NDC, Rawlings mark 40th June 4 anniversary

The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the office of former President Jerry John Rawlings will climax the 40th-anniversary celebration of the June 4 Revolution with a grand durbar at Nungua, opposite the offices of the Nungua Traditional Authority in the Greater Accra Region today, Tuesday, 4 June 2019.

This year’s anniversary celebration is on the theme: ‘Developing a National Character for Sustainable Governance’ and will be heralded with a keynote speech by the founder of the NDC, Mr Rawlings.

The NDC has encouraged its members to partake in the event “as we reignite the need to uphold the principles that underpinned the Revolution.”

About June 4

The June 4th Revolution was an uprising in Ghana in 1979

It 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 public 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 in 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. They were 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.