Recently, I was startled by the vehemence shown by some members of our military, during a conversation amongst clients waiting to have their vehicles washed, at a busy car-wash.
The conversation focused mainly on the astonishing revelations in the various tape-recordings played during the “Election Forensics” programme, which the brilliant and courageous Raymond Archer (who clearly is the most outstanding journalist in Ghana today), broadcast on Radio Gold FM. Of particular interest were the "Jezebel" and "Atta Akyea" tape-recordings.
I was surprised by the anger of the soldiers because I had always thought that dissatisfaction with the ineptitude and greed of our political class was more widespread amongst the junior officer class.
Alas, rumours about the alleged sale of military lands countrywide and alarm at the huge disparities in wealth in the country generally, seems to have crystallized for many of the rank and file in our military, the reality of the state of our nation today.
In their view, we have become a society in which a few politically well-connected individuals and family clans, who number no more than a few thousand, now seem to own a disproportionately larger share of our country’s total wealth – far bigger than the combined total wealth of the rest of Ghana’s twenty-two million population.
From the general drift of their conversation, it was obvious that many ordinary soldiers have a sense of foreboding that one day an event similar to the June 4th 1979 military uprising might occur that will end once and for all, the naked greed that seems to drive some Ghanaian politicians.
They were particularly critical of the tiny cabal of powerful tribal-supremacist crooks amongst those who now rule our country and whose tenure is mercifully coming to an end soon – whose foolishness and shortsightedness (as they tried to defy the will of ordinary Ghanaians) might have precipitated a civil war in our country, in their view.
They feared that one day the dispossessed in “Civvy Street” would strike out against our politicians out of frustration if corruption in Ghana isn’t dealt with effectively – and they are determined not to follow any illegal orders to quell such an uprising by force. In their view their patriotic duty would be to fight and defeat those politicians who seek to deny ordinary people their constitutional rights (amongst them the right to vote their leaders out of office) and who resort to using force to enable them continue staying in power.
I was particularly struck by their sense of outrage that the hawkish elements in the New Patriotic Party (NPP) regime (who sought to defy the will of the people through subterfuge and downright criminality), seemed to think that Ghanaian soldiers were their serfs who would serve as their last line of defence – and could be relied on to brutalize and kill their fellow citizens to help keep a bunch of arrogant crooks in power.
They felt insulted that a few politicians in a nation that is supposed to be a democracy, had become so arrogant and power-drunk that they seemed determined to remain in power at all costs (regardless of the fact that a majority of ordinary Ghanaians so clearly wanted a change of government) and were even prepared to resort to treasonable and illegal actions to achieve that end.
If a majority of our military has become so disenchanted with our political class then Ghana’s politicians had better mend their ways very quickly. One presumes that Professor Mills wants to preside over a peaceful nation when he finally becomes our next president – if he does, then he must take the issue of taking firm action aimed at ending corruption amongst our political class, very seriously indeed.
As a first step, he must publicly publish the net worth of both himself and his dear wife, immediately upon assuming office – and demand same of the vice president-elect as well as all the ministers and district chief executives he appoints during his tenure.
It will be in the long-term interest of the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime to quickly pass a law that requires such public officials to publicly publish the assets of themselves and their spouses, both before and after their tenure of office. It will set the tone for their administration and set new standards of morality in our public life.
Above all, it will give ordinary Ghanaians (who will doubtless soon be asked to make sacrifices in the national interest) an assurance that their leaders aren’t busy feathering their own nests: at a time of economic difficulty worldwide.
If the kind of mindset that led to such lust for power and plain crookedness on the scale one could glean from the various recorded conspiratorial conversations amongst some NPP members and their hangers-on, which were broadcast by Radio Gold FM, becomes prevalent in the new NDC regime too, it will not be very long before an uprising similar to that of June 4th 1979 occurs – and any such event will finally sweep away all politicians of that ilk: and enable a new generation of younger leaders to take over the running of our country.
As for the arrogant NPP buffoons who so desperately tried to find a workable plan to trick their way back to power yet again, I can confidently say that if they had even temporarily succeeded in their aim, they could have expected a fate far worse than that of Generals Acheampong, Afrifa, Utuka, Bob Kotei, Colonel Felli, Air Marshall Boakye and Rear Admiral Amedume.
What those arrogant crooks did not know is that every step they took in the rolling coup d’état they were mounting by stealth, amounted to simply digging their own graves yet deeper. For, as sure as day follows night their hubris and arrogance would have finally got them their just deserts – and that day would have come a great deal sooner than they could have ever imagined.
The die had been cast – and they would have paid for the crime against humanity that a group of supposed-democrats using lies and subterfuge to try and remain in power (in spite of the fact that they had so obviously been voted out of office), represented. Personally, I am afraid I would not have shed tears for any of them – because what they tried to do simply put them beyond the pale.
In the end they would have been hoisted on their own petard – for, it would not have been those who were then trying to stop them from plunging our country into chaos that would have ended up losing out in a bloodbath. On the contrary, it is they who would rather have ended up as losers were there to have been a bloodbath in Ghana: as a result of their foolishness and shortsightedness. Contrary to the expressed opinion of Mr. Kan Dapaah precious few of them would have escaped that fate!
Going forward into the future, let them always remember that wise Ghanaian saying: “No condition is permanent.” They must thank their maker that they finally pulled back from the brink – before it was too late. One only hopes that the too-clever-by-half Atta Akyeas in the NPP have learnt their collective-lesson well by now. A word to the wise…
Hmmm, Ghana, enti yeawiaye paa, enia? Asem ebaba debi ankasa! Long live freedom! Long live Ghana!