Rawlings confesses "sacrificing" innocent commanders

Rawlings confesses "sacrificing" innocent commanders
Source: Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|edwin.appiah@myjoyonline.com
Date: 10-01-2014 Time: 07:01:22:am
Library Photo of 2011 June 4 celebration

Ex-president Jerry John Rawlings has admitted to "sacrificing" innocent commanders during the 1979 revolutionary era which was characterized by chants of  'Let the blood flow'.

“We had no choice. We thought 'let two go'. Acheampong and a certain Utuka, very corrupt Generals. They were sacrificed. It was not enough. Ladies and gentlemen, 10 days later, we had to sacrifice another six and some of the Commanders were innocent good people but it had to be done because the rage in the country was too high, too much”, the former military leader said.

Ex-President Rawlings was speaking to young people at the closing ceremony of International Youth Fellowship Volta camp at Adidome Senior High School in the Volta region last week.

The topic given to the guest speaker was "Peaceful Hearts and Transformed Youth for National Development"

But Rawlings proceeded to teaching students the importance of upholding values in a speech that lasted 40 minutes. Rawlings said he would need four hours to speak. 

He did not mention the names of the soldiers he admitted were innocent.

On June 4 1979, a group of junior officers mutinied against the ruling military government of the day - the Supreme Military Council (SMC) led by the late Lt. General F.W.K. Akuffo

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The SMC was overthrown in a mass revolt of junior officers and men of the Ghana armed forces led by captain Boakye Gyan from the 5th battalion Arrakan Barracks.
Following the uprising, an Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) was set up under the chairmanship of Flt.-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
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Victim: Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong : Brigadier Afrifa who overthrew NkrumahGen. Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo, Rear-Admiral Amedume
The AFRC carried out a house-cleaning exercise in the armed forces and society at large, while restoring a sense of moral responsibility and the principle of accountability and pro- bity in public life.
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The people supported & hailed the coup. JJ met "communist revolutionaries" like Castro and  Thomas Sankara  
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Doing the people's work
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Handing Over to Limann (Temporary) 
The AFRC was in office for only three months and, in pursuance of a programme already set in motion before the uprising, allowed general elections to be held.

Mr Rawlings also reminisced on how he instructed the destruction of Makola - famous market known for nefarious selling activities popularly known as 'kalabule'.

He revealed the rational behind the 1979 revolution by explaining that when a child slaps his mother it is not as bad as when the father returns home and does nothing about it. That is when the moral fibre of a country begins to decay, he said

"I remember in those days I was up north when I left instructions that they should break down Makola. Day 1, Day 2 I called from the north to the Chief of Staff, he was called Gbedemah. I said breakdown Makola. Day 3 I had to call again. I said don't disobey my instructions. Move the soldiers, let them go with sledge hammers. No explosives, no bull-dozers, use sledgehammers"

"The point I was trying to get them to exorcise their rage and anger on the edifice and not on the human woman...the kalabule was so strong that if we hadn't done what we did they would have killed the women".

"Do you get what I am saying?" he asked the hordes of students to which they gave a resounding " yes"!

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