I really don�t know that Mr. Malik Kweku Baako does not see eyeball-to-eyeball with former President Jerry John Rawlings. And to tell you, my dear reader, the truth, I really don�t give a hoot one way or the other.
For as a political force, the editor-publisher of the New Crusading Guide has exerted no more than a piddling influence, if any at all, on the fortunes of the man who set Ghana�s clock of socioeconomic, political and cultural development backwards for more than two decades; and when he was not actively engaged in deliberately regressing the nation, of course, Mr. Rawlings had made himself a total nuisance to those who had the skills, creativity, acumen and determination to move Ghana forward.
I also don�t know that Mr. Baako does not see eyeball-to-eyeball with Mr. Rawlings because until his recent declaration of personal animosity for the chairman of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), Mr. Baako had been fiercely and vigorously defending what he claimed to be the noble and progressive ideals of the AFRC. And to be certain, scarcely a year ago, Mr. Baako publicly affirmed the imperative need for Ghanaians to keep observing the so-called June 4th revolution. What is more, it bears to promptly point out that no single Ghanaian individual has become as inextricably identified with the June 4th 1979 mutiny, or uprising, that culminated in the summary execution of at least eight of the senior-most officers of the Ghana Armed Forces than Mr. Rawlings!
In any case, what is most curious about his latest public confession of venom is that even as he has staunchly and passionately upheld what he claims to be the noble ideals of the �Rawlings Revolution,� Mr. Baako also now claims that he has always been troubled by the fact that Chairman Rawlings has conducted himself in a manner that bespeaks of him being, perhaps, the most irresponsible and unaccountable leader in Ghana�s postcolonial history.
In an interview that he allegedly granted the Kumasi-based radio station Hello-Fm, the New Crusading Guide editor-publisher is reported to have observed as follows: �Kweku Baako indicated that ex-President Rawlings amply demonstrated his [abject] lack of commitment to ensuring probity and accountability during his eleven years in office as a military leader. He noted that neither Rawlings nor members of his [Provisional National Defense Council] regime submitted themselves to probes when allegations of corruption and abuse of office were made against them.� Rather, Mr. Baako bitterly noted, �Whenever any damning evidence of corruption was brought against leading PNDC members, Chairman Rawlings was quick to issue a white paper clearing the alleged culprits.�
For me, personally, if, indeed, Mr. Baako really had the good fortune of Ghana at heart, it is this unsavory, albeit morally significant, dimension of Mr. Rawlings� abject and seemingly pathological inability to level up with the Ghanaian people, as it were, that he ought to have been highlighting all these years.
Had he systematically documented the foregoing instances of corruption on the part of the imperious Chairman Rawlings and fully backed them with forensic evidence, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Sogakope Jeremiah would have been effectively humbled and perennially silenced. Needless to say, I have not been as privileged with access to the quiddities of Mr. Rawlings� gaping foibles the way Mr. Baako appears to have been, largely because my quarter-century�s geographical and geopolitical separation from Ghana has also meant that I would be studiously observing events in Ghana from, at best, an officially filtered perspective, for the most part.
Still, the salient question to ask Mr. Baako regards his adamant decision to cling onto what he has publicly and repeatedly claimed to be the �noble� and �progressive� ideals of the erstwhile Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, knowing fully well that virtually none of the AFRC�s chief executioners, including the self-righteous Mr. Rawlings, observed a single salient principle of the Council�s laid-down tenets.
Source: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is a Governing Board Member of the Accra-based Danquah Institute (DI) and
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