Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

URF has case to answer

By Ntim Gyakari

The statement by the United Revolutionary Front (URF), part of which was published in this magazine last week, raised a number of issues which the writer attempts to throw more light on.
To celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the military rebellion in Ghana on 31st December 1981, an organisation that calls itself United Revolutionary Front (URF) issued a statement and circulated it.

This statement was supposed to have been signed by one of the many pseudo-revolutionaries Nyeya Yen "on behalf of the External Secretariat, London, 31st December 1981". What this means is not comprehensible.

The so-called URF is supposed to be an amalgamation of the June Fourth Movement and People's Revolutionary League of Ghana. These were front organisations that were mobilised by Rawlings, Tsikatas, Chris Bukari Atim, Akwasi Adu, and their ilk to give a semblence of national support for the political farce now bedevilling mother Ghana.

Under the cloak of fighting corruption, inefficiency, world imperialism and lacklustre political drama of President Limann's era, Rawlings' ego was bolstered by these front organisations.

In the statement the so-called URF among other matters, condemned and disdained Rawlings for falling out with his colleagues; for assuming the role of supreme dictator. Rawlings is chastised for embarking on disastrous economic policies and betraying their ideology.

The so-called URF members, who wore expensive jeans while parading themselves before the whole world as a poverty-stricken lot determined to banish poverty in Ghana and join the crusade of the World revolutionary forces, exhibited every kind of immorality both in their public and private lives. They rode in the best cars available in the land. They displayed arrogance. They lived in posh bungalows, and had orders to eat and sleep in the best hotels. As a result of their action incompetence has become the order of the day and no respect for any authority or elders has been officially encouraged.

Members of the so-called URF were armed to the teeth and there is the possibility that they shed innocent blood and maimed many other defenceless Ghanaians.

Now that some of the members of the so-called URF are in exile how do they manage financially, or have they also "ran away to overseas to enjoy their stolen monies in foreign banks?"

On the ideological front, why do the members of the so-called URF style themselves socialists? Their activities while in various political offices could not make them lay any claim to socialism. They are the type of "ideologues" who give socialism a bad name.

They could see now the terror they helped Rawlings to instil into the Ghanaian populace, the humiliation. and wanton destruction of human lives, not to mention the harassment which forced many Ghanaians to leave the country that belongs to them.

On the economic analysis contained in the URF statement, the question to be answered by them is: what could they do when they had the chance? They naively and ignorantly added to the penury of Ghanaians. The policy PNDC pursued when it foisted itself on Ghanaians has been one of economic bankruptcy.

It was during this period that realisation dawned upon Rawlings that like old Robin Hood he has been leading brigands. But the economic isolation had already taken place and among the measures the rebels could take was to search frantically for loans regardless of long term implications for the whole country. The pamphleteers and sloganeers like the lot of the URF members were shown the exit.

The economy is in shambles with devaluation now nearly 1,000%, I do not know how Ghanaians are going to live that down. Rawlings is not capable of spearheading any economic recovery, because he does not understand how this could be done. He has instead created divisions and bitterness.

PNDC has brought the fragile economy of Ghana on its knees and no average Ghanaian family which has not got a member outside Ghana to supplement the family's income can survive.

On the ideological front, why do the members of the so-called URF style themselves socialists? Their activities while in various political offices could not make them lay any claim to socialism. They are the type of "ideologues" who give socialism a bad name. Their activities border on "neo anarchist tactics". Socialism, one of the finest political philosophies should not be allowed to be debased by the members of the so-called URF.

For instance, Nkrumaism is a fully- fledged socialist ideology tailored for Ghana's and Africa's revolutions. But these members of the so-called URF spurned it. They only believed in confrontational politics. They could not set up any socialist structure except the WDC's and PDC's which were fashioned on Libyan-style political objectives.

The attempt to differentiate between PNDC I and PNDC II does not hold water. There is no difference. The leadership remains incipiently the same and the rebellion of 31st December 1981 is still an on-going process. A new Ghana needs to be born that will allow politics to be conducted without acrimony and rancour and make possible the restoration of peace, stability, hard work, respect for authority, elders and other intrinsic values of the Ghanaian society.

talking drums 1985-02-18 after the kidnap trial Dikko says I shall return to Nigeria