To Yakobo Mutiti, dictatorships, authoritarianisms and inept or murderous regimes should not occupy a significant place in our sociopolitical history
Assensoh's reaction to Dialogue No. 927 is interesting for a few reasons. He briefly proffers some personal reasons why Rawlings must be honored. One curious reason is that the president who came after him indicated that Rawlings should not be indicted,
"....a very useful interview that, then, incoming President John A. Kufuor gave to "Financial Times" of London (on page 2): he said that he wanted outgoing President Rawlings to be respected and treated the same way (as an elder statesman) as he (President Kufuor) would like to be treated when he is out of office. It was a majestic and a noble statement!"
Is this how as historians, journalists and social commentators we ought to assess leadership in Africa? Can Kufuor mess up things and hope to get a reprieve because he never attacked his predecessor? Should the performance of any regime or political machine in Africa that ascends to power only be measured in terms of whether it has merely outdone its predecessor?
Assensoh also appears to have a 'secret love affair' with his "noble elder statesman", Kufuor because.... (although I am an Ashanti like President Kufuor) . We should never make a social commentary with such notions in mind. Journalists in Africa are known to have acquiesced to ethnic feelings and certain orientations, and have actively participated in the subjugation and alienation of Africa's peoples.
Another thread that runs through Assensoh's commentary is that those of us who may have suffered political persecution under African governments must be taken to be genuine in whatever they say. In other words, the cauldron of persecution moulds everyone into an indomitable and consciously objective being. This is a long debate. It is the same argument which propelled the fathers of African independence to power; it is the same argument that they used against those who questioned their excesses.