Boakye-Djan Does Not Get It!

Sun, 22 Jul 2007 Source: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

It is highly unlikely that yours truly would ever read the recently published book titled Call to Duty: The Enforced Restoration of the Constitution of Ghana, in which Major Boakye-Djan (Rtd.) desperately seeks to justify the June 4, 1979 pseudo-revolution led by Flt.-Lt. Jeremiah John Rawlings, in terms of the peremptory, decisive and definitive stoppage of all coups-d’état in Ghana, if one believes any such phenomenon were either feasible or even possible on the domestic Ghanaian front, knowing what almost every Ghanaian citizen knew regarding the generally alienated and neocolonialist mind-set of the average Ghanaian soldier back then.

And to be certain, even as late as 1980-81, yours truly knew of some secondary-school mates who intended to enlist into the Ghana Armed Forces with the sole objective of learning the art of coup-plotting in order to “distinguish” and enrich themselves.

The preceding is quite remarkable because yours truly knows of at least one such schoolmate who ended up in the Ghana Armed Forces and today is counted among the enviable ranks of the senior officers. And if today, the likes of Major Obosomaketrew (not his real name, of course) is not a principal player of any Ghanaian military junta, or regime, it is not because of Major Boakye-Djan’s so-called June 4th Revolution, but squarely because of the post-Cold war’s global realignment of socioeconomic and political forces. Indeed, it was the same forces that compelled Mr. Rawlings and his infamous Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) junta to deviously and suavely morph themselves into a pseudo-civilian political party and government called the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

And it goes without saying that the only thing “Democratic” about the NDC is its founder-leader’s crude but candid public confession regarding Mr. Rawlings’ pet aversion for democratic political culture.

Consequently, if we are to seriously take the unpardonably curious thesis of Major Boakye-Djan that the bloody June 4, 1979, putsch was aimed at definitively stanching all future coups and thus making a democratic culture Ghana’s political norm, or staple, then it must also stand to reason, or pass muster, that the leader of the June 4th pseudo-revolution, Flt.-Lt. Jeremiah John Rawlings, would be the last Ghanaian principal player of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) to want to stage an “anti-constitution” coup against Dr. Hilla Limann’s People National Party (PNP), much less hanging on to t he reins of “unconstitutional” governance for at least ten years!

In sum, somebody ought to boldly and plainly tell Major Boakye-Djan to the face that regardless of how many volumes of mendacious memoirs he authors and publishes to doll up his patently bloody and flagrant political intervention, June 4th shall continue to be proscribed by the Supreme Court of Ghana and our National Assembly.

And here, also, it bears recalling for the benefit of our readers that the June 4, 1979 “revolution” actually pushed back the clock of the country’s return to a democratic political culture by at least four (4) months, in view of the widely known fact that the AFRC putsch happened barely one month before Gen. F. W. K. Akuffo’s Supreme Military Council II (or SMC II) government was due to supervise elections and promptly hand over power to an elected civilian administration and return to barracks.

On the other hand, if anything at all, the AFRC’s 4-month stranglehold on power actually damaged the country’s economic fabric so severely – with the junta’s unimaginative and jejune introduction of “Controlled Prices” – that by the time that Dr. Limann’s People’s National Party took over the reins of governance, there was absolutely no viable Ghanaian economy in existence to talk about.

In sum, perhaps, the sole and greatest achievement of the AFRC junta was to have thoroughly and almost irreparably destroyed Ghana’s socioeconomic infrastructure. For the sophomoric and outright boorish economic policies of the AFRC junta created a high incidence of commodity hoarding by otherwise diligent and patriotic Ghanaian entrepreneurs in logical resistance to the pseudo-socialist agenda of the Rawlings Gang, such that once he legitimately assumed the reins of governance, Dr. Limann had absolutely no other practically intelligent alternative but to allow unfettered market forces to regulate the prices of the so-called Essential Commodities.

And here, also, must be emphasized the fact that virtually every post-war nation the world over has had to vigorously pursue the same free-market culture in order to resuscitate its moribund economy, thereby ensuring its long-term development.

Indeed, the foregoing squarely explains Dr. Limann’s alleged flirtation with the IMF/World Bank, an unpopular, albeit indubitably rational, move upon which, unfortunately, Mr. Rawlings cynically capitalized to violently depose the PNP. Interestingly, barely two years later, in 1983, not only were Chairman Rawlings and his so-called Provisional National Defense Council amorously flirting with the IMF/World Bank, they had actually gone to bed with the latter and even conceived an illegitimate child by the diplomatic name of Structural Adjustment Program (SAP).

Ironically, these days, Mr. Rawlings and his minions miss no opportunity to brag about just how such “illicit” intercourse gave birth to a bouncing Ghanaian baby called Economic Revival.

In the end, what Major Boakye-Djan shamelessly appears to be doing with his book titled Call to Duty is attempt to “Rawlingsize” himself, by vacuously attempting to make himself politically relevant to Fourth-Republican Ghana, thereby facilitating his smooth entry into the Osu Castle, just like his former boss. And this is exactly why the author misses no opportunity to call for the judicial prosecution of his arch-nemesis.

*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., teaches English and Journalism at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is the author of “Sounds of Sirens: Essays in African Politics and Culture” (iUniverse.com, 2004). E-mail: okoampaahoofe@aol.com.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame