Dear Holy Prophet Jeremiah John Rawlings

Thursday, 16 January 2014 01:34

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. I have decided to write to you in this column because I was told you never miss any of my Wednesday write-ups. You know me very well but sadly, since you held the reins of power you forgot that I was the boy who led the cheering squad when you spoke to your admirers at the forecourt of Princess Cinema in Takoradi way back in 1979.

You looked lean with protruding cheek bones like a Somali refugee. We moved in sympathy with you because you told us that even as a junior military officer you were not able to build your own house because times were hard. You were riding an old Peugeot 404 caravan given to you by the PNP regime headed by the late Dr. Hilla Limann.

After listening to your speech that day some of us went home, fully convinced that you had something under your sleeves and that in no time you will strike again. Barely three months after you left Takoradi, you launched yet another coup d’état which toppled Dr. Limann’s PNP government. Then you started coining one revolutionary slogan after the other like, “We no go sit down make them cheat us”, “Insist on your rights”, “Power to the people”, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”, “Mobilize”. As students, we used to join you in the gutter to clean the dirt and joined you to evacuate cocoa from the hinterlands.

Jeremiah, you told us that the tenets of the revolution were Probity and Accountability and we believed in you because we saw you as an honest man who was poor and preferred to stay poor rather than steal from the state coffers. You even told us that because of the poverty you were facing, sometimes you had to credit ‘yorke gari’ for your wife and only daughter, Ezenator and even had to steal seats from an air force helicopter to decorate your sitting room. All these revelations made us to love you more.

The early years of agitation propaganda served you so well but it did not take long before you became epicurean and started dressing foppishly. You bought your wife a state-of-the-art Jacuzzi bath tub and started sending your children to prestigious schools abroad. Your hitherto protruding cheek bones started covering up with flesh and you started tasting the good things of life. When you started living in opulence you forgot about Dr. Hilla Limann who was living in a two bedroom house given to him by the state at Nungua. You refused to pay him his ex-gratia and never gave him any recognition as a former Head of State. You allowed him to live in abject poverty when he fell sick and could not get money to attend hospital at Korle Bu. Even though you accused him of being corrupt among other charges, you failed to take him to court as he continued to wallow in poverty.

No wonder on his sick bed he willed that when he died he should not be given any state burial. And so when he died his body was put in a rickety vehicle to Gwellu, his hometown in the Northern Region where he was buried quietly. Not a soldier discharged any farewell shot and not a dirge was sung on that sad day when the former Executive President of Ghana was buried. Koro Limann, the brother of Dr. Hilla Limann cursed the day his brother was elected the Executive President of Ghana and did swear that those who treated his brother shabbily will forever live with a disturbed conscience.

Saint Jeremiah, since you started making ugly noise after leaving office, I did not move in sympathy with those who were lambasting you because I had a different thought all together. Where I come from when a person deliberately or accidentally kills a human being, we hire the services of an exorcist who will lock the murderer in a room for seven days while certain rituals are performed to drive away any evil spirit that may haunt him. Because you do not come from my holy village you might not have had this opportunity so your mind is disturbed seriously and if you fail to hire one of the exorcists from my village, I am afraid in no time you will go gaga. Anytime you go wild I feel like recommending one of the exorcists from my village to come to your aid but sadly I do not have the courage to come to you and suggest such a cure, hence this piece. I am not going to charge you any consultation fee.

It was my new year resolution to quit smoking my favourite Havana cigar but when I heard you speaking to some children in the Volta Region and told these innocent children that ex-President Kufuor was an election rigger, corrupt and autocratic thief, I quickly went for my lighter and a stick of my Havana cigar which I had hidden in my drawer to light up again in order to release tension.

And when you later justified the murder of Amedome, Acheampong and the other military generals in 1979, I nearly hit my head against a wall. How can you be so callous? Don’t you think those you murdered have their relatives still alive and living in this country? If someone picks a gun and mow you down one day how do you think Ezenator and her siblings will feel if that murderer says you deserved to die? Habba, sadist Jeremiah!!!

Autocratic thief? Jeremiah, have you forgotten that for more than a decade you ruled this country as a de facto military ruler without any parliament to check your excesses? You and your cohorts sold the twenty ships owned by the Ghana Black Star Line, Continental Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, City Hotel, Meridian Hotel, Atlantic Hotel and in fact, all the Catering Rest Houses in Ghana and topped it up with the sale of Nsawam Cannery to your wife. Probably you need someone to define for you who an autocratic thief is.

Election rigger? Jeremiah, do you think we have all too soon forgotten what took place in the 1992 general elections. Brigadier Erskine who was a candidate went to a polling station with his wife and children to vote but at the close of voting when the ballots were counted he got zero and you got one hundred percent of the votes cast. Out of desperation the fine ex-military officer exclaimed in Fante: “Nti maa so manto ama meho a?” (So me too I did not vote for myself?). Mr. Righteous Man, have you taken time to read ‘The Stolen Verdict’? You would have known how the 1992 election was rigged in your favour.

You see, my dear cherished reader, this man called Jeremiah Rawlings always rakes old wounds to distract us from burning issues which need to be discussed for the good of the nation.

Whenever you try to tell the story of a witch, the old lady sitting by would ask you to look up and see how the storm is gathering because she simply would not like to hear anything about witchery. When we are busy talking about naked corruption and the thievery by the NDC in power like GYEEDA, SUBA, ASONTAABA, WOYOME, ASOFOTON, AKOMFEM etc, the one and only prophet Jeremiah is disturbing our ears with Kufuor’s perceived corruption. When we are crying over the increase in utility tariffs and dumso dumso, Jeremiah is making ugly noise about election rigging.

The sages were perfectly right when they said if you live in a glass house you don’t throw stones. See how Ghanaians are taking a former Head of State to the cleaners! It serves him right. Uh, I will complain to Fidel Castro because these days the Havana cigar burns out so quickly.

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