A key activist in the June 4, 1979 uprising says Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings murdered the principles of June 4 and should be lucky he is still alive.
According to Kweku Baako Jnr, more than 110 people were executed in the country under Mr. Rawlings for offences ranging from economic sabotage, corruption, attempted coups etc. and yet Mr. Rawlings failed to abide by the principles on which he carried those executions.
He made the comment on Peace FM’s Kokrookoo programme on Wednesday, as Jerry Rawlings and his fanatic followers converged at the Revolutionary Square, opposite the seat of government, to mark 35 years of the June 4 uprising.
Rawlings in a statement to mark the celebration vilified the Kufuor regime for dignifying corruption and chastised the Mills administration for committing a sacrilege by abandoning “the altar of its high moral standing, abandoning the altar of service to God and man and some decided to eat off the table that Kufuor left behind.”
While Rawlings was on a vilification spree and sharing his June 4 experiences at the Revolutionary Square, his June 4 compatriot, who is now one of his fiercest critics, Kweku Baako, was in the studios of Peace FM challenging the continued celebration of an uprising he fought for.
Why June 4 had to happen in 1979?
Quoting religiously portions of the 1992 Constitution, part of which was in the 1972 Constitution, Mr. Kweku Baako Jnr said he was empowered as a citizen of Ghana to use all means to resist a person or group of persons that overthrows a constitutional government.
The General Kutu Acheampong led National Redemption Council (NRC) overthrew a constitutional government under Kofi Abrefa Busia in 1972, but a counter coup in 1978 which was led by Lt. General Akuffo meant the Supreme Military Council will rule Ghana until June 4, 1979.
Kweku Baako Jnr said in accordance with the constitution, he together with other military officers and later Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings fought the SMC until they successfully overthrew the military junta in 1979.
In the process, people, including military officers were lined up and shot for acts of corruption and principally for committing a treasonable offence by overthrowing a constitutionally elected government.
Malik Kweku Baako Jnr said Mr. Rawlings “murdered” June 4 when he came back to power through another coup d’etat in 31 December 1981.
The emotionally charged Baako said, “those who are still celebrating June 4 are “insulting our intelligence and attacking our sensibilities.”
He said the Kufuor government struck out June 4 as one of the public holidays in the country which meant public resources were not to be used in celebrating the occasion.
While Mr. Rawlings and his supporters have every right to celebrate June 4, they can do it in their “bedrooms” or any private location.
“You can’t use the Revolutionary Square; It’s a public space,” he indicated.
Baako Jnr said the continued commemoration of June 4 is an “insult, a display of arrogance and contempt for democratic governance and civility.”
Did Rawlings live the probity and accountability principles of June 4?
Kweku Baako Jnr. said the principles of June 4- Transparency, probity and accountability- turned out to be mere slogans for the former head of state because he did not live it.
He said having rode on the back of those principles to power, the ex-president throughout his 19-year reign failed to jealously guard the principles on which he shot and killed people and confiscated assets.
He said Mr. Rawlings failed to account for his stewardship under the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council in 1979.
Worse still from 1981-1992, Kweku Baako Jnr. said the then head of state again failed to account for ten years of his stewardship.
Quoting a Parliamentary Hansard, the editor-in-chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper said a whole Ministry of Works and Housing told the Auditor General there was no room to audit the account of the ministry from 1984-89.
It was clear at the time that the then Secretary to that ministry had paid monies into a certain account and yet Rawlings did not find it necessary for that account to be audited.
“For ten years there was no audited accounts of Ghana,” and for 19 years Rawlings did not give a damn about corruption.
He said Mr Rawlings superintended over the Scancem scandal where an international court even ruled that the government under Mr Rawlings was running a scheme of bribery and corruption.
And he still talks about probity and accountability? he asked rhetorically, adding “aren’t you lucky that you are still alive” when others were shot and killed?
Kweku Baako Jnr said Mr Rawlings and his admirers, will do the country a favour if they “shut down and shut- up.”
The Propaganda Secretary of the NDC, Allottey Jacobs,, who was also on the show, said the June 4 uprising was a necessary evil that cleansed the country from the corruption that had engulfed it at the time.
He said the uprising completely changed the system of governance in the country.