Retired army officer, Captain Budu Koomson, has disclosed that he nearly took his own life after the June 4, 1979, revolution.
The security consultant told JoyNews’ Daniel Dadzie on the AM Show Friday, that he had to undergo two years of counselling after he witnessed some of the most gruesome murders and tortures within the period.
“Thankfully, I am now okay,” the senior officer of the 5th Battalion of the Ghana Armed Forces revealed hours after the airing of JoyNews’ ‘Scars of the Revolution’ documentary.
The documentary, which catalogues the ‘Crimes that shoot nation’ is about the 1979 and 1981 revolutions masterminded by Ft. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
‘Scars of the Revolution’ is a sequel to ‘Who killed the judges’ which aired last year.
Ghanaians embarked on a traumatic and divisive journey into their troubled past starting 2002 when the National Reconciliation Commission began investigating the bloody secrets of dictatorial unconstitutional regimes.
The formula was simple: torturers, killers and their political leaders were to come forward and confess their crimes and that if they did so they would be granted amnesty.
For the victims, there was to be recognition of their suffering and for perpetrators of the crimes, an opportunity to apologise for their actions. By the end of the process, the slate had to be clean and the past exorcised.
Narrating his role in the slaying of two former military generals; Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and Major-General Edward Kwaku Utuka, Captain Koomsom said he was called that morning to drive them to the firing squad.
He said like a typical military officer who had to obey the command of his superiors, he drove them to their death although he was not in favour of the action.
“I saw General Acheampong and General Utuka...I was General Acheampong’s Guard Commander...General Utuka was the one who facilitated my joining the military.
“I said where should I take them to? They said I should take them first to the Anglican Church in Burma Camp. When we went to the church, they said a small prayer and we went to the firing squad,” he said.
According to him, on their last ride to the firing squad, General Acheampong was silent and reflecting while General Utuka was talkative.
“He kept saying he had not been tried,” Budu Koomson said, stressing, he could not do anything like allowing them to escape because some soldiers were in tow.
An emotional Captian Koomson said the two former generals were a wreck as they witnessed the preparation of their stakes when they arrived at the firing squad.
“They were now digging the stakes, so the generals got there and were waiting and seeing the stakes being prepared,” he recounted.
According to him, he felt it was too much for them to bear so he drove them to the military academy, while the stakes were being prepared.
At the eleventh hour, “I put the hoods on them and saluted them. Acheampong told me, ‘My boy, take good care of yourself. I know you are not part of what is happening. General Utuka kept saying ‘I have not been tried,’” the retired Captain recounted.
The security expert said he is grateful to be alive thanks to Major Nantogma who protected him “even in the face of death.”
“Koomson is not here, but I was standing there. He saved me, knowing that in 15 minutes, he was going to die, but he died and saved me,” he said.
Despite all coming close to death and being forced to do things he didn’t want to do, Captain Koomson said, “I am not bitter, I am disdainful of those guys, the cowards of the era who now parade as heroes.”
Describing one of the soldiers he met many years after the revolution at the 37 Military Hospital as wicked, he said he even refused to shake his hand.
“I told him to his face that it will pain me if you die your natural death,” disgusted Captain Koomson said.