Picture this. In the next twenty four hours, you will be a lifeless weight. No, not out of suicide, but rather as a result of hot lead perforated into your flesh from the riffles of junior rank in the army who will be taking instructions from another junior rank. You will be tied to a stake, with a hoodie covering your head, in the full glare of the general public. To make matters worse, you will be put in an undignified wawa box in place of a proper coffin, buried in an unmarked grave and with no proper funeral accorded you.
You ponder over how swiftly things have changed for you, considering the fact that just a few months back, you were no mean a person but an army general and the head of state, enjoying all the perks and protocols that come with it. Yet, here you are, languishing in a heavily guarded enclosed space, waiting, as the seconds tick by for your life to be snuffed out of you.
You feel the thud of your heartbeat hitting your chest, as beads of sweat break out on your face and snake down as you put your life in retrospect. You think about a lot of things, a lot of ‘what ifs’ interspersed with regrets fill your head. One of such regrets would be your not acting on a letter sent to you by an ex army general and head of state(Afrifa) a little over a year prior. In this letter, your friend mentions his fears . He had heard that former military figureheads are likely to be rounded up, barely taken to court and executed, once a new government is in place. You did nothing about it and now you witness this ‘prophecy’ play out perfectly.
You once again think back to a few weeks prior, when you were urged to flee the country since there was a possibility of being arrested and bullets pumped into you without a proper court hearing but you rubbished it.
You think of your family- your wife and young children and what will become of them in your absence. Cringing thoughts to say the least.
These probably would be the thoughts which ran through the mind of Gen. I.K Acheampong in the few hours leading to his death.
Interestingly, he was allowed to have a treat of fufu and soup, brought to him by his daughter, a ‘last meal’, if you want. One wonders if he had the appetite to swallow even a single morsel considering what awaited him. We can only imagine the conversation that transpired between father and daughter in that emotionally tense moment. This would be the last time father and daughter would see each other again. One’s future was certain – death, the other, uncertain.
In his parting message, General Acheampong tells his daughter, Elizabeth Nana Serwaa Acheampong, “tell everybody I was a good person and pray for me”.