wpid-jerryrawlings.jpgJune 19 1983 : 30 Years Ago Today – How Explo Survived !

by Explo Nani-Kofi (Notes) on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 3:06am


Building on his activities from Mock Parliament, SMAU and Current Affairs Society in Mawuli School, Explo became the national leader of the Students and Youth Movement for Africa Unity (SMAU) organizing branches around the country. He was also a member the Kwame Nkrumah Revolutionary Guards (KNRG) and worked very closely with Johnny F.S.Hansen, H.S.T. Provencal and Kofi Ameko but also had close relations with comrades in June 4 Movement, People?s Revolutionary League of Ghana, New Democratic Movement, Movement On National Affairs, African Youth Command and African Youth Brigade.?? Explo was involved in an initiative of setting Workers Committees in Volta Region under the joint initiative of the June 4 Movement, Kwame Nkrumah Revolutionary Guards, Pan African Youth Movement and Prof Mawuse Dake before the 31st December 1981 coup d?etat . At the time of the 31st December 1981 coup d?etat, Explo was the 1st National Vice President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). After the 31 December 1981 coup, he became the Coordinator of the Political Education Committee of the Volta Regional Students and Youth Task Force after he turned down an appointment to be the Ashanti Regional Coordinator of the Students and Youth Task Force. In April 1982, he became the Regional Coordinator of the Peoples? Defence Committees.


The anti-corruption campaign of the early days of the Provisional National Defence Council brought Explo into conflict with many powerful forces who were well connected with the leading military bureaucrats. His involvement in the critique of World Bank and IMF dictate of the political and economic direction of the PNDC government also found him in conflict Flt ? Lt J.J. Rawlings. Explo was committed to the National Mobilisation Programme which was to help neutralize the hardship that could be imposed by a solely IMF and World Bank dictated programme. Explo had initiated a programme to take off in the Volta Region on 8th December 1982 on the National Mobilisation Programme. Another area of difference with the PNDC Chairman and others was Explo?s commitment to strengthening emerging structures of popular power which were countering the monopoly of the hold on power by the wealthy classes. An additional point of conflict was that between those organized in organizations before 31st December 1981 and those who had come to join the process after the coup -? many of the latter were out and out coup supporters and therefore sycophantic and hero-worshipping. On 24 November 1982, Flt ? Lt J. J. Rawlings held Explo and others at gun point and on their knees tormenting them in a scene which Emmanuel Hansen describes in his book Ghana Under Rawlings Early Years as ?On 24 November, in a spectacular show of force characteristic of the James Bond extravaganza, Rawlings led a platoon of armed soldiers in a helicopter assault on the house of Zaya Yebo, Secretary for Youth and Sports and arrested two inmates ?.. Other cadres were also picked up? (p 124 ? 125). On their knees that day were Mustafa Kutana (Then National Deputy Coordinator of the National Defence Committee), Kwasi Adu (National Coordinator of the National Youth Organising Commission), George Agyekum (Chairman of the Public Tribunal), Taata Ofosu (Deputy Editor of the Workers Banner), Napoleon Abdulai (Member of the National Youth Organising Commission Secretariat), Rich Asamany (PNDC District Secretary for Kpandu), Propsper Lagble (PNDC District Secretary for Ho), Explo Nani-Kofi , Kwame Adjimah (Volta Regional Secretariat of the National Defence Committee) and Esther Akuamoah Boateng (Volta Regional Organiser and Founding Member of the 31st December Women?s Movement).? Explo was detained and physically tortured from 7 December 1982 to 19 June 1983.




On 19 June 1983, Cpls Baba Kankani and Umar Farouk, military cadres who had escaped to Togo entered Ghana and coordinated a jail break in a number of guard rooms and three prisons (James Fort, Ussher and Nsawam). Explo was released from Field Engineers Guard Room by Corporals Tekpor, Hiawotepe and Alhassan. With the assistance of L/Cpl Isaac Nimo , he came to the Accra city. Right from the time of his exit from the Guard Room till the time Explo crossed the Togo border he continued to recite Psalm 23 non stop carrying Pte Adjei Kwapong?s small New Testament with Psalms. Pte Adjei Kwapong was a Boys Company trained soldier also escaping from the Wajir Barracks Guard Room on 19th June 1983.He spent 19 June 1983 night at the residence of Dr Ababio with his aunt, Mrs Eneas Kom up to the curfew time of 5am. Explo went the following day to his cousin, Mr Bobson Godonu, who drove him in his car from Kaneshie? to the station at Kinbu whilst radio announcements continue to be made that all those escaping and those assisting them should be shot on sight . He then took a Kpong vehicle which took the Teshie route because of the massive road blocks in Accra Central. When the vehicle got to the check point at Teshie, Explo paid the mate and jumped into the bush to avoid the soldiers at the road block as they were soldiers from Wajir Barracks where he was detained and would have arrested and definitely would have been shot dead as instructed by Flt ? Lt J.J. Rawlings. Explo then walked through the bush and sometimes through town all the way to Ashaiman. From Ashaiman, he took another vehicle to Kpong. When they got to 1st Infantry (Michel Camp) there was another road block and every passenger had to come out and pass by the soldiers one after the other. Cpl Habada was the soldier at the barrier . From Kpong, Explo took a vehicle bound for Tsate with the intention of going to his cousin Gladys Afua Nani who was in Tsate. He saw Bombadier Douglas Tsikata Ayensu at the Asikuma barrier . He? changed immediately into a vehicle bound for Kpandu with the intention of going to the PNDC District Secretary, Rich Asamany, but at Kpeve, he changed his mind and took a vehicle going to Hohoe. At Hohoe, he was hosted by Sammy? Dagadu Wosoryie and Z. Q. Darrah who coordinated his escape programme during the period. They tried getting through one border town on 21 June but failed and later in the day heard that his other colleague, Kwame Auste Adjimah (Kabongo), had been arrested at the Kpedze border town, having been betrayed by one Dzrakasu Komla, and taken to Accra where he was executed immediately he came out of the military vehicle which took him there. He? (Explo) stayed with John Lee and Mark Badasu at various times during the hide out. After unsuccessful attempts to cross into Togo through Lolobi and Ayoma, he sought assistance from the Jasikan District Secretariat of the National Defence Committee of Barima Sakyi, Kofi Dzandu Titriku, Petit Akpatsi and Mercy Mensah on 29 June 1983. He traveled to Jasikan and with immaculate precision he was led by Kofi Dzandu Titriku all the way into Togo after a tiresome long journey through Badou on 30 June 1983 to safety.



He travelled to Atakpame, and then to Kpele, then finally to Kpalime where he took the whole day to look for his mother who was a trader there. He met his aunt, Donkor, from Vakpo who took him to his mother who was very surprised to see her son who she knew was in military detention in Ghana. In Kpalime, Explo, did not know that he was being followed by informants from Ghana. He sent a letter to his friend, Emmanuel Kwakutse Akpese, in Kpedze, but when the courier Wachukwu Dzisah got to Kpedze, an informant got the police to arrest him and take the letter from him which was handed over to the BNI. Everybody whose name was mentioned in the letter was arrested and detained at BNI. Those arrested include Emmanuel Akpese, Stephen Glala, Lucas Kumi, Dzrakasu Komla, Ameflu and Sammy Dagadu Wosoryie. Most of them were released by December 1983 but Emmanuel Akpese continued to be kept for a long time and nobody knows when he was released until his sad death.


When one of his colleagues, Taata Kwadzo Ofosu, visited him in Kpalime, the informants went and told lies in Ghana that Taata and Explo were loading arms into a vehicle to invade Ghana. By the time, Taata got back to Lolobi, there were soldiers waiting for him. Taata was arrested, tortured and subjected to blindfolding mock execution as a result of this lie. Explo?s mother was evicted by her landlord because he felt that the young Ghanaian men who visited Explo in the house could be thieves who will come one day to rob him so others, including his mother, suffered because of him.


Later in 1983, Delali Francis Yao Klu, who was the Ho District Coordinator of the People?s Defence Committees but resigned when Explo, was arrested visited Explo in Kpalime. He gave Explo his (Delali?s) brother?s, Kofi Klu?s,? address in Moscow and through him (Kofi Klu), Explo got in touch with his colleagues of the United Front, Kofi-Ansa Kpatakpa and Napoleon Abdulai, who directed him to others in exile in Lome( Nyeya Yen, Ahmed Gariba, Kodjo-Ababio Nubuor, Richard Abonie, Jordan Djikunu).? He sought political asylum with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Lome in October 1983.


He left to Czechoslovakia in 1984 through a scholarship of the International Union of Students to pursue a Masters course in Economics. In 1989, he was admitted on to a PhD programme but he left to London, UK.


Exile life was not smooth even in political terms as lies and slander became a hall mark of some of the exiles. In 1990, in a paper with an ISBN number edited by one Napoleon Abdulai and with name of Nyeya Yen? on the page where the lie was published this paper alleged that Explo Nani-Kofi has been collaborating with agents of J.J. Rawlings and the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) whilst in exile. This group of liars, with all the shame, cannot even come out to withdraw this statement whilst some activists also very unprincipled say the way forward is to sweep this under the carpet so that unknowing students of Politics could one day quote these lies as reference.


????????? Explo Nani-Kofi is a member of Counterfire (www.counterfire.org) and an activist of the Stop the War Coalition UK (www.org.uk), Coalition of Resistance (www.coalitionof resistance.org.uk), Unite The Union (www.unitetheunion.org), Initiator/Coordinator of the Another World Is Possible Programme on GFM Radio (www.gfmradio.com) and Director of Kilombo Centre for Citizens? Rights and Conflict Resolution, Peki (Ghana)/London (UK) ? www.kilomboeducation.org


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