Opinion: In the Matter of My People – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, Ghana’s former First Lady

I have written volumes and reams about the deeply unsettling and exasperating subject of the thievish seizure of the farmlands of the residents and people of Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Akwamu, Owuraku and Ntoaso, all near the southern border of the Eastern Region with the Greater-Accra Region, by Ghana’s longest-reigning First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, ad nauseam and had decided to give this critical matter a little break, that is, until I had finished fighting hard and fiercely to help ensure that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was duly and democratically elected President of Ghana and Chief Resident of Jubilee House, formerly the Flagstaff House, and had been afforded ample time to sort himself and other pressing matters of national interest out.

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I am also traditionally and culturally invested in this matter because as one of the bona fide and legitimate claimants of the Akyem-Nkronso Stool, or the Banmu/Baamu (or Stool-Lands) Division of Akyem-Abuakwa, I am also heir and a legitimate claimant of the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Stool. The continued and protracted usurpation of the sacred livelihoods of the residents and people of the Four Towns mentioned at the beginning of this column ought to be of great concern to all peace- and justice-loving Ghanaians. What makes the Adoagyiri land expropriation especially scandalous is inherent in the ironically wicked fact that it constitutes an integral part of the direct results of the patently unconscionable and criminally deliberate decision by the Rawlings-led erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) junta to effectively destroy the country’s hitherto salutary industrial base, by summarily liquidating the Nkrumah-established and seminal Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC).

The fact that the deliberate quartering up of GIHOC, symptomatic of the abject failure of the Rawlings Revolution, and the kleptocratic divvying up of the ungodly spoils of such predatory decimation of the country’s economic nerve center or spinal cord, constituted the very opposite of what the PNDC apparatchiks claimed to be their objective and national development agenda, is what makes this scandal all the more apocalyptically tragic. It was also all the more to be expected that the veritably kleptocratic Mahama regime of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the political progeny or offspring of the PNDC junta, would decide to so recklessly and unconscionably mortgage the livelihood of the good and decent people of Nsawam-Adoagyiri, Akwamu, Owuraku and Ntoaso to their political benefactors, to wit, the hawkish, predatory and self-righteous apostles of “Probity, Accountability, Transparency and Justice” for 100 years, as we were given to understand earlier on, via permission of the Lands Commission or some such relevant government agency.

Indeed, as I had been made to understand through my media gleanings in the recent past, the Mahama government had immorally, albeit legally, ceded or leased prime lands legitimately owned or traditionally held by these politically marginalized bona fide Ghanaian citizens to Mrs. Rawlings and his Nsawam Cannery Company operatives and/or co-proprietors for at least four generations or 100 years. This is inexcusably genocidal, and one has the gut feeling that this was one of the strategic warring instruments or measures used against the inexorable actualization of the fast-looming Akufo-Addo Presidency. For, as most of our readers may already know, the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a bona fide scion of Ofori-Panyin Fie, or the Okyeman Royal Family. Still, deviously and viciously playing such neocolonialist game with the people of the Four Towns was the last thing that Ghanaians expected of any of the leaders of their Fourth-Republican Postcolonial Sovereignty.

Which is why I have decided to make this passionate appeal to President Akufo-Addo to promptly establish a Commission of Enquiry to facilitate the legitimate return of all lands expropriated from the residents and indigenes of these Four Towns. In particular, I am deeply concerned about how Mrs. Rawlings morphed herself into a de facto landowner by deciding to allegedly either sell or cede portions of the approximately 700 acres of arable lands to the KOANS Real-Estate Company. It is also wickedly ironic to learn that the lands in question were originally acquired via edict by then-Chairman Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and his Supreme Military Council (SMC-I) junta, in February 1977, for the progressive purpose of producing pineapples to feed the state-owned Nsawam Cannery, and thus creating jobs for the residents of the local community, as well as boosting the general development of GIHOC.

It is a wicked irony because an “Accountable” and “Revolutionary” Mrs. Rawlings and her morally bankrupt, albeit self-righteous, husband, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, did precisely the diametrically opposite. However, unlike Gen. I. K. Acheampong, the dishonorably discharged junta leader whom the bloody couple and Chairman Rawlings’ cousin, Capt. (Rd) Kojo Tsikata, summarily executed by firing squad for purportedly presiding over wanton corruption in the country, Mr. and Mrs. Rawlings still have their public loot-fed fat heads firmly and securely joined to their thickly overweight necks on their shoulders. And for the education and enlightenment of Mr. John Ndebugri, the former PNDC Secretary, this is what a real travesty of justice looks like, not the all-too-justifiable and long overdue dismissal of Mrs. Charlotte Amma Kesson-Smith Osei, the former Chairperson of the country’s Electoral Commission or the GEC.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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