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Another Great Oak Has Fallen

Mon, 23 Jun 2014 Source: Sangaparee, Clement

- A Tribute To Comrade P.V. Obeng

The late Paul Victor Obeng was an Engineer working at Mankoadze Fisheries at Tema. I got to know him through the late Professor Kofi Awoonor during the 2nd Anniversary of the June 4 Uprising in 1981 at a massive rally addressed by J.J. Rawlings in Accra that year.

It was Professor Kofi Awoonor who introduced me to him and we became very good friends because he shared the same ideology with me and Professor Kofi Awoonor as well. I never knew that Professor Awoonor was an Ewe at all because of his fluency in the Fante Language until he himself told me that he was an Ewe from the Volta Region and not a Fante.

The late P.V. Obeng played a very important and patriotic role in making the 31st December Revolution a success and sustained it from 1982-1992 when the country returned to constitutional rule and the NDC was formed in 1992. He worked with NDC occupying high positions until the year 2000 when he slightly fell but out with Rawlings.

AN ANPHIBIAN CADRE

The Late P.V. Obeng was an Amphibian cadre who could work as a cadre inside the sea as well as on the land because of the patriotic role he played with his ship to ensure the success of the 31st December Revolution which I will not disclose here for security reasons, so the rest is now history. He had enough time for the ordinary people from both sides of the political divide.

OBUASI 18TH MAY 1982

I will give my blood and die for one honest and patriotic Ghanaian, but I will not give my blood and die for a thousand fools” Guess who said this –it was no other person than the former PNDC Chairman, J.J. Rawlings, flanked by Mr. Tsatsu Tsikata, Fui Tsikata etc. when he personally visited Obuasi and inaugurated the Workers Defence Committee (W.D.C) of AGC Ltd which could not operate smoothly because of threats and intimidations of(W.D.C) members by the then management most of whom were big time thieves in both underground and surface but the WDC members swing into Revolutionary Action and even call for a prone which saw a high powered delegation led by Comrade Kofi. Portuphy from the Interim National Co-ordinating Committee (INCC) that probed the Company’s management where cars, iron rods, cement, car engines were stolen by some Senior Staffs of AGC. The probe also exposed gold theft by some expatriates who always went to the PTP- the gold treatment plant for gold whenever thy are proceeding on leave.

The Workers Defence Committee of AGC remained very active and vigilant from 1982 to 1989 and succeeded in stopping the massive stealing of the company’s properties as well as Gold Pifering underground.

It was after the inauguration of the AGC/WDC members that P.V. got to know that I was also a regular miner.

The people of Obuasi did not support the P.D.C idea at all between 1982-1992, Comrade P.V. as he is affectionately called headed several high positions in government like the PNDC Co-ordinating Secretary and later Chairman of the Committee of Secretaries during the PNDC era, and served as a PNDC member as well as several top positions BUT he was approachable, not arrogant or discrimatory, very open and friendly and was always ready to give a helping hand through his rich advice in solving problems and did not rely on hearsay evidence to take action.

P.V. FED MANY MOUTHS

He was not only a family man loved only by his own family members, but his affection went beyond his family as he fed many mouths across the country including this writer since 1992 until his untimely demise in Accra. My mother died in the heat of the 2008 general elections when the party was in opposition and it was P.V who made it possible for me to travel to Wa in the Upper West Region to mourn and bury my late mother in September 2008. In 2009, when hardworking cadres and party members were been rewarded with jobs and I was surprisingly sidelined completely up to date by the former MCE who bragged that I will get a job in the NDC over his deadbody – I relayed that report to P.V who did not react initially – not knowing that he was investigating the report I had given him. Within 3 weeks after that, P. V. called me on my cell phone and told me to meet him at Asokwa Junction as he had reached Assin Praso on his way to Akrokerri, his hometown in the Ashanti Region. I met him and we sat in a cool village spot surrounded by trees and he congratulated me and said that the govt. representative in the Obuasi Municipality was very selfish, wicked and a very greedy liar who does not like cadres and so I should be very careful with him as well as my fellow cadres in the Municipality.

He then asked me what I have done, and I told him that those who are trying to destroy me said they are not comfortable with the numerous articles I have been writing hence their hatred. He gave me a fat parcel to enable me pay by children’s school fees and told me to continue writing more articles and call the bluff of the former MCE and those rotten cadres as he termed it for they don’t know what they are doing because they have realized rather too late that you referring to me, have outshined them completely within the whole Municipality and beyond. Where were they, when Rawlings wanted young men and women to stick their necks out to be counted as June Four members in 1979 and P.D.C. members in 1982 – I did not see any of them but I was with you Comrade Sangaparee in the trenches all those difficult years, so you just ignore them and serve the great NDC and not selfish and arrogant individuals – These were the exact advice P.V. gave to me in the year 2012 when I sat with him at that spot.

THE ADANSI FACTOR

Before we parted ways after he told me that some people had visited him at his residence in Tema claiming to be full blooded Adansis who have the interest of Adansis at heart and NOT outsiders who did not hail from Adansi and that my name appeared constantly in his conversation with them, but he pretended not to know me at all. He then told me finally to be very careful with them since they are insincere –That was in January 2012. Two months later, I received a false letter written at the instance of the former MCE for Obuasi by some so-called cadres in the form of a Resolution signed by 19 cadres dated 3rd Feb. 2012. I quickly re-acted to it before giving a copy to Comrade P. V. Obeng who after reading that Resolution and my subsequent re-action to it, concluded that all those who wrote that bogus resolution against me have organized to destroy me because there was no substance in their resolution and told me that he had discussed the issue seriously with President Mills and asked him to ignore that useless Resolution by the so-called cadres after he (P.V.) had painstakingly investigated the reason why that Resolution was written about me. Comrade P.V. touched a very important topic by stating that whenever the NDC comes to power and appointments are being made, people wear Adansi colours and troop to his residence for him to use his position to appoint them as MMDCES, yet when he made some background checks on such so-called Adansi citizens, he found that they never did anything for the NDC to come to power but their only qualification was that they are Adansi citizens, so as a Comrade and a friend, why do you refuse to approach me to lobby for you? He asked me. First I told him that it is because I am not an Adansi citizen and for that matter an Asante citizen – Don’t go there at all he cut me short and questioned again – Do you know the late Kwame De Graph Adjei – I said yes, Do you know Akwasi Oppong Fosu? I said yes because he was the first PNDC District Secretary for Obuasi in the heat of the 31st Dec. Revolution. Mr. Kwabena Anim replaced him. Do you know George Adu Mensah. I said yes. Were they Adansis before their Appointments I replied in the Negative Didn’t they all perform very well? I replied in the affirmative – so what are you talking about? He further questioned. I told him that even though I am a cadre and a founding member of the NDC, I have no Godfather within the NDC, that is why and I told him what actually happened when the former MCE was appointed as Deputy Minister and there was a vacancy for an MCE to be appointed for Obuasi. a total of 13 people applied for the position including me and the President did the BEST APPOINTMENT EVER, by rather appointing one Mr. Richard Ofori Agyemang Boadi to occupy that position instead, because Obuasi would not have been the same if any of the 13 people had been appointed since gone are the days when monkeys worked for Baboons to chop – after the new appointments all those who applied for the MCE position vanished into thin air. The present MCE for Obuasi sacrificed extremely for the NDC to win the elections in 2008 and 2012. Comrade P.V. stated that they (Asantes) always think of their tribe first even before Independence and they still do it and that unproductive habit is stalling national development. I then told him that the semi-liberate Constituency Executives in Obuasi assessed the MCE aspirants including me and cast some ballots. Do you know what? One of our cadres who is a teacher with a First Degree had only one vote and I had zero. Can you imagine a stark illiterate party organizer giving me a zero vote? P.V. laughed for about 5 minutes and told me that he heard all what I was telling him. What development did Hon. Edward Ennin an Adansi citizen bring to Obuasi as an MP for 12years? NIL- what development did Mr. Boampong bring to Obuasi as an MCE under the NPP- Traffic Light and an Arc. Yes, we will all die one day, so I urge politicians in both the NDC and the NPP to use P.V. Obeng’s death to respect and reward hard working party members across the political divide and not to snub them and pretend not knowing them only to solicit their support during general elections.

They must all behave like the late P.V. so that ordinary people like me can pay fitting tributes to them when they finally die. P.V. has fired me up and I am watching my detractors with Eagle eyes. He had been my political mentor since 1981 to 2014 and I learnt a lot from him.

P.V’s death is not only a Big Shock, but a Big Blow not only to his family but Ghana as a whole.

THE JOVIAL SIDE OF P.V. -THE REVOLUTIONARY INCENTIVES

Well, All work and No play makes Jack a dull boy-This is P.V’s jovial side.

Addressing an annual review conference of the C.D.R’s in 1984 at the Obuasi Secondary Technical School, Comrade P.V. Obeng sent cadres laughing for almost one hour when he described umarried C.D.R. ladies as Revolutionary Incentives. He told cadres that Rawlings will never give Firing Squad to any cadre who befriends and marries a fellow female cadre because when they give birth to a baby boy- They should automatically name him after J.J. Rawlings and if they gave birth to a baby girl – She is Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and so we must all see un married female cadres as Revolutionary Incentives as no cadre would face a firing Squad because of that. Cadres behaved like Soldiers so some of them actually married Female Cadres and build families. Infact, I have lost a Comrade, a Friend, a Senior Brother, God fearing and Principled Party member and a Savior – Comrade P.V. –Fare Thee well.

May your Soul Rest In Perfect Peace until we meet in the next World. Amen

……………………………….

Clement Sangaparee

United Cadres Front

Obuasi

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Accra/Ghana

e-mail:clementsang@yahoo.com

Columnist: Sangaparee, Clement