Former President JJ Rawlings has said some “shameless” persons within the NDC with “deeply malicious motives”, for over a decade, spewed falsehood about the party’s history to downplay the story of the June 4 uprising.
“Indeed, many of these personalities have shamelessly disassociated themselves from our history in a bit to create the impression that it is a blot on the image of the party,” he stated.
“It was that suicidal tendency,” according to him, which led to the party’s humiliating defeat in 2016 elections with former President John Mahama as presidential candidate.
The social democratic credentials that gave birth to the NDC, he bemoaned “are lost on many of us,” adding, “our party has almost become a clone of what the other side used to be [referring to the NPP].”
Mr. Rawlings was speaking Monday at the 39th June 4 revolution commemoration at Madina in Accra.
He continued, “elitism and gross display of affluence has almost engrossed us and as I stated in 2017, we are still at the cross roads.”
He warned that those determined to disassociate the NDC from the June 4 uprising will fail, saying “June 4 represents a force that cannot be erased. June 4 is about the semantics of probity, accountability, freedom, justice, truth and integrity. It is about a unified force and power that can move mountains.
“It is a force that defies negativity and revolves on a fulcrum of ordinary peoples’ power. It was the energy that led to the eruption of 1979. That energy was like the force of Gas explosion ignited by the gross disrespect and abuse of people to the point where the bottled-up anger exploded in full force.”
Background of the revolution
The revolution sparked when the then military government of the Supreme military Council (SMC II) of General F K. Akuffo put then flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings on public trial for attempting to overthrow the government on May 15th 1979. This happened because Rawlings was a junior soldier in the Ghanaian Army who with other soldiers were refused to be given their salaries.
Rawlings turned the trial against the government by accusing it of massive corruption and requesting that his fellow accused be set free as he was solely responsible for the mutiny. He was incarcerated. His diatribe resonated with the entire nation as there was massive suffering.
In the night of June 3rd 1979, junior military officers including Major Boakye Djan broke into the jail where Rawlings was being held and freed him, and ostensibly marched him to the national radio station to make an announcement. The first time the public heard from Rawlings was a now legendary statement that he Rawlings had been released by the junior officers and that he was under their command. He requested all soldiers to meet with them at the Nicholson Stadium in Burma Camp in Accra.
The entire nation went up in uproar. The soldiers rounded up senior military officers including three former heads of states, General F. K Akuffo, Ignatious Kutu Acheampong and Afrifa for trial. They were subsequently executed by firing squad.