One of the architects of the June 4th uprising, Major(RTD) Osahene Boakye Gyan has described former President Jerry John Rawlings as a ‘foolish’, but a very honest and truthful man.
Major Boakye Gyan who spoke on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ programme on the commemoration of the June 4th uprising explained that Jerry John Rawlings was brought in to lead the June 4 after they (Osahene Boakye Gyan and other high ranking officers in the military) had led a successful uprising.
“He invited me for a meeting at the Continental Hotel where he told me about the need to go and takeover, and I said takeover what?” Major Boakye Gyan recalled on Okay FM.
According to Major Boakye Gyan, he asked him to stop the careless talk otherwise he will be a “cannon fodder”.
” . . one thing about him (Rawlings) is that he doesn’t lie . . . he’s a fool but he doesn’t lie,” he told Kwame Nkrumah.
Major Boakye Gyan who was asked to withdraw his detestable comment by the host (Kwame Nkrumah Tikese) noted that he has been charitable with him looking at the comments Rawlings made during the time.
Commenting on the June 4 uprising, Major Boakye Gyan noted that the uprising was for the whole African continent.
He added that though Nkrumah fought for the liberation of the whole African continent, they were still under the rule and control of the colonial masters.
“We used to have quiet meetings, so we needed to give it a political spin.
“Africa was not free though Nkrumah had led the independent struggle. We still were struggling to develop as a country and as a continent.
“Though we had been put in a commodity situation where annually we were free, we were not free to determine the prices of cash crops like cocoa and other commodities.
“We therefore decided to set up a secret movement know as the Free Africa Movement (FAM) which is what drove June 4 uprising,” he explained.
The June 4th Revolution or June 4th Uprising was a violent uprising in Ghana in 1979 that arose out of a combination of corruption, bad governance, frustration among the general public, and lack of discipline and frustrations within the Ghanaian army.
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 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 for sentencing. 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.
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.
Rawlings handed over Power to Dr. Hilla Limann in September 1979. But Rawlings again overthrew Limann on 31 December 1981. Though the 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.