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The Cadres and Activists of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have commend their founder, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and his other rank colleagues for the House Cleaning Exercise they carried out on June 4, 1979.
As the NDC prepares to celebrate the 38th June 4 anniversary, the Cadres have released a statement, highlighting the advantages of the 1979 June 4 house cleaning exercise and how it helped propel Ghana to a vibrant participatory democracy era which has become the envy of other developing countries.
“There was excessive bribery and corruption in all spheres of the Ghanaian society, rampant human rights abuses, arbitrary arrest, detentions and inhumane treatment of dissenting views against unpopular policies”, they stated.
Below is the full statement:
June 4, 2017 marks a great day in the annals of the Ghanaian political history. In the monumental political and socio-economic development and progress have undeniably taken place within the last 38years after the house cleaning exercise embarked on by Flt.Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and his other rank colleagues on June 4, 1979. These events have helped to propel Ghana to a vibrant participatory democracy which has become the envy of other developing countries.
It is important to recount briefly the socio-political and economic state of affairs in the country prior to the June 4 Uprising:
The” Yentua” foreign policy of the Acheampong Supreme Military Council 1 aggravated the economic situation in the leading to severe shortages of every conceivable consumable in Ghana. Industries produced under-capacity due to lack of maintenance of equipment and shortages of raw materials for production. Hording and profiteering became the order of the day leading to kalabue and gyinabu.
There was excessive bribery and corruption in all spheres of the Ghanaian society.
The Ghanaian currency the Cedi has lost its value in relation to other trading currencies.
There were rampant human rights abuses, arbitrary arrest, detentions and inhumane treatment of dissenting views against unpopular policies.
There was a phenomenon of mass exodus of the Ghanaian professional and other skilled labour force to seek greener pastures outside Ghana. That exodus was a direct human response to the need for sustainable livelihood and survival which the country could not provide at the time.
The size of the Ghanaian middle-income class shrunk rapidly while the lower-income class swelled uncontrollably as the economic gap between the haves and have-nots widened phenomenally.
The image of the military sunk to an abysmal level in the eyes of the Ghanaian public. Hitherto respected military personnel virtually lost their respect and power. In the circumstance, they adaptively had to avoid public taunts and insinuations by putting on civilian clothes when they were out of their barracks. Why did the soldiers do so? They did so because the top military brass was even more corrupt than the civilian regimes they had overthrown on grounds of corruption and economic mismanagement.
In response to the public agitation for a return to constitutional rule, General Acheampong’s SMCI muted the idea of a Union Government involving the Army, the Police and the civilian. To this end a referendum was called, massively rigged in favour of the Union Government, but the regime decreed that no one should jubilate over the victory.
The agitations intensified with the following taking the vanguard roles: The NUGS, Peoples Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), the Associations of Recognized Professional Bodies (ARPB) and the Catholic Bishops Conference together with ordinary workers.
It would be recalled that in 1978, General FWK Akuffo, staged a palace coup d’tat dismissed General Acheampong as Head of State, placed him under house arrest and instituted Supreme Military Council 11 as a way of soaking the pressure brought on the SMCI to hand over power. General Akuffo announced a time table for the return of Multi-party democracy. This was seen as a way to hand over quietly to enjoy their ill-gotten wealth. This was too little too late.
On May 15th 1979, less than five weeks before the general elections were to be held, a group of junior officers of the Military led by FL Lt John Rawlings attempted a coup d’tat but was coiled. They were court marshaled and put before a military tribunal. During the course of the trial, Rawlings called for the release of the men under his command on the grounds that applaud from the rank and file of the military. He also said that he wanted to use the last stages of the Military regime to purge itself of widespread corruption to restore its within the civilian populace. This also resonated well with ordinary Ghanaians.
In the early hours of Thursday , June 4, 1979, the day the tribunal was to give its final verdict, JJ Rawlings and his men were released from custody, rushed to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation to announce the overthrow of the SMC11 and established a 15-member Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) . The main objectives of the AFRC were to establish the principles of probity, accountability, honesty, selflessness, transparency, discipline and integrity for conducting national affairs. The June 4 Uprising was about restoring the dignity of the ordinary man and woman and sanctioning the conducted of those who fall foul of the law in the conduct of state affairs. It was also a means of injecting discipline and patriotism in all spheres of endeavor among Ghanaians.
Towards this end, the AFRC instituted a House Cleaning Exercise to purge the military of corruption to set the tone for the larger population. The exercise lasted for three months and the AFRC handed over power to an elected Government headed by Dr. Hilla Limann of the Peoples National Party with the charge to continue with the house cleaning exercise and go by the principles set out for the conduct of governance. The principles of the June 4 Uprising are timeless. They are relevant yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Rawlings phenomenon which distinguishes him from all other leaders and still relevant in our political discourses is his courage, selflessness, forthrightness and honesty. He is humble, simple and approachable. He has always resisted political sweet-talking and say it as it is no matter whose ox is good.
38 years on, has the nation lived by the principles of the June 4 Uprising? If not why? On the occasion of the commemoration of the 38th anniversary of the June 4 Uprising we call on the youth of this country to critically examine the principles and ideals of the June 4 Uprising and strive to live by them.
Long live June 4 Uprising
Long Live Ghana
Akuamoah Ofosu Boateng Kofi Aikins
Antwi –Boasiako Sekyere: Tel:0242261012
Mike Hammah Tel: 0244356397