A retired Colonel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), has corrected certain twisted story about the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) which had over the years painted the military junta as anti-clergy and anti-church.
Col. Festus Aboagye, a security analyst, giving a never-heard-of narration on the murder of Prophet Samuel Asare, alias “Odiyifoo Asare”, a popular prophet at a popular church in Kumasi in the aftermath of the 1981 revolution, the retired soldier, suggested that the true account of event leading to that gruesome murder had not been told.
He also painted the picture that, the soldiers were not callous, but political events and economic circumstances drove some of them to the point of callousness, including having to rape the wives of some senior military officers because, they – soldiers felt their senior officers were cheating and also misusing them and decided to teach them a lesson even if it means murder.
According to him, the murder of Odiyifoo Asare in Kumasi, was in retaliation to the killing of a military officer, who had gone to the church to fetch his wife, who was a member of that church, but was set upon by other worshippers on the incitement of their Prophet and killed and dumped in the streets of Kumasi.
The brutal event in 1982 at The Lord is my Shepherd Church, featured prominently in the Joy News documentary, Scars of the Revolution.
Jerry John Rawlings-led revolution, as well as the PNDC, have been criticised for persecuting the church and the military brutalities at the church and subsequent murder of Odiyifoo Asare is cited as an example.
However, speaking on Joy FM/MultiTV current affairs programme, Newsfile, Saturday, Col (retd) Aboagye, recalls that the military descended on the church and its members, because the church members had killed a military officer who was a dentist.
He said, he was posted to Kumasi at the time and recalls that the military officer, had gone to the church to fetch his wife, who had stayed too long there worshipping.
“That was the day that the sun set at noon in Kumasi,” he began the narration.
“There was a major, a fine gentleman who had been educated overseas…Major Darko, I have forgotten his first name. We were all members of the Kumasi Mess. He was married then, I think, to an expatriate, who for some reason happens to be a member of the Odiyifoo’s church.
“The gentleman felt that his wife had kept too long at church and went to church to get his wife home. The narrative goes that when he entered the church, there might have been some altercation…but the Odiyifoo pointed a kind of holy stick he was holding at the Major and instantly the church members set upon him and killed him. In fact, they stoned him to death and left him on the streets.
“So…’the alarm blew’ in the barracks, 4BN, and the soldiers run amok. So all sides, military, civilians and police, prisons, in fact the entire society suffered,” he recounted.
The Scars of the Revolution film documents the traumatic and divisive journey into Ghana’s troubled and dictatorial unconstitutional regimes.
The murder of Odiyifoo Asare, has always been without the murder of Major Darko, killed by the members of The Lord is my Shepherd Church, and Col. Aboagye’s revelations, revealed that the military was engaged in a reprisal attack.