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Opinions Thu, 4 Jul 2013

The Church Woefully Failed Ghana, Prof. Martey!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

I am glad that, finally, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, in particular, and the Christian Church of Ghana, in general, appears to have found a bold and courageous voice among the clergy with which to passionately engage the nation's politicians in the democratic rule of law. Alas, this comes proverbially long after the country's heavy downpour of Chairman Jerry John Rawlings' reign-of-terror. One wistfully wishes that eloquent and scholarly clergymen like the Modertaor of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt.-Rev. Emmanuel Martey, had been as vocal and fearless as he recently had occasion to counsel jurists of Ghana's august Supreme Court (See "Presby Moderator Tells Judiciary Not To Be Intimidated" Graphic.com.gh /Ghanaweb.com 7/1/13).

Delivering a sermon marking the 31st Anniversary Remembrance Service for the three High Court justices murdered by key operatives of the Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), on June 30, 1982, Prof. Martey was widely reported to have chided members of the judiciary for having woefully failed to protect Ghana's various postcolonial constitutions against military usurpation. The truth of history, at least from Ghana's odious First Republic, tells a wholly different narrative altogether.

The justices brutally assassinated for boldly standing up to the criminal and reprobate Rawlings regime, and on the side of justice and human rights were, of course, Mrs. Cecilia Koranteng-Addow, Mr. Fred Opoku-Sarkodie and Mr. Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong. That ethnic cleansing clearly appears to have been a major factor in the barbaric liquidation of these three High Court judges, ought to have been meticulously underscored by the PCG Moderator, especially since Dr. Martey has also been widely reported to have called for Mr. Kennedy Agyepong, the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for one of the Assin constituencies, to be subjected to some remarkable form of judicial sanction.

In other words, unless one is of Akan ethnicity, it is very difficult to fully appreciate the traumatic extent of the abject humiliation and virtual impotence endured by Ghana's largest ethnic group at the bloody hands of Anlo-Ewe thugs and goons like the two Tsikata cousins and Chairman Jerry John Rawlings. Not surprisingly, these hideous miscreants could not muster enough sense of dignified contrition to attend the solemn ceremony commemorating the murder of the three High Court judges and the retired Ghana Army major, Mr. Sam Acquah. And this is one of the significant reasons why Messrs. Rawlings, the Tsikatas and their reprobate associates are highly unlikely to be forgiven anytime soon by the relatives, associates and friends of the slain judges.

I particularly have great affection for the Osu Ebenezer Presbyterian Church of Ghana. This is the same chaple in which I stood nearly thirty years ago to poetically eulogize the wife of Rev. Mate-Kojo, then pastor of Osu Ebenezer, with the benevolent linguistic assistance of Master Ashong, then principal of Osu Salem, or the Presbyterian Middle Boys' Boarding School. Back then, I was a post- "A"-Level English and Literature teacher at Osu SENDO.

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Prof. Martey appears to have gone a bit overboard when he reportedly observed that, "Ghana's future in the current democratic dispensation does not lie with either the executive or the legislature, but with the judiciary." In actuality, for the country's judicial system to be effective requires the collaborative synergy of both the executive and the judiciary.

Nene Amegatcher, the current National President of the Ghana Bar Association, ought to have honestly lamented the fact that it was the Ghana Law Students' Association, led by Mr. Kobina Asiedu-Aboagye, and not the GBA, that spearheaded the thunderous call for an inquest into the brutal slaying of the three High Court judges and the retired Ghana Army officer.

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* Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Department of English

Nassau Community College of SUNY

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Garden City, New York

July 1, 2013

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net

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Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame