A National Vice Chairperson of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Anita Desooso was on her knees Monday afternoon pleading with the party’s founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings to forgive the sins of the party.
President Rawlings’ grip of the NDC began chipping away in the aftermath of his presidency in 2000, totally losing control of the party during the Presidency of John Mahama, where junior officials of the government openly rebuked him for criticizing the government.
Worried by the seeming friction between the founder and the party, Desooso said “let’s respect and love those who have sacrificed for us. Let’s respect and sacrifice for those who have helped us”.
“Now to my father – Founder, I know your children we have erred, and I also know that you are a human being and you have also done something; may be it is not right.
“And I was so happy when I heard you say that; when you brought that statement out, rendering an apology – you are a hero. You are a hero. This shows that what you have taught me is still within me. If you are a leader, be prepared to say that I am sorry. If you are a child, be prepared to say that daddy I’m sorry. So, I will take this opportunity on behalf of the party to kneel down before my dad – please forgive us. Let us come together to build this country,” an emotional De-Sosoo pleaded with the former president.
She was speaking at the commemoration of the June 4 uprising on Monday.
Advising party members to be bold enough to speak the truth no matter what, she said; “We should not always think about money like my uncle said. Very soon there will be elections – people will bring money. If you take the money and you vote for them you become their slaves. There are people who have integrity but they don’t have money – they are in to serve. It is time we stop taking money from people before we vote for them.”
Background of the revolution
The revolution 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. 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.