General News Fri, 3 Nov 2017
A book entitled “Ogyakrom: The Missing Pages of June 4”, authored by Professor Kwesi Yankah, the Minister of State in-charge of Tertiary, has been launched in Accra.The 310-page book represents landmarks within 22 months of Prof Yankah’s weekly column in the Catholic Standard Newspaper, from January 1979 to March 1980.
The book is a compilation of 55 episodes written in a satirical form by Prof Yankah, under the pseudo name “Abonsam Fireman”.
It is inspired by issues in two military regimes (General Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo’s Supreme Military Council Two and Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings’ June 4thRevolution) and one civilian government (Dr Hilla Limann’s People’s National Convention).
The book allows a veiled peep into the most turbulent period in Ghana’s political history, Rawlings’ June 4th Revolution, including preceding events and the aftermath of the Revolution.
At the time of the June 4th Revolution, Prof Yankah, then a young lecturer at the University of Ghana, was nicked named Madina Rawlings for his ardent believe and support for the revolution.
Prof Yankah, who is a renowned academician and a Prof of linguistics, questions the mysterious disappearance of the original newspaper publications in public libraries on the June 4, 1979 uprising led by then Flt. Lt. J. J. Rawlings.
Prof Yankah said: “I never knew the impact Fireman was making in The Standard until I heard people associating its authorship with the renowned Prof Adu Boahene and P. A. V. Ansah, two incurable critics of military dictatorship, who have now passed on.
“I felt flattered, or perhaps inspired. Was this, flavour of my column good enough to be mistaken for the works of these titans? he quizzed.
He lauded the Catholic Church for giving him the platform (The Standard newspaper) to put his (Obonsam Fireman's) views across in a Christian newspaper.
Dr Anthony Bonnah Koomson, Editor of the Catholic Standard at the time of Prof Yankah’s celebrated columns said: “The book captures a momentous era in Ghana’s immediate political history, reminiscences of which the author has sought to recreate and preserve with phenomenal linguistic skills”.
“It presents, through satire, an accurate heartbeat of a people under intense political paralysis, he added.
He said the Catholic Standard newspaper rise to superstardom, and becoming a household name to Catholics and non-Catholics in Ghana was in part due to the iconicity of the “Abosam Fireman” series.
The Reverend Dr Joyce Aryee, Executive Director, Salt and Light Ministries, who gave an overview of the book, described it as a must read book for everyone because it captures an essential period in the nation's history.
Pastor Dr Mensah Otabil, General Overseer, International Central Gospel Church, who formally launched the book, commended Prof Yankah for coming out with a great literary work at the age of 27.
He urged Ghanaian youth to emulate Prof Yankah’s shining example by putting their ideas into writing.
Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, the Board Chairman, Cocoabod, who chaired the function, said Prof Yankah had contributed a lot to the way we do business in this country.