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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Feature: Run man run, Santana is in town!!!


When I was just a little boy growing up in the zongo, we used to watch cowboy films. Those were the days when the late President of America, Ronald Reagan and Roy Roger were cowboy film stars.

In those days, we the children did not have money to pay to enter the cinema halls but we had something the organizers needed badly.

We would go to the place with benches and stand there waiting patiently. When the cinema hall became full and there were no seats, the organizers would come out and ask us to enter with our benches.

You can imagine the stampeding that followed this announcement as everybody wanted to enter with his bench. Even when you were able to enter with your bench, you were not allowed to sit on it. We the children always sat on the bare floor in front of the screen.

In fact, we were content with that. And when there was any mistake that would make the film stop showing, we were the ones who would unceasingly shout “Operator Oye soome, Operator, Oye soome” till the film started to run again.

There was this particular cowboy called Santana who thrilled us with the dexterity with which he rolled and fired the pistol. Santana was ruthless and dealt with his opponents with no mercy whatsoever.

Anytime Santana and his marauding cowboys entered a village, they left behind pain, sorrow and maimed men and women.

They would fuse the noses of the cattle with gunpowder and ride away with impunity. You never knew when Santana would pull a gun. And when he did, my oh my, you would love to see the fastness with which he shoots down his opponents.

Some of the films he featured were “Run, man run, Santana is in town”, “Kill them all and come back alone”, “Santana, the angel of death”, and “Till the day I die”.

Are you confused? Hold your breath because I am going to deal with an issue which undoubtedly is your concern as well.

Santana has reincarnated here in Ghana. The last time I heard of the 64 battalion was in the year 2001 when ex-President Kufuor took over the reins of power.

Instead of disbanding the outfit which operated outside the normal military hierarchy and paid allegiance to only Rawlings, the meek and mild president decided to distribute them among other battalions and even went further to charge the commanders to retrain them since most of them only graduated from the revolutionary days as cadres.

The international community lauded the then president for a good job done because if he had just dismissed them, some of them could have turned to armed robbery and disturbed our peace. I remember I wrote a piece about the magnanimity of the then sitting president.

When I bought the Daily Graphic of Tuesday, December 29, 2009 and read about the 64 battalion being called in to quell a riot at Agona Swedru, I had a chill in my spine. The commandoes again?!

Lord have mercy on us! Since when did they come back? Are they going to brutalize us again like they did when Rawlings was in power? Is Atta Mills aware of the existence of the commandos?

Are they still located at the Blue Gate? These and many more are questions I want the government of Mills to answer and answer well.

When some of us said a vote for Mills meant a vote for Rawlings, some people did not understand the slogan well.

The truth is that Rawlings is back on the saddle in a disguise. The man is controlling the affairs of the state in his house whiles the President sits at the castle, awaiting instructions. This is how far destiny has brought us.

Look at how major streets were closed in Accra and Tema to celebrate the damned 31st December revolution! Will the Ghana Police Service have had the guts to close the streets when Kufuor was in power? Rawlings is in full control of the security agencies and can do whatever he likes with them.

Undoubtedly state resources were used to celebrate the anniversary, and yet the NDC people do not hesitate to tell whosoever cares to listen that the country is broke. 31st December brought nothing but pain and sorrow to the good people of this country.

Thousands of innocent Ghanaians, including judges and top military officers, were killed for nothing. Shops were looted and hundreds run into exile to save their lives. For eleven years Rawlings and his men and women held the nation at ransom and ruled with iron hands.

They ruined and bruised the economy while they were educating their children abroad. It did not take too long for these hitherto malnourished, ascetic revolutionary cadres to become rich and acquire a taste for the good things in life like Jacuzzis, jaguars, speedboats and mansions of architectural wonder.

31st December also institutionalized indiscipline, lawlessness, buffoonery and obstreperous bullying.

I expect Rawlings to ask himself the whereabouts of all those he started the journey with and honestly answer the question himself.

If he doesn’t know the answer, let me tell him that many of them have gone gaga because of poverty and hardship. Others became paupers before they went to their villages to die.

Those who did run away to escape being killed are literally scratching the ground to make a living. Rawlings should also look back like historians do and compare his status before the revolution to what he is today.

In fact, 31st December was all a hoax, a big swindle. Oh yes, it was an effete conspiracy of impudent snobs.

These power-hungry revolutionaries capitalized on the docility of Ghanaians to misrule, and at the end of the day they did not account to anybody even though they came to power on the wings of accountability.

Where is Account 48? Somebody should ask Rawlings to tell Ghanaians where he got the money to finance his political party.

You see, if some of us who were old enough to witness the madness called 31st December fail to constantly tell the younger generation about what happened during those crazy days, they could be easily misled one day by someone else who will come preaching virtues but doing vices.

31st December 1981 was an unmitigated disaster and not worth celebrating. It should rather be a day of mourning in remembrance of those who were murdered or made to die slowly through poverty like Dr. Hilla Limann, the former Executive President of Ghana.

Credit: Eric Bawah/Daily Guide

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