Accra: June 4 Revolution: 43rd anniversary marked


It was 43 years ago that the country experienced an uprising on the 4th of June in 1979. This was incited by the arrest and trial of a junior military officer at the time, Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, and his colleagues. They were charged with mutiny for the failed May 15 coup attempt.

The 2021 commemoration was the first time the June 4 event was marked without Flt. Lt Rawlings.

In the failed May 15, 1979 uprising to overthrow the government, the officers cited social injustices, corruption, bad governance and misunderstanding within the military rank and file as their reasons.

Accra: June 4 Revolution: 43rd anniversary marked

The junior officers led by Flt Lt J.J Rawlings were arrested by the Supreme Military Council of General F W K. Akuffo, head of state at the time and put before public trial.

Accra: June 4 Revolution: 43rd anniversary markedFlt Lt Jerry 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.

On the night of June 3, 1979, junior military officers including Major Kojo Boakye Djan broke into the jail where Flt Lt Rawlings was being held and freed him and marched him to the national radio station, Radio Ghana, to make an announcement.

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. W. K Akuffo, Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, and Lt General A. A. Afrifa for trial.

They were subsequently executed by firing squad.

Accra: June 4 Revolution: 43rd anniversary marked

Flt Lt Rawlings was appointed the head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) by the revolting junior military officers to run the country until on ongoing election was completed.

He handed over power to Dr. Hilla Limann in September 1979. But Flt Lt Rawlings again overthrew Dr. Limann on 31 December 1981.

Though June 4th became a noted date in Ghana’s history, it has been said to be a date that brings a lot of pain to people who either lost loved ones, lost businesses or had to flee the country.

For most people the AFRC carried out a house-cleaning exercise in the armed forces and society at large, while restoring a sense of moral responsibility and the principle of accountability and probity in public life.

Accra: June 4 Revolution: 43rd anniversary marked
Jerry John Rawlings.

Those who believe in the revolution led by Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings are of the view that June 4th was about values and principles and a reminder that principles must be the core platform on which a great and Strong nation is built.



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