Peoples’ Defense Committee are walking freely in their towns and villages. None of them are prepared to associate themselves with the revolutions. Anytime Rawlings celebrates the June 4 and December 31 anniversaries, few people who were not part of the process attend. For the eight years that the Mills/Mahama administration ruled the nation, the tenets of the revolution, Probity and Accountability were thrown to the dogs. At a point in time, Rawlings was so frustrated that he told Ghanaians he regretted shooting some Ghanaians for being corrupt because more than 60% of the NDC government under Mills and Mahama were more corrupt than those he punished. Accept my sympathy, Mr. Rawlings!!!
By Eric Bawah