THE JUNE 4 HOGWASH
Like most young Ghanaians, I came to meet the June 4 celebration. I think it used to be a national public holiday until someone, I guess ex-president J.A. ‘Waawaa-DeeHuo’ Kuffour, woke up one Saturday morning, probably on the wrong side of Maa Theresa’s bed, and decided that the impecunious parch of land on the western coast of Africa, called Ghana, has had enough of the nonsense that has been celebrated with the poor kelewele seller’s tax for so long. For me, that was the most sensible decision that gentleman made at that time aside jailing Victor Selormey and Dan Abodapki, ‘for willfully causing financial loss to the state’. I wished he had had another solid pair of dangling ‘balls’ between his legs, to jail his cousin (or niece), Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings as well on similar charges. He had ruled that there was absolutely no sense in using the nation’s scanty resources to celebrate whatever crazy revolution it was, that that half-Scot and half-Ghanaian called John Jerry was said to have led.
But even before I had finished clapping for him for that crucial decision(who am I anyway?), he had done a 360 degrees gyration, crossed over the Aflao border post to Lome-Togo to celebrate 13 January (treize janvier), another very stupid coup d’état with Gnassingbe Eyadema of cursed memory. I bet that one and his cohorts are burning in hell fire by now. Heaven knows what crime we committed that the gods decided to inflict those beasts on Africa as leaders. They will die (by themselves) one by one. I pray that small-headed, egoistic, flummoxed pygmy with whiskers like a wild cat, who thinks Tony Blair can take his Britain and he will also take ‘his Zimbabwe’, as if Zimbabwe belongs to his father; will also die one of these days.
For some time now, I’ve been listening to people, those who saw it all happen, those who saw part of it, those who heard of it and those who read about it, trying frantically to justify the June 4 revolution and its continued celebration. Well, I don’t care a bowl of kooko or a ball of koose about whether or not June 4 was lead by Rawlings or ‘architectured’ by Boakye Gyan. In fact, Kweku Baako Jnr. and whoever can shout themselves hoarse trying to defend the tenets, or principles of the June 4. They can shout till the foundations of the Thames or the Ganges tremble for all I care. They simply don’t make any sense to me. They did not yesterday, they aren’t making any sense today and I can bet my last piece of boring Parisian life, here in the cold, that they won’t make any sense tomorrow. Ghana has seen a couple of coups from 1966 till 1981. There is no social theory in any book, written or yet to be written, that can convince me that any of them is worth celebrating. A coup is a coup, whether spelt in capital letters or in small letters. What I find interesting in all the arguments for the celebration of the June4 rubbish is the fact that none of its proponents and adherents had lost any very close relation (parents, spouses or children) in the bloodshed that characterized it. I bet they won’t talk about it with all the glee with which they do so today. It’s particularly nauseating for me to think that for whatever reason, some misguided young people, whose sense of judgement has been unfortunately clouded by weird partisan politics, find the excuses for celebrating this scar-on-the-conscience-of-
the-nation, laudable. I listened to one young man on Joy Fm trying to excuse the celebration and I prayed silently that thunder should just strike him dumb.
My position is this; whether it is publicly or privately sponsored, there is absolutely no justification for celebration any coup d’état, be it June4, 31st December or whichever. In a country where we pride ourselves in hardship and poverty, to the extent that we nickname things such as ‘Kuffour gallons’, ‘Rawlings chains’, ‘Mills’ ecomini’ etc, where on the streets of our capital Accra, affluence and penury lie side by side, where the gap between the rich and poor doesn’t look like it will ever get narrowed any day soon, where many hungry people keep tightening their worn out belts, for God knows how many years, only for a few pot-bellied, batakari-wearing greedy politicians to loosen theirs, a country in which after 52 miserable years of hastily acquired independence, we don’t have a stable national educational policy and all we do is reform and review and reform the review of the reformed never-working education policies, a country in which civil servants must work for at least two years before they can receive their first salary, a country in which retired civil servants literally die chasing their retirement benefits, a country in which over one hundred young students could not take part in the just ended Basic Education Certificate Examination through no fault of theirs, (whoever is paid to supervise the accreditation of schools has decided to sleep on the job), a country that on daily basis is nurturing its prospective nation builders into the devouring jaws of the dark streets, a country that clearly has no idea where its current crop of wretched university graduates will be in the next couple of decades; it will be an understatement to say, it is the apogee of insensitivity, callousness, cruelty, viciousness, moral depravity and intellectual bankruptcy, for anyone or group of people to waste resources (private or national), in celebrating the piece of madness called coup d’état, however well-intentioned it may have been.
I shudder to say that as a nation, we are sick. The danger here is that we don’t even seem to know. I just don’t see how killing and celebrating the death of any human for whatever crime can be justified. It does not matter whether it was JJ Rawlings and the 4 or 5 High Court Judges or George Bush and Saddam Hussein. I have not lived through all the regimes; military and civilian in Ghana; but I’m very sure nation wreckers do not have any special identity. If the people who ousted the supposedly corrupt governments and killed their officials were any better than their predecessors, Ghana wouldn’t be where it is today. Our Rawlingses (of NDC not PNDC), our Kuffours and our Atta Millses won’t have had to reduce themselves into chronic beggars traversing every imaginable stretch of the globe begging for alms. For heaven’s sake, what at all is wrong with us?
I hated June 4 celebration yesterday when I was in Ghana, I hate it today while here in the cold and I will hate it tomorrow when I return home into the wretchedness. For people who keep defending this inane and senseless celebration, under the pretext that we need to learn from our past (whatever bloody lessons have we learnt since?), they should bow their bald blank benighted heads in shame; that is if they still have any shame left in their impoverished souls. I rest my case.
Still watching from the cold (the Parisian summer is not being honest).