I have read Mr. Abdul Malik Kweku Baako’s rejoinder to my article captioned “Kweku Baako Is A Hypocrite For Crying Out Loud” and find it to be quite impressive, at least on the face of it, and in terms of the writer’s yeoman’s contribution to advocacy journalism and the development of Ghana’s political culture.
I also doff my hat to the editor-publisher of the New Crusading Guide for, evidently, meticulously attempting to cut the Rawlingses down to size by detailing salient instances of corruption scandals in which the bloody couple have been mired.
In essence, it cannot be gainsaid that Mr. Baako is quite sincere about his journalistic pursuit; and on the latter score, he deserves our kudos. My beef with him, however, is one of principle, particularly when it comes to dispassionately assessing the significance and/or uniqueness of the June 4th Uprising. Of course, some Ghanaians prefer to tout it in terms of a “revolution,” but I fundamentally see nothing unique or historically productive about this putsch of a misguidedly exuberant and pontifical band of military opportunists out for pelf and self-glorification at the expense of their equally cynical and opportunistic superiors and Ghanaians at large.
To be certain, June 4th strikingly recalls the Yeboah- and Arthur-led abortive counter-coup against the junta of the Kotoka-led National Liberation Council (NLC), which resulted in the tragic assassination of the latter. The only difference between the 1967 counter-coup and its 1979 copycat, of course, inheres in the resonant success of the Rawlings-led version. I speak of principles because even as Mr. Baako himself eloquently attests in his rejoinder, the man who came to epitomize the ideals of June 4th, Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, would shortly after the AFRC handover of power prove beyond any iota of doubt that, indeed, June 4th was veritably an Ananse Story only worth regaling kindergartners. For those of the key operatives of the AFRC who could have fought off a pathologically megalomaniacal Mr. Rawlings, and thus preserve Ghana’s Third Republic and constitutional democracy, had readily accepted handsome payoffs and faded into the comfort of exile.
And so precisely what is the face value of revolutionary ideals whose champions and foremost advocates are nowhere to be found just at the very moment when our entire nation is in dire need of their services? This is precisely the point and argument that I have been making all these umpteen years. For remember, the sweetness of the “Ofam” (substitute “Pudding”) is in the eating of the same, not merely the smell of the same or, in the case of June 4th, the cognitive soundness of the same.
Of course, my protracted circumstantial absence from Ghana – a largely auspicious one, I readily own, particularly when one reckons the “Rawlingsian” alternative of near-total academic waste – has meant that I, naturally, would not be privy to the quiddities of many of the landmark political events from an eyewitness perspective. But the latter state of affairs does not necessarily imply cognitive vitiation or impairment, not by any stretch of the imagination, anyhow.
Let us also not forget the fact that by the eve of June 4, 1979, the Akuffo-led SMC II junta was on the verge of returning Ghana to constitutional governance, with the ban on political parties lifted. So if anything at all, what the AFRC intervention did was to further delay constitutional rule in our beloved country and whet Mr. Rawlings’ appetite for more unconstitutional usurpation of our right to a salutary democratic culture.
Mr. Baako, I hope you would be charitable enough to grant me the right to my principled and non-negotiable right of appraisal of June 4th, even as I also respectfully grant you your inviolable right to your youthful exuberance in 1979. I also wish you happiness in your new-found Islamic faith.
Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe
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