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The Cost of Freedom


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22 years ago today, on May 11th, 1995, 4 Ghanaians were murdered during the “Kume Preko” demonstration organized by the Alliance for Change” to protest the imposition of VAT.

They included Kwabena Asante, Jerry Opey and Richard Aminga. The last of the quartet was a 14 year-old bystander. They never got JUSTICE. None of the vigilantes who killed them or the big men behind them was ever charged.

Today, I am sure they walk amongst us as pillars of our society.
Of course, they were not the first martyrs in our democracy. Tommy Thompson, the Kunbungu 4, Issah Mobilla , Sergeant Adjetey and J.B. Danquah – all died for our freedom.

Other Ghanaians suffered imprisonment, exile or injuries. If I forgot those you know, pardon me. My mind grows frail with age – I was almost one of them.

Today, I call on all Ghanaians to pause for a moment in memory of our martyrs. Whether official security forces or vigilantes killed them, they are victims of our democracy.
I make the following call, not for their sake but for our sake.

A nation that does not remember its heroes will ultimately run out of heroes.

Let us never abandon the pursuit of justice for those who died unjustly.

Let us never stop naming and shaming those who have the blood of these innocents on their hands.

Let us comfort and support their widows and their offspring.

Let us always, in opposition or in government, be  against vigilantism and lawlessness.

Finally, let us immortalize them with monuments.

Americans remember Emmitt Till.

The Jews remember the concentration camps and the Warsaw ghetto.

Tarzan, Kweku Baako and Your Excellency, President Nana Akufo-Addo, lead us  to find justice for these victims, so that their deaths will sit on our consciences like sentinels in the night, saying , “Never Again” and giving meaning to our motto, “FREEDOM AND JUSTICE”.

God bless Ghana.
Dr.Arthur Kwabena Kennedy

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