Honourable Ancestors of Ghana and Africa, I salute you. Adolf Hitler once said that, ?Every living organism that ceases to fight for its existence is doomed for extinction.? I am here, not to recount my achievements but to clear my good name which has been tarnished in the mud.

Honourable Ancestors: You would honestly agree with me that there is something wrong with Ghanaian. For the average Ghanaian is easily swayed like the Plebeians of Ancient Rome. They flatter you when the going is good and turn against you when things go bad.

For the very people who hailed me in 1966 were the same people who clamoured for my blood a little over a decade later. Jesus Christ faced the same persecution for those who shouted ?Hosanna, Hosanna? were the same people who shouted, crucify Him! Crucify Him?.

Great Ancestors of Ghana and Africa: My contention is that I have no regret for the role I played in the event of the February 24, 1966 that brought an end to tyranny and enabled you and I to stand together and shout, ?Yen ara yen asase nie [This is our motherland!]

Brave warriors and ancestors from Ghana and the rest of Black Africa: When there were mismanagement and lack of respect for human dignity; when corruption, nepotism and dictatorship reared their ugly heads; when the Preventive Detention Act made life even more intolerable for the ordinary Ghanaian; when our ship of state was at the brink of foundering on the high seas: do take note of the fact that I was saddened and wept like a baby.

For days I could not eat nor drink; neither would I be comforted. It was in the midst of such solitude that some one called me aside and whispered into my ears:
‘Akwasi, I have confidence in you, otherwise I will not be telling you this?. It was General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka of blessed memory.

Much as I abhorred and detested the intervention of the military in the governance of the country, I agreed with him there and then that the Nkrumah’s government should go. ?I was a soldier and politics was not my game.

I was of the opinion that if the people needed a change of government, it was for the people to decide and not the army. When all else failed, we did what we did?. I felt at that time and rightly it was too that I owed a responsibility to the safety of the living, the memory of the dead and to the security of children yet unborn.

Thus, on February 24, 1966, we carried out a Herculean task and removed the last vestiges of the cruel and hated regime. People hailed us here and there. Every where we went, we were acclaimed heroes and given all sorts of titles. It was then I remembered ‘The Old Patriot’. I recoiled and said, ?Mere noise repels. But give me your yonder skies?.

My beloved friend and inspirer, General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka left me at the cross roads. I became friendless and lost in thought. Later, when the mantle of leadership fell on me, do take note, Honourable Ancestors that I did not decline the offer to serve my country. I accepted the task with a determination to work harder than ever before.

Great Ancestors of the Continent. I beseech thee to take note of the fact that I gave my fellow citizens freedom of speech and all the freedoms enshrined in our constitution and the United Nations Charter on Human Rights. It is on record my fight to have the obnoxious Article 71 repealed and expunged from the statute books.

Since quitting office, I have come out of my shell in response to numerous cries and calls from my compatriots anytime their freedom or liberty was being threatened. That, on many occasions nearly resulted in my death.

Was this a crime?

Yet, in the midst of the June 4, 1979 insurrection by a few disloyal, undisciplined and unpatriotic soldiers, whose action flung the wheel of progress several decades back, I was taken from my humble abode and executed for no crime committed.

The very nature of my execution was Horrible, Cruel, Savage, Barbaric and Inhuman. They tortured me to the very end.
So, revered and Honourable Ancestors of the Continent: Here I stand before you awaiting you verdict.

[The above tribute is to commemorate the Thirty Third Anniversary of the brutal murder of Okatakyie Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa. He was murdered on the 26th June 1979].

Daniel Danquah Damptey (0243715297). ([email protected]);([email protected])

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