Jesus Barabbas Or Jesus, Called The Messiah?

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Spining

Once upon a time, there emerged a government headed by a very youthful president in the year of our Lord, (Anno Domini – AD 2013), in the sub-Saharan nation state called Ghana. His name was Mr. John Dramani Mahama. His presidency was marred with so many unprece -dented incidents unheard of anywhere in the sub-region. Lately, an Act of Act Parliament was in the offing that any foreign calls received by all Ghanaians and residents alike would attract levy. However, Ghanaians should try to pray hard otherwise, the way things go, and the fact the president is on record to have stated the economy was so broke that it has reached the bone and perhaps no marrow within. Sooner than later, if we aren?t lucky, this incumbent government might be tempted to levy taxes on the very ?air? that Ghanaians breathe here because, the only option and available loophole left now was for them to tap this natural resource and sell by tots to the needy and almost all the people who wanted it. If that happens, then it means that everyone here would easily be caught up by the said tax net (element). This will help the government to rope in so much needed money for the government?s yearning infrastructure development deficit. This will assist her to have an upward adjustment for the better if not our bitter Ghana Agenda instead. Incidentally, so much has been collected but, virtually, to date, no physical proof of any sort can be shown to that manifestation. The Ghana Revenue Authority (GTA) in its entirety, and for that matter, the CEPS as a principal part or arm of it has on many occasions, exceeded its revenue targets for the last four or so years and it is a worrisome fact that nothing could be a showpiece or visible landmark to show the future generation and one wonders where all the monies collected go.

MOURNING

As already indicated in some of the previous articles, Ghana was ushered into a state of mourning about a year ago. Why? The democratically elected president, John Evans Atta Mills, died miraculously. The death till now, is shrouded in secrecy and continues to be a mystery. Was there any Italian Mafia backed incident behind the hidden act? Till now, only God knows how he died, no human outside Ghana?s powerhouse knows the way and manner as to how come the sudden death except the Castle insiders at the time before he was rushed half-dead to the 37 Military Hospital supposedly with blood oozing profusely and disgustingly from the mouth and ears on that Tuesday, July 24, 2012. Ghanaians were kept spellbound with that disdainful news on our airwaves and on our television screens that our president had passed on and most of us were yet to recover from the excruciating pain and shock. Time according to the then Chief of Staff, Henry Martey Newman, was 14.15 hours when that unlucky incident took place. The family members and well wishers should not be embar -rassed for raking their wounds and bereavement as the unexpected death and the mystery surrounding same would continue to be unraveled one day.? Was Henry a medical officer to be able to pronounce him dead or got the information from the authorities at the 37 hospital before divulging the news to Ghanaians? Wonders, they say, will never end and truly will never end in Ghana. What time did Mr. Mills?s siblings depart from him at the Castle till the time the announcement was heard on the airwaves? Was it an ?Ananse-cooked story or an ?Ntikuma-baked ?story for us to believe or disbelieve their assertion? To the many people outside the Castle perimeter, the death is still a mystery and one has to take it or leave it. ?If you can?t beat them, then you better join them? as a popular advert on our screens depicts. Even though most people are doubtful, we still have to believe their side of the story. ?Leave them alone, there is more to it than meets the eye?, that was a funny comment passed by an independent pathologist this author contacted later. Till now, the medical authorities at the prestigious medical hospital have either been coerced to acquiesce to be partners in trade with this agreement to conceal this diabolical lie/deceit for pittance just to throw dust onto the eyes of the loved ones as well as their opponents. Personally, not until international pathologists outside Ghana?s borders were invited to give their version of the autopsy report, this writer and indeed, many hungry and thirsty skeptics, including the media fraternity, would not budge their story as to the credibility of that hurriedly prepared report. The story on the autopsy report is still kept in secrecy but the truth will definitely come out one day as submerged cork never stays under water.

SWEARING-IN

Vice President Mahama was quickly sworn in the same day ? at about 20.30 hours after Parliament had been summoned to convene for the solemn but pathetic ceremony. Soon after the swearing-in by Her Ladyshsip, the Chief Justice, Madam Georgina Theodora Wood, one of the first official announcements was that he would ensure that the Woyome Gate defrauded money would be recouped. That affirmative speech brought back smiles onto the faces of all Ghanaians but that was to test our pulse. ?However, not until the indefatigable Martin ABK Amidu had undertaken upon himself to fight this canker single handedly to retrieve same for the silent masses and the down-trodden in Ghana, Mr. Mahama had been very silent as he was not going to eat his word anyway. Incredible indeed! And since taking over, almost everything he has attempted to touch or implement seems to have back-fired; no clear cut policy has been physically seen as visible landmark that is a clear manifestation of the Mahama government legacy. The countless number of well intentioned policies to cushion the ordinary man?s style of living has been trampled upon. Rather, the lifestyle of many a people seems to be nose-diving and one feels very disenchanted and helpless for being a Ghanaian except one was nearer the few people who have resorted to creating, looting and sharing the national kitty. With their slogan, ?ye be dii keke?, we only came in for the booty so for such a government to think about the poor masses was something unthink -able. This government since the era of Nkrumah?s government, has been the most lucky beneficiary of many loans and grants but in terms of infrastructure, it lacks abysmally. Well, posterity will judge them all as history will be written about each individual?s success story or otherwise. Many people even prefer the dark days of the Rawlings? revolution to the current and this places them in a very dangerous and precarious position. ???

ADMONITION

As characteristic of this author, this write up would be totally incomplete without a quotation from the Good Book and this time, readers will have to turn with him to the Gospel according to Matthew, Chapter 27: 11-26 on the sub-titles ?Pilate Questions Jesus? and ?Jesus is Sentenced to Death?.

Pilate Questions Jesus –

11 ?Jesus stood before the Roman Governor, who questioned him. ?Are you the king of the Jews?? he asked. ?So you say,? answered Jesus. 12 But he said nothing in response to the accusations of the chief priests and elders. 13 So Pilate said to him, ?Don?t you hear all these things they accuse you of?? 14 But Jesus refused to answer a single word, with the result that the Governor was greatly surprised.

Jesus is Sentenced to Death

15 At every Passover Festival the Roman Governor was in the habit of setting any one prisoner the crowd asked for. 16 At that time there was a well known prisoner named Barabbas (modern day armed robber). 17 So when the crowd gathered, then Pilate asked them, ?Which one do you want me to set free for you? Jesus Barabbas or Jesus called the Messiah?? 18 He knew very well that the Jewish authorities had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous. 19 While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: ?Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night I suffered much on account of him?. 20 The chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask Pilate to set Barabbas free and have Jesus put to death. 21 But Pilate asked the crowd, ?Which one of these two do you want me to set free for you?? ?Barabbas!? they answered. 22 ?What then, shall I do with Jesus called the Messiah?? Pilate asked them. ?Crucify him!? they all answered. 23 But Pilate asked, ?What crime has he committed?? Then they started shouting at the top of their voices: ?Crucify him!? 24 When Pilate saw that it was no use to go on, but that a riot might break out, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, ?I am not responsible for the death of this man! This is your doing!? 25 The whole crowd answered, ?Let the punishment for his death fall on us and our children!? 26 Then Pilate set free for them; and after he had Jesus whipped, he handed him over to be crucified.

BIBLICAL CONTEXT

Tuesday, July 2, 2013, has come and gone. And the day immediately following the 53rd

Anniversary celebration of Ghana?s Republican status, three Ghanaians namely, Stephen

Atubiga, Kwame Boahen and Ken Kuranchi were summoned to appear and answer for their

charges of their individual behavior/misbehavior to the Supreme Court for the supposed

contempt actions on Day 37. This is in relation to the Election Petition Hearing in Court and

for that matter, for their outrageous remarks to the effect that whatever ruling that might

come out of the SC verdict relative to, or in respect of the EPH and its outcome would

vehemently be fought presumably, physically and not be acceptable by Atubiga and his

cohorts and supposedly his NDC partners. From the look of things, the ruling by our learned

judges clearly suggests that long before this Binduri youngman who self-styles himself as a

poor village boy from a poor family background and a professional electrician/businessman

yearning and clamouring for an NDC seat for Binduri one day, had regretted making such

harsh, unfounded and provocative statements to set the country ablaze. Contrary to

expectations, he was reported as having repeatedly accepted his guilt on the airwaves.

Whether it was ?only crocodile tears? or genuine remorsefulness, only God knows. Thereafter,

the Court invited this Kumasi-based NDC regional youth organizer for Ashanti, and during the

cross-fire and flurry of questions from the Bench, Kwame Boahen politely showed a copy of

newspaper?s apology for causing some harm and probably damage to his integrity to upset

the whole Court. ?Still dumbfounded, they had to eventually and in totality, with one accord,

no other option but to acquit and discharge him for lack of evidence as was presumed. In

effect, after realization, it meant that they put the cart before the horse because, according

to this unfortunate but lucky victim, who was later left off the hook, he had, two weeks

?before the line was drawn, not appeared and/or attended as a guest/panelist in person at

any radio station for political commentaries or hot debates/discussions in ?and around ?

Kumasi thereby having a good case to catch all the 9-member panel of jurists spellbound. Did

the SC finally accept their folly to decide in chambers on any alimony or compensation for his

roundtrip transportation from and to Kumasi for their hearsay invitation and the damage

inflicted on his person and the mental torture, agony and trauma that he and the family must

have found themselves? Undoubtedly, Kwame?s testimony indeed must have taught the

highest court a great lesson that, in future, they should not and never base their arguments

for summons to the court on assumption of ?hearsay? or on flimsy newspaper reports/excuses

and hurriedly drag persons before them for contempt until and except they have sufficient

and ample proof of evidence. However, before they recovered from the shock that the legal

?axe never fell duly on this protruding pot-bellied fellow to show him where power actually

lies, then quietly called in Ken Kuranchi, the incorrigible Managing Editor of the now back-to-

fame ?Daily Searchlight? paper to prove the stuff that he was made of to have the guts to

request to know the ?the dos and the donts? of every Ghanaian regarding cases before them.

Not quite long, his ?supposed? charge sheet was read to him. In humility, Ken wanted to know

his charge sheet. One panel member quickly cut in to ask him what he meant by a charge

sheet. And before one could say, Jack, where are you, the shrill but a seemingly ?Ayaricough?

type of soprano voice asked him if he understood what had been read to him. ????????????????????????????????

INTERVENTION

After a brief and heavy sigh, Ken wanted to know what had been the cause of his invitation to the august court. And just as he started to rattle the Queen?s language, lead Counsel Atta Akyea, led him in defence by intervening. But strangely, try as the counsel persuaded the court to understand them, he was misconstrued. However, Team Atta Akyea continued to persuade the SC to understand their side of the story but to no avail. Ken Kuranchi, according to government circles, has recently become a sharp thorn in the pawn of government, and some people even think that Ken?s presence at the court was the ripe time for the powers that be to ensure that he was disciplined about his notoriety and taught a bitter lesson to send fears down the spines of the irresponsible media. Do we know that constitutionally, the media is regarded as the fourth estate of the realm. That would also forestall peace. It would also put a halt to the reckless and useless comments and check the loose and unguarded talk by Ghanaians. Agreeably, the sentence was a welcome gesture because the polarization by these two political parties had separated the country apart. ?The floor was then open for the victim to tell his side of the story. Ken made frantic effort to appeal to the judges but since his infantile knowledge in the law faculty did not match anywhere with theirs since some of the learned judges at the bench have been there for close to 30 or 40 years, it looked as if his particular case had accidentally been premeditated and predestined for a jail term. Some even thought that his case had been pre-judged long before taking their big seats for the trial. Eventually, after several wranglings and what have you by almost all the judges, retired to their chambers for the usual tete-a-tete only to return to the main courtroom with their verdict. To the chagrin and amazement of all present, radio listeners and the layman in the street; everybody who listened in to his radio and/or watched his/her television set knew that the Binduri youngster, who had learnt his electrical profession alongside with the proficiency in the American slangs, would be slapped with the harshest of sentences. But contrary to expectation, he was rather treated with ?kid gloves? as his sentence turned out to be the opposite. In passing judgment, it ?was learnt that before he arrived at the courtroom, was heard on several airwaves to be pleading for clemency for his senseless, irresponsible and unguarded loose talk. Many people this author confided, testify that this Stephen Atubiga star from Binduri, who is reported to be eyeing for the Binduri parliamentary seat in far away Upper East on the ticket of NDC, would have wished to roll out on the floor of the Court to show his deep sense of remorsefulness but for shyness, did not. All along, his posture kept showing remorseful and guilt but who knows, whether they were all crocodile tears. As a nonentity, may be, in the legal context, one?s conjecture and posture at the court room before a judge(s) count much more than being fluent in answering the charges/queries as they are hurled at you to warrant acquittal and discharge. Was the ruling to couch most Ghanaians or what? One is at a loss as to whether that particular action was to put endemic fear into the masses and allow peace to prevail or to re-introduce the culture of silence. Has the criminal libel law that had been repealed a decade ago now been revoked? It is hoped that before the end of this EPH when a suitable and impartial verdict would be pronounced to set all minds at peace, the well-composed and dignified SC would do Ghanaians a big favour to educate all and sundry as to what our limitations in respect of cases before them were so that in future, nobody became a scapegoat again. The writer could be wrong or right because from some subsequent discussions engaged by various panelists, it is presumed that the SC (even though they, themselves too, infallible as they could be), were also not above the laws of the land, and they determined the fate of all Ghanaians and foreigners currently living in the country. The pertinent question on the lips of many people is ? Are we reverting to or revisiting the dark days of the Preventive Detention Act passed by Dr. Nkrumah?s CPP government to exorcise the same infamous law that couched many opposition members into submission and sent several others to jail and the lucky spineless ones fleeing from the shores of Ghana into self-exile? How many people still remember the GBC?s lunchtime news at 1.00 p.m. those days that automatically hypnotized many people to glue themselves to their radio sets till the end of the news for escape chutes?

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JESUS BARABBAS OR JESUS, THE MESSIAH?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013, has come and gone, anyway, without coercing commentators from passing comments on the SC ruling on the trio ? Stephen Atubiga, Kwame Boahen and Ken Kuranchi. Ghanaians and the world are the best judges and the author needs not elaborate much about the court proceedings. Your guess could be as good as that of the writer?s. Comparatively, the Atubiga/Kuranchi scenario could be likened to the biblical days of Pontius Pilate sitting in judgment for a ruling involving the two personalities – Jesus Barabbas and Jesus, the Messiah. Just as the crowd yearned for and called for the head of Jesus the Messiah as against that of Jesus Barabbas who was well known to be a notorious armed robber of their time. As if by design or accident, the crowd rather called for the one who was to receive the major sentence to be freed. It turned out to be the opposite. As already previewed elsewhere, many people are of the view that Stephen Atubiga?s highly inflam -matory and uncontrollable tongue that gave birth to the unprecedented remarks could easily have set the country ablaze. Generally, he was to have suffered maximum penalty for the role he played but was treated with ?kid? gloves. Governments go and governments come. And if we know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, people would not behave in that backward manner taking into cognizance that if one?s party was in power today to teach people a lesson, they must be very careful. To the surprise of all and sundry, Atubiga, in the eyes of all present and viewers, received the slightest of punishments for his misdeed. However, the court knows best. Hypothetically, how would the laws of Ghana deal with a known hardened criminal, with armed robbery as his bread and butter; with hindsight as an architect of a coup plot to topple a democratically elected government such as Ghana like ?Jesus Barabbas? of old in the Bible? If a case like that was ever presented to them taking into cognizance that this same Jesus Barabbas had earlier on murdered an opponent in broad daylight in the full glare of the police at say, Agbogbloshie, a suburb of Accra with his name still on the police wanted list. If such a person was ever at all sent to the court, how will this case be determined? If such a person soon after arrival at the court premises, and on entering the room still in handcuffs, started shouting and pleading for clemency without being called to explain his side of the story thus; ?My Lord(s), have mercy on me, please tamper justice with mercy, bla, bla, bla, etc., it was by accident, it was the devil, I wasn?t myself, truly, it looks as if I am getting insane; it was the devil that incensed me to so engage in that sordid act, please forgive me for that unfortunate act and the devil?s machinations. This is just an illustrated scenario to be used as food for thought for the law students and political science students for the future. Let us try to digress or assume that few seconds before a presiding judge started with his comment(s) on a seemingly ?insane? person wanting his freedom from culpability in a particular case such as this before him, immediately as it were, rolls himself out on the floor of that court room like an empty steel drum being pushed by a strong wind. If he folded himself like a carpet being rolled out on an empty floor, does that remorseful action constitute or have a reduction of sentence or either pardon/ clemency from the judge?. If he has been tutored to do that to show a sign of remorse, would the same particular judge on this case, knowing the historical background of this particular national criminal as a jail bird, who has previously jumped bail a dozen times, and still on the police wanted list, be set free like Barabbas or treated with kid gloves? If? he rolls himself on the floor of the court to escape blame and long sentence, can the judge slap him with light sentence or as it were, take into account of the severity of his case and jail him say 20 years or more to let his neighbourhood and compatriots enjoy their peace? The writer leaves the answer with the legal brains for a case study to rest his case. ???????????

CLARIFICATION

Finally, the SC ruled that the duo ? Stephen Atubiga and Ken Kuranchi be given sentences of 3 and 10 days respectively. No sane person could twist the ruling unless probably, in the case of Ken Kuranchi, the presiding judge, His Lordship William Atubuga had stated that the latter should be transferred a hundred times while in custody for his own safety/security. The prison officers in charge of this ?disrespectful contemptuous criminal? should bow their heads in shame. Equally, the PRO for that department should be ashamed of himself for talking to radio stations about the modalities as to how Ken would have his freedom while he had fore-knowledge of his earlier release under cover of darkness from the prison at 05.30 hours. He should note that no condition was ever permanent. And nobody should forget about the sector minister with the police and prisons under his nose; he cannot extricate himself at all from being privy to Ken?s mental torture while he was being incarcerated. He too must be guilty of himself. ?Soon after the verdict on that fateful Black Tuesday, July 2, 2013, time 1645 hours, the two unlucky friends were handcuffed. They were whisked away to the police headquarters and relocated to another at 2100 hours, for their first journey en route to the prison. Later, according to insiders and information gathered from the grapevine there, instructions from above as the Ghanaian parlance normally puts it, the two were driven at top speed in police van with police escort (not prison van as was supposed to be) to the Nsawam Medium Security Prison. As if they were members of a coup plot to destabilize the current government; that was not enough for them. Let us show him and the entire opposition because we wield power now forgetting so easily that power has always been a transferrable element. Why do some people allow themselves to be easily consumed by power? Where are the Iddi Dada Amins, the Muamar Gaddafis, the Saddam Husseins, the Kwame Nkrumahs, the Haille Selassies, the Abiolas, the Gnassingbe Eyademas, the Modibo Keitas, the Sekou Toures, et cetera now? If these personalities can never ever come back to life, then man should re-think about what happens after posterity. Trust me and mark the word of this author that for Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi to unduly acquiesce wilfully to be privy to treat Ken Kuranchi in this unconstitutional manner has dented his political image and ambition to such an unprecedented point that it would have been better he arranged to get him transferred across borders to the Seychelles Islands where many Ghanaians would find difficulty reaching him.

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MERRY-GO-ROUND EXCURSIONS

Soon after they had undergone their initial formalities and rituals at Nsawam for the prison authorities to show them their respective cells with concrete beds, not quite fours later, Stephen Atubiga was again whisked from there to an unknown destination. That was not sufficient to please the powers that be. Around 02.00 hours of Wednesday, July 3, according to a sympathetic prison officer who confided in a relative and pleaded for anonymity, and who monitored the events carefully, hinted that Ken too had been taken to the Ho prison custody, because his teeming followers and admirers had indicated they would visit him, solidarize with him, offer food and give him moral support. On arrival at Ho, it was also learnt according to sources monitored from an Accra Radio that the NPP regional chairman, one Ken Nuworsu, was also quoted as saying that their ?idol? would be taken care of and fed sumptuously. As if by design, fate or accident, when news flashed around, the same powers that be incensed as if they were like wounded lions, recoiled into their shells and started another strategy. This time round they sent Ken to far away Kete Krachi. But the funny thing here is that ? did Ken Kuranchi?s sentence as splashed by the SC include his excursions to all these places or vice versa to show brute force or bestial powers? Does he have a right to appeal/sue the authorities as he has been released? The author is stultified because, assuming, while he was being conducted round and transported as if on an excursion spree from point A, B, C, D and back to base at the Nsawam Medium Security Prison, just to outwit the public from visiting him to know his countless number of admirers, who takes the blame if, in the course of all these journeys, he died through motor accident? Whose fault will it be and how does the State account for his death or address itself to this unexpected incident? Are we mindful that anything could happen to him to further put the government?s already tarnished image into disrepute? Would the government (through the Ministry of the Interior ? and for that matter, Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi as sector minister ? take absolute and unconditional blame for the irresponsible and unmeritorious action for their Stone Age actions and inactions? Why can?t someone call the bluff of the government and its appointees to book? These kind of crude practices and NDC norms are all shameful sights and should attract query from responsible citizenry and be condemned in no uncertain terms by all civil societies. They should rather feel ashamed whenever they continue to unceremoniously crave the accolade ?Gateway to Africa?. Isn?t this very shameful and worrying as it is equally also an indictment on the very government that prides itself as ?Working for you?? S H A M E F U L! Isn?t it? Is that how Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi who was likely to take over from the Mahama government after 2016 going to start his ambitious presidential journey by misbehaving himself as the minister responsible for interior? I would have thought that Kwesi, acting on instructions, would have ?

done his worst to relocate Ken to the rest of all the regional prisons to have an insight to help sell his paper when released. Ghanaians haven?t yet forgotten the atrocities meted out to them when they appeared at the Citizens? Vetting Committee that Comrade Kwamena Ahwoi (your brother) was its umpire in the 80s. That was the era when anybody with more than Gh?5.00 (?50,000) was to show cause as to how he/she came by that money. They should give us a break and leave us alone as some of us are tired of their intrigues. What was needed most in Ghana now were the antidote to the ?dum so, dum so, dum so? menace that has damaged their source of livelihood and the nationwide ?filth? that has engulfed us. Again, the necessary steps to retrieve Ghana?s money that was paid through judgment debts and not, repeat not, the code of ethics for political appointees? that was pressing for compliance. That should rather pre-occupy the attention of the insensitive government and not the unceremonious prison tour/excursion embarked upon. By your infamous action for your acquiescence, deed/misdeed for the part/role you played, whether you like it or not, your image has been dented and take it or leave it, Ken ?Saro Wiwa? Kuranchi has instantly become the Ghanaian hero of the inky fraternity for the decade.

Postscript – When will the president or his representative or assign be dragged to court for a similar disparaging ?contemptuous? statement attributed to him concerning the EPH that was before them for determination and adjudication when he went to church at Akuapem Mamfe recently? If he will not be invited at all, why not? GHANAIANS WANT TO KNOW PLEASE. And is any Ghanaian above our laws? Please the world is watching our fragile democracy with eagle?s eyes; let us be very careful. That is food for thought for some of us still languishing in George Orwell?s ?ANIMAL FARM?.

 

? By: kofiappiah2002@yahoo.com

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