On Tuesday, 18th February, 2014, at about 6.30 am when I was getting ready to go to work, I received a call from someone whose voice sounded familiar. The caller asked if I was Daniel Danquah Damptey and when I answered in the affirmative, he identified himself as General Nunoo Mensah. He made reference to an article which I had writing in response to his assertion that anyone who could not bear the harsh economic conditions imposed upon them by an uncaring government should relocate to another country or planet. I told him indeed, I wrote that piece.
In a conciliating tone, he told me he would like to have a ?friendly? chat on the article with me and asked when it would be convenient for me. He went on to state that he doesn?t remember having met me, but since I claim to know him, it would be an opportunity for the two of us to understand ourselves and know what each person stands for.
I responded that truly, he honoured our invitation to the launching of the Leadership Cadet Corps at Ghanata Secondary School, Dodowa, in the early 80?s.? At that point, I realized something wasn?t right so asked why the chat could not be held on the phone. His reply was that he is a person who is greatly misunderstood. It would afford me a better opportunity to know who he is and what he truly stands for.
He asked me what day and time it would be convenient for the two of us to meet. I told him this Saturday, 22nd February, 2014 between the hours of 12 noon and 2.00pm. He said Saturday, 12.oo noon would be an ideal time and that we should meet at Immigration Headquarters (Officers Mess).
He said he would call me later to confirm the rendezvous.
As I have always stated in all my write-ups, as a law abiding citizen, I will accept invitation from both the mighty and the low in the society. I am not afraid to honor any such invitation, but these are days of confused and irrational thinking and in the midst of such uncertainties, one could only sleep standing and with one eye open. There have been uncountable instances whereby people who chose to honor such invitations ended up being arrested.
But I will honor the invitation because I hold General Nunoo Mensah to be a true gentleman who stands by his words. At times, he treads at places where Angels even fear to go.? He on his own volition came to tell Ghanaians the advice he gave to late President Mills when the latter wanted to quit as President. The General could have kept mute on the subject because there was no one present when he gave his candid advice to the late President. But he came out anyway to tell what he did and got crucified for that. Other lesser mortals would have avoided fishing in troubled waters.
I stand by my principles which I have nurtured since I came of age. And that is to speak the truth no matter the circumstances. I started fighting injustice right from when I was about 12 years of age. People at times regard me as a rebel but there is nothing anybody could do to change that tag. And like Dr. J.B. Danquah said when he was incarcerated the second time, if the end brings me out all good, the accusations now being made against him will amount to nothing. But if the end brings me out all wrong, ?even Ten Thousand Angels swearing I am right will make no difference?.
That is my faith as I go for the ?friendly chat? with General Nunoo Mensah. My only grouse is the venue. Why has he chosen the Immigration Head quarters and no other venue? Well the saga will unfold when I get to the venue. But even this aspect pales to insignificance for the only thing that matters most is the truth. Men are known to have died for believing in principles which they held dearest to their hearts. Power is transient, for nothing lasts forever.
I am going for that friendly chat with the former National Security Adviser to the President of the country with the belief that I have done nothing wrong. Perhaps, my only ?sin? was that I took advantage of a clause in the constitution which allows me to air my views on any subject that concerns Ghana, the country why I love and cherish very much.
I sincerely believe that it is not in the character of General Nunoo Mensah to use his office as a top security capo to harass innocent Ghanaians whose only crime is to condemn governments chosen and surest way to Golgotha.
I am using this medium to call on the international community and all Ghanaians of goodwill to condemn the capricious use of power to cow down the spirits of genuine Ghanaians.
I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth I have seen the ugly face of poverty because I have lived it. I know what it is to go without food for days. But I am a proud and principled Ghanaian who wants the best or his fellow human beings.
Tell Magazine (Nigeria) of March 11, 2002 had this to say: ?Because we are not planning for the future, everything including temporary failures takes us by surprise?.
We all know that a man who is eager to inherit a widow is not likely to produce a redeeming medicine to the dying husband. The chicken that eats the worm forgets that the hawk is watching and is ready to pounce. He who does not speak does not have the risk of having his pipe out.
Yes, the strong and powerful in the society regard themselves as inferno, whilst those at the lower rungs of the ladder (the flotsam and jetsam) are regarded as the storm. But have you ever heard of burnt water? If anyone tells you of burnt water, ask him to produce the ashes.
Democracy is at the crossroads and the individual freedom of expression is being stifled. The outcome of the ?friendly? chat between General Nunoo Mensah and my humble self will to a larger extent, determine whether or not the culture of silence is gradually creeping back into our country.
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. The past is the best prophet for the future. The past cannot be changed. But we can work through the present to shape the future.
?Daniel Danquah Damptey (0243715297) [email protected]