June 4th 1979 was the date some able men of the Army forces came to power in a coup that saw the back of Supreme Military Council (SMC II).
That day was preceded by the arrest of Flt.Lt. Jerry John Rawlings and other military men on May 15, 1979 for a failed coup attempt. Inspired by Jerry Rawlings for showing bravery even at the point of death, young officers and other officers forcibly released him [Rawlings] and his men on the morning of June 4th 1979.
The June 4th Revolution or June 4th Uprising was a popular revolt in Ghana in 1979 that arose as a result of number of factors including corruption, bad governance, lack of discipline in the army and frustrations in the army and among the general public.
It was sparked when the then military government of the Supreme Military Council (SMC II) of General F K. Akuffo put Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings on public trial for attempting to overthrow the government on May 15th 1979.
Jerry John Rawlings turned the trial against the government by accusing it of massive corruption and requesting that his fellow accusers be set free as he was solely responsible for the mutiny.
In the night of June 3rd 1979, junior military officers broke into the jail where Jerry John Rawlings was being held and freed him, and ostensibly matched him to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) to make a public announcement.
The entire nation went up in an uproar. To some, Jerry Rawlings June 4 uprising was the most significant event on the nation’s political calendar apart from the achievement of independence.
To many, the annual celebration of June 4 by former President John Jerry Rawlings and his acolytes should be a time of reflection on the issues that brought about the revolt.
But a Senior Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Richard Amoako-Baah, believes the celebration of the revolution should be outlawed. He also called on government to disassociate itself from the celebration. Adding that, state funds must not be used for such an occasion.
“June 4 is a sore moment any Ghanaian doesn’t want to remember. The celebration must be stopped. Rawlings must stop the celebration of June 4 if he [Rawlings] is using state resources. But if he is using his own money for everything then he can keep it up,” he said on Oman FM.