Aflao Doom Speech; JJ Shakes NDC

Tomorrow’s June 4th commemoration rally slated for Aflao seems to have a lot in store, as former President Jerry John Rawlings is likely to drop what has been described by Friends of Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings (FONKAR) kingpin, Ernest Owusu-Bempah, as a ‘doom’ speech.

The event to commemorate the 33rd anniversary celebration of the June 4, 1979 uprising suffered a setback when some chiefs of Aflao sought to place a ban on the event.

Owusu-Bempah, who dropped the hint on Accra-based Adom Fm, said the former President, who is noted for making ‘boom’ speeches, would this time around make a ‘doom’ speech.

This, according to him, would spell doom for those stabbing the former President in the back, especially those whom he had described as traitors planning to stall the programme.

He claimed there was a crisis meeting at the Presidency and that the Volta Regional Minister was asked to go for a court injunction to prevent the celebrations.

He asked the public to treat the decision of the Aflao chiefs, who had earlier conferred a chieftaincy title on Mr Rawlings, with the contempt that it deserved, noting, “The whole of FONKAR are bold and constant like a northern star and will be marching like Christian Soldiers moving forward to Aflao to make sure that we celebrate the June 4 with a mammoth rally and in a grand style that the whole world will hear Papa J.”

There were hints of an attempt by a certain group to place an injunction on the programme, but spokesman for the Rawlingses, Kofi Adams, who spoke to DAILY GUIDE, said “as far as we know everything is on course”.

This, he said, was because “it’s the police that can place an injunction if they think that they can’t provide security, but we’ve been in touch with them and everything is set”.

On the concerns of the chiefs, he had this to say: “We dealt with the paramount chief but until the paramount chief comes himself to say that he has changed his mind, what the sub chiefs say, we don’t take that one as important as what the paramount chief says.”

Indications were that the majority of residents and youth in the municipality were more than yearning to witness the event.

Most of the youth in the area expressed disgust at the decision of the chiefs clothed in political garb, and said they were more than ready to receive their hero and former President Jerry John Rawlings to the area come Sunday 3rd June when the rally to commemorate the June 4 Revolution takes place at the Victory Park.

A statement signed by eight residents of Aflao, including Benbilla Haligah, constituency secretary of the ruling NDC, Joseph Nyavi, Menjistus Agorbia, Kafui Mensah, C.K. Nuworkpor and three others who sought to speak for residents of the area, described the chiefs’ position as bogus and unnecessary.

Callers to various radio stations in the Volta Region equally lambasted the chiefs and council of elders for coming out with a statement that sought to ban the programme from taking place.

Most of them stressed the belief that government was behind the move.

A statement issued and signed by a senior Divisional Chief of the area, Torgbui Nyuiemedzi Anubo IV, Professor Ernest Dumor, chairman of the Aflao Council of Elders and Christian Yevunya, chairman of the Aflao Youth Association and addressed to the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the June 4th anniversary celebration, said “the Chiefs and people of Aflao feel very, very uncomfortable for the Aflao Traditional area to be used as a platform for staging a political contest”.

The District Security Council (DISEC) of Ketu South District held an emergency meeting to discuss security implications of the rally tomorrow, but came out with nothing concrete as it was left with no option but to allow the programme to take its natural course.

Ketu South DCE, Bernard Amable, told DAILY GUIDE at press time that the meeting was still ongoing even though sources said it was over long ago, with no clear decision taken on the June 4 celebrations.

A Muslim prayer session held at the Aflao central mosque yesterday recorded a massive turnout.

The central mosque was filled to capacity with organizers of the event and their supporters.

On Sunday June 3, a grand rally which is expected to be addressed by Mr Rawlings and other leading figures of the NDC would be held at the Victory Park at Aflao at 1.00pm.

It would be followed by a parade and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Revolution Square in Accra on Monday June 4.

The celebrations would end with a special thanksgiving service at the Action Chapel, Spintex Road, at 9.30am on Sunday June 10.