Proforum North America salutes leaders of June 4th Uprising

June 4th revolution in Ghana
Head of the AFRC, Flt. Lt. JJ Rawlings addresses a gathering during the revolution

The NDC Proforum-North America has on the 40th anniversary of the June 4th lauded the leaders of the uprising “for their sacrifice in carving a new path for governance grounded in ‘probity and accountability’ and a feeling for the poor and marginalized”.

A statement signed by President of the group, Arnold Appiah reiterated that the June 4th, 1979 uprising led by revered founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings was for the love of the country; and it is even more monumental today for social democrats to strengthen their democratic institutions to alleviate hardship in the present circumstances.

The statement said, “the leadership and indeed the entire membership of the forum are of the firm conviction that this year’s theme: ‘Developing a National Character for Sustainable Governance’ should be a guiding principle for all Ghanaians. 

“It is on these principles that we urge all NDC supporters to stand-out on this day and at any opportune occasion to advocate for a national character that will see Ghana come out of her present challenges under the deceit of the Akufo-Addo led-government”, the statement emphasized.

The Proforum-North America wished all Ghanaians in the diaspora and at home a blessed June 4 anniversary and noted that on the occasion of June 4th, the country takes “stock of how far we have come as a nation and rekindle the fight against mismanagement, oppression and corruption that derail development in our daily lives”.

June 4th Uprising

The June 4th uprising in 1979 was 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 trial for attempting to overthrow the government on 15 May 1979. This happened because Mr. Rawlings was a junior soldier in the Ghanaian army, who, with other soldiers, had not received their salaries.

Mr 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 for sentencing. His diatribe resonated with the entire nation as there was massive suffering.

In the night of 3 June 1979, junior military officers including Major Boakye Djan broke into the jail where Mr 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 Mr Rawlings was a statement that he, Mr 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 at Burma Camp in Accra.

The entire nation went up in uproar. The soldiers rounded up senior military officers including three former heads of state, General F. K. Akuffo, Ignatius Kutu Acheampong and Afrifa for trial and subsequently executed by firing squad.

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

Mr Rawlings handed over power to Dr Hilla Limann in September 1979 but he again overthrew Dr Limann on 31 December 1981.

June 4 has since become a noted date in Ghana’s history.

By: Apt News Desk

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Joe Bright Nyarko Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.