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How I Eluded Rawlings Security Operatives in 1999 –Final Part

Wed, 23 May 2012 Source: Sangaparee, Clement

As the then District Organiser of the erst while ACDR’S which stands for the Association of Committees for the Defence of the Revolution – These were the thousands of young men and women who virtually carried the 31st December revolution fearlessly on their backs with vim for 10 years plus until Ghana returned to constitutional rule in 1992. We were rather asked to take the revolution while the (PNDC members and their secretaries of state) took the money. These were the same patriots who were used and dumped for nothing by Jerry Rawlings who told us that if he had resourced the cadres or rewarded us with money from the state coffers, all of us would have being jailed by the NPP when they came to power with vengeance and non co-operation with the then opposition NDC in Jan. 2001.

Let’s give Rawlings the benefit of the doubt – but why should NPP former ministers remove official files from the various ministries and sent them to their homes with impunity? You see, the 1992 constitution did not cover members of the revolutionary organs who made Ghana what it is today 2012. Rawlings chased cadres including this writer for dis-agreeing with his choice of Mills in 1999 – Why should he leave Mills alone in the Middle of the Road Today 2012? Now that the NDC is in power, all Cadres are speaking from North to South, East to West and the Centre of Ghana urging Jerry Rawlings to mount the political platform with Prez. Mills to ensure total victory for the NDC in 2012. If he refuses, and the NPP wins with violence in 2012, they would corrupt the judiciary, the Police and other security agencies as well as the media men who benefited immensely during the NPP administration and finally pull the country backwards again, Posterity will never forgive the Rawlingses if they should cause Mills defeat in 2012.

ANOTHER CULTURE OF SILENCE IN THE AGC BY SAM JONAH TOO?

I am using the name of Ashanti Goldfields Company because Sam Jonah was the then Chief Executive Officer in 1999, so by using today’s AGA, the New Management may think that I am attacking them. There was a stone silence in the AGC between 1985 and 1999 that both management and workers feared each other. Why? Sam Jonah had recruited scores of spies in all the 13 departments of the AGC and put fear in all of them. Because of his frosty relations with Jerry Rawlings, all known cadres and NDC supporters were dismissed with flimsy excuses, those who lacked the courage were compelled to join the NPP in order to save their jobs. Most top management personnel of the company were card bearing members of the NPP including Jonah himself. The most wanted person in the company was this writer, but unknown to Sam Jonah, I had set up a highly respected top management personnel who spied on him, so whatever secret he had up his sleeves, I was briefed within 2 days. So I was far ahead of him with respect of tapping information from Jonah through his own trusted top management staff, after all, I was well trained by the Police detectives that I was lucky to be working with at the C.D.R. Secretariat for 10 years and my informants trusted me very much because I did not speak by heart or blow their cover throughout the years that they gave me vital information about the Hatred Sam Jonah had for me.

This culture of silence sunk into the heads of majority of AGC workers to such an extent that production was very low since most workers feared one another. Sam Jonah soon realized the harm he has done in the AGC by introducing his infamous” Free speak”

As for Kwaku Baako Jnr. the miners would have broken his neck and torn him to pieces if they had laid hands on him for using his newspaper to politicize the 1999 strike even though the miners were simply asking for better conditions of service Between 1996 and 1999, Sam Jonah relied so much on misinformation that he trusted nobody apart from himself since all his friends including this writer became his enemies. Members of the NPP had been describing Jerry Rawlings as a murderer even though he never killed a fly with a gun in both the June 4 and the 31st December revolutions of 1979 and 1981.

On the other hand, Mr. Sam Jonah, a former C.E.O of AGC psychologically and mentally sent thousands of innocent hard working MINERS from the AGC to their UNTIMELY GRAVES even though he is NOT A SOLDIER.

He used his position to cancel all the human centered policies of the AGC before leaving the scene in his political fight with Jerry Rawlings who was a poor Military Dictator facing a fabulously wealthy internationally acclaimed mining tycoon between 1996 and 1999.

You see, mental slavery is worse than death, can you count the number of miners that lost their lives leading to the dislocation of their families under Sam Jonah’s leadership of the AGC from 1996 – 1999? The Branch Union Secretary at that time was a slender lady but she was accused of being an NDC supporter, so Jonah cut her to size by using REMOTE CONTROL to boot her out of office through false allegations. Therefore, Sam Jonah is his own enemy and not that the miners who embarked on that devastating strike rather hated Jonah, it is simply not true at all.

The billions of US dollars lost during that miners strike could have been avoided if the AGC management had even given less than ¼ of that huge amount to those suffering miners, but they rather preferred to lose that huge amount of US dollars than to cater for the hungry and angry miners.

Yes, we said the white man was bad, so he had to go home in 1957 because Ghana had then gamed her independence, the white man went for a black white man in the person of the late Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to take over the country. He developed Ghana so fast that he had to be overthrown in a bloody coup on 24th Feb. 1966. Another batch of black white men then took over again and they looted everything and Tore Ghana apart and we are now crawling instead of walking.

The miners only demanded better conditions of service in 1999 and the AGC management flatly refused and rather politicised that strike in order to cover up their greed, selfishness, dirty politics, intimidations, gross mis management and in efficiency, period. I have set the records straight, somebody must prove me wrong here.

FREE SPEAK

With his back against the wall, Sam Jonah introduced a new system dubbed “Free Speak” – where selected workers from some of the 13 departments go there to freely speak about problems in their various departments-with Jonah as the Chairman. This yielded little fruits because he is very unpredictable like Jerry Rawlings the NDC founder, so people still feared and distrusted him because he created an INNER CIRCLE in the AGC at the time. On the quiet, most senior management personnel and a cross section of workers described his inner circle as the “Assin Alliance in the AGC” – this writer was fully aware of all these, but how do I go and inform somebody like Jonah who I helped to the top at the risk of my life only for him to be planning seriously on how to DISMISS ME? I kept it to myself.

At the time, workers over worked in the AGC but were under paid. All these pent up anger were being accumulated by thousands of AGC workers and it finally EXPLODED and resulted in that devastating well organized miners strike in 1999, where the effigy of Sam Jonah was burnt in Obuasi because Sam Jonah dislocated the lives of thousands of AGC workers by scrapping the 20 years pension scheme whereby miners who served 20 years always retire on their salaries and receive same monthly until death.

SCAPE GOATS

The late former Human Resources General Manager resorted in the compilation of names of miners who “caused the strike” but it was NOT TRUE, as only known NDC members and former C.D.R cadres including this writer were compiled and they were all dismissed including even the Branch Union Secretary for party political reasons and NOT that they were strike agitators – so this is Sam Jonah for you. My name was dropped completely, because I showed some receipts to the panel that interrogated me to prove that I had travelled for 3 good weeks on leave to Wa in the Upper West Region before that devastating strike. As the panel was very eager to dismiss me, they took those receipts and did their own investigation up to Wa and finally exonerated me to the annoyance of that arrogant and disrespectful General Manager of Human Resources who died a young man before his ripe age in a motor accident near a cemetery. Do you know what? AGC workers had planned to wear an ALL WHITE ATTIRE to attend his funeral out of happiness if his funeral was to be performed in Obuasi. It was rater performed at his village near Assin Kushea in the Central Region. When A.G.C Management got wind of the workers’ intention. Therefore, Sam Jonah dug his own grave in the AGC and was “buried” in it. These were the bare facts leading to the 1999 miners’ strike which was heavily politicized. This writer joined AGC on 13th Aug. 1973 and was removed by Jonah through redundancy on 21st December 2003 for political reasons. I spent thirty good years inside the bowels of the earth, so I know what I am talking about.

POLITICS OR MINING?

Between 1996 – 1999, Sam Jonah concentrated so much in politics that he had little time for the giant Obuasi Mine in his political fight with Jerry Rawlings’ the former President of Ghana. He relied solely on reports and misinformation sent to him in the Gold House in Accra, the head office of AGC from Obuasi daily.

He placed fear and panic, intimidations and threats of dismissal before the 10,000 strong workers of AGC. Therefore, the workers started planning for that devastating strike as far back as 1998 – but who were you to alert Sam Jonah? He had then become un-approachable, demi-god and much feared by thousands of workers in the AGC?

The miners finally succeeded in embarking on that strike and dared Sam Jonah to dismiss them en bloc if he was a man enough who had balls in between his thighs. He was blinded by a huge financial power in his capacity as the C.E.O of AGC. Therefore, the Rawlingses had no fore knowledge and had no hand at all in the organization of that strike in 1999 at all. What were some people talking about? I was shocked to read a fat book entitled “Sam Jonah and The Remaking of Ashanti” from a friend in Accra in 2005. It was written by a certain lady based in London and I was told that she is the daughter of the late General A.A. Afrifa, a former Head of State from 1967-69. Why didn’t the author of that book visit Obuasi where the giant Ashanti Mining Company is located but decided to reside in London and Accra to publish complete half truths in that fat book?

Yes, it is very true that Sam Jonah initially remade the Ashanti Mine between 1984-1989, but ended up destroying everything and dislocating several hard working innocent miners including this writer. He was even KNIGHTED in London by the Queen of England before he finally left the AGC. This was the Genesis of the 1999 devastating strike embarked upon by the AGC workers, so we must stop blaming the Rawlingses as the whole world was made to believe through misleading newspaper publications published in its anti-Rawlings manner by some hired media journalists of Sam Jonah led by Kweku Baako Jnr. in 1999. Infact, if these angry and hungry miners had laid hands on Kweku Baako and his gang of stomach Journalists in 1999, they would have broken their necks and torn them apart for using their bias newspapers to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians and all Share Holders of the AGC during that strike in 1999. Sam Jonah is a hardworking and a disciplined industrialist and a businessman who could not identify an industrial disaster when he see one and this is a fact. If you doubt it, then prove me wrong here.

THE ANYIDOHO REPORT

The NDC government under President Rawlings set up a committee headed by the then Brigadier Anyidoho. The Committee presented its report but according to reliable sources, No investor would have invested in Ghana if the government had released a white paper on the AGC Strike in 1999. Rawlings only came out to say that Sam Jonah is a “criminal” without further explanation.

Since Rawlings time, whenever AGC management decide to pay the AGC workers their Christmas Bonuses, they (AGC Management) deliberately reduced all the real entitlements of the miners and came out to say that payment due them had been taken by Rawlings to use in his political campaign for President which was false and this continued until President Kufour and his NPP won the elections before the AGC Management stopped their lies. So when ever the X’mas Bonus of the miners were reduced in Kufour’s time, nobody talks again in the AGC. Is Kwaku Baako Jnr. listening? I do not hate Sam Jonah but I have forgiven him for what he did to me but he should rather apologise to thousands of innocent miners that he dismissed between 1984 – 1999 and pray for forgiveness to God and concentrate on his job and leave politics alone. I hope he will listen to me very well this time. I shall return when the need arise. I am done. “Jaanbie Iwaii” Aluta Continua!

_________________

Clement Sangaparee

Municipal Organiser

United Cadres Front

C/o Box 32, Obuasi

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e-mail: clementsang@yahoo.com

Columnist: Sangaparee, Clement