“Gratitude Makes Sense Of Our Past, Brings Peace For Today, And Creates A Vision For Tomorrow.”
It has taken me a good fortune of time to finally settle on the above caption and to do this tribute rather belatedly but directly addressed to you, my father, brother and friend; former Inspector General of Police (IGP), and later, Naa Ansoleh Ganaa II, Paramount Chief of Jirabaa (corrupted and now called Jirapa). Aside the difficulty settling on the heading; putting words together for a befitting tribute kept playing tricks with me.
However, alas – here l am, doing what my fingers have been restricted from doing since the passing of what I call my SAVIOUR for my earthly life existence, as l cruise on in it.
Thus, but for you father, l would not have been here to make “…sense of the past…” which “…brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow [which is my today as l scribble].” My relationship with you began in January 1988, springing from a rather bizarre development l did not know was to inure to my lifelong existence as manifests today.
It all began when as a young Cadre of the Revolution, l discovered, monitored, and got an Indian Hemp (Marijuana) Cartel busted, rejecting a Twenty Million (old) Ghana Cedis bribe which was being routed via a late close friend.
Though very tempting at the time, l closed my eyes to the ‘poverty-stricken’ situation l found myself and got the culprits busted and arrested. The haul at the time was said to be the largest in the history of the Ghana Police Service.
There were some British Nationals who were involved in the transaction, but who were aided by the police to escape – having allegedly been given Two Million, Seven Hundred old Cedis at the time.
My problems started when l got information about the bribery and sought to get the police return the money and do the right thing. Unknown to me, an anonymous petition emanated from the Korle’bu District Police Command l used in busting the cartel who later took the bribe. ln the anonymous petition and unknown to me, l was captured as having possibly enjoyed a share of the largesse.
It was at this stage, and in my failure in getting the Korle’bu Command to return the money to agents of the cartel who facilitated the bribe, that made me coincidentally petition your office over the criminal development.
This was what led to my being invited to your office as the then Director of the then Bureau of National Investigations (BNI). And then, in the presence of now also late Kwame Annor-Kumi (then Chief of Staff) and one other officer, you revealed to me as being lucky, because the anonymous petition mentioned me as a probable beneficiary of the money given the Korle’bu Police Command.
Father, you were visibly surprised at my principled stance – rejecting the attempted bribery and making sure l got the culprits busted the very late evening of December 27, 1987.
This was how l came to know you, and when the lead officer who took the money tried to misbehave with me, you got him (your own kinsman) arrested alongside two Chief Inspectors and the Case Investigator at his District detained at your Headquarters.
As for what l bravely went through at the hands of the Ghana Police Service Administration, that is another long story reserved for my memoirs if l am to attempt one.
THIS IS HOW YOU SAVED ME, FATHER
Readers to this pre-set of my open tribute to you may see it as unnecessary – but it is necessary. lt is, because, immediately after that experience, l began having challenges working in Accra by my own working authorities, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs).
For, immediately after l brought in the Police to bust the cartel, my work at Zone Two (Town Council Line in Accra) as a member of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) began shaking.
The lMC was abruptly dissolved without any reassignment. This part of the long story must also be curtailed except to state that l became a persona not needed in Accra any longer.
So, not being able to work with me in the National Capital, the best place l could be sent was to my own background – Bongo, Upper East Region. BUT! I was ‘detained’ in Bolga, the Regional Capital under the pretext of being observed.
So, l was sent to the Bolga District Secretariat of CDRs and made a useless staff; no desk to occupy – and was once told “…in Bolga we don’t sit on desks…” when l got tired – sauntering around.
Father, it got to a time l thought l had endured beyond normal human endurance. l skipped days going to the office and was queried the first time which elicited a mild, humble and apologetic response.
The second query did not, for l chose to pour my heart out and damn the anticipated consequences which indeed generated some heat that culminated my dismissal from the CDR, per the authority of the Regional Secretariat.
The Regional not being my direct employers, l showed the letter to then Regional Secretary (Minister), Venerable Lionel Molbila who did everything within his official influence to calm whatever was at stake – but was unsuccessful. There was nothing he could do but on his own volition and not as a duty, supported me to come down to Accra and fight my case.
Now, upon my arrival, the National Secretariat was surprised to read such a letter without being notified – so, the late Col. Yaw Asase at the time ordered the dismissal be nullified via a Wireless Signal.
Next, l was asked to narrate what happened since my relocation to the Region, which l did by writing and copied the Upper East Regional Secretariat.
Subsequently, the Secretariat was requested to comment on the issues l raised in my document.
Father, it is at this juncture that you came in to save my life which l am making public now.
For, instead of responding to the issues at stake at the time – a malicious and wicked report full of nothing but lies, alleging l was observed and known to have been crossing the border to Togo – liaising with dissidents to overthrow then Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
The request by the National Secretariat of CDRs to comment on the concerns in my document was ignored, and a report rather addressed to then Castle Information Bureau, making the allegation as captured in one the paragraphs above.
l was fortunate Father, that the said report was referred to you to investigate, and that was how come you saved my life.
Your main concern was that you could NOT come to believe l can indulge in such a venture. Your conviction was as a result of the The Indian Hemp Bribery Rejection which led us to being acquaintances.
You got the then Greater Accra Director of BNI who later succeeded you as the overall Director, Mr. Yaw Donkor, to look out for me because you had information l was in Accra.
He found me out on a Saturday and relayed the information to me and hinted the purpose of the invitation so if l have any explanatory l material l should a avail them and that exactly – l did.
On this particular invitation, it was a one-on-one meeting. You took time to read the correspondences and believed it was an interpersonal issue.
You then asked whether the Regional did comment on the issues l raised as requested and l said NO – and NOT to the best of my knowledge.
You then told me and l remember vividly you telling me “Ndor (as Frafra-Dagaaba address ourselves) l now get why this destructive and very dangerous document was written about you – but you are too difficult to handle (jokingly)…”
To which l replied in a joke as well, “Sir, l am not difficult, it is my principles that are difficult to handle…” We laughed it off and you told me l shouldn’t worry you will send your report to the Castle Information Bureau. It was on this note that you gave me something beyond ‘TRANSPORT’ (T&T).
Now – father, the reason why l said you saved my life, is because l was told by another neck-deep Intelligence Officer of state, that I should forever remain grateful to you – why?
Because according to him, that allegation alone was enough for me to have been sought out, tie me onto a weight in a helicopter, flown across the deep sea and dropped to end it all. My family would not have seen me again till Kingdom come.
This is what you did to, and for me which has guaranteed my being here today, counted as a human creature – doing this scribble as my gratitude to your honour at death, unfortunately.
“No one who achieves success, does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” Alfred North Whitehead.
Yes – father, this concluding quote inspires a lot just as the opening one to this rather long read engagement. l really wishes l had the energy to engage you better. However, there is no limit in my heart, remembering you, but for you l would not have the success of breathing God’s air and counted amongst the living.
You succeeded in life, but it does not mean you never ever experienced some sorrow at a given time.
You sure experienced some pain in periods of your sojourn on this earthly terrain.
But Jim Reeves tells us that:
ACROSS THE BRIDGE – THERE’S NO MORE SORROW;
ACROSS THE BRIDGE – THERE NO MORE PAIN;
FOR THE SUN WILL SHINE ACROSS THE RIVER;
AND YOU’LL NEVER BE UNHAPPY AGAIN.
REST IN THE BOSOM OF THE LORD. FOREVER GRATEFUL.
By Camillus Maalneriba-Tia Sakzeesi