I grew up in a home that spoke critical of the first president of the Fourth Republic, Jerry John Rawlings of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and later National Democratic Congress (NDC).
I got excited about his revolutionary leadership style that I later came to read and watch on TV; but I also saw the bullet marks on the walls of our gate. I was told what the junta that he was responsible for did to my father, a technocrat, who’d amassed some wealth as one of Nkrumah’s right hand men.
But what should I believe as a young leader who took much inspiration from a man so fearful and controversial– the relics on the wall or the good propaganda about his rescue mission of an ailing economy. Moreso, my father’s oral history goes undocumented even after his many patriotic services. I also wondered what exactly “Mr. Boom”, as he J.J Rawlings was called, told my father in that telephone call whilst he was in exile in Lomè in the 1980s.
“Ojuku smuggled his way to the Aflao\Togo border. He stayed in Lomè to take refuge. He occasionally visited the United Kingdom, the US and Germany. He finally got on a telephone with JJ Rawlings. Rawlings explained the problem wasn’t from his government but from some individuals who were linked to the chieftaincy issues in Ningo and were calling for his head. He advised him not to be in a hurry to return home.