Pollster Ben Ephson has accused former President Jerry Rawlings of killing people senselessly in the June 4, 1979 military uprising and has therefore asked the former Military Leader to “spare some of us and keep quiet”.
The Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, who was speaking about the 34th anniversary of the uprising told XYZ Breakfast Show Host Moro Awudu on Tuesday that Mr. Rawlings was so power-drunk to the extent that he could not wait to have staged another coup in December 31, 1981 no sooner had the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council handed over the reins of government to a civilian leadership.
He accused Mr. Rawlings of plotting a comeback the very day Dr. Hilla Limann’s PNP Government was sworn into office after the AFRC’s three-month’s reign of terror.
“Many people don’t know that Rawlings said he came to clean the system, [but] has he forgotten that when he came on June 4, the Supreme Military Council, SMC II had already agreed to [hold] elections in September? So what did he do? [He just] killed people for nothing?” Mr. Ephson fumed.
“After a year and a half, he had liked power so much [that]…he came again on 31st December. I’ve done this job for 39 years; …Rawlings should spare some us; he should keep quiet; if he wants to open the eyelid of a dead person, he will see the ghost. If he wants us to remind him, we’ll remind him”, Mr. Ephson threatened.
Mr. Rawlings was Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) which governed from June 4, 1979 to September 24, 1979 after the Council forcefully took power in a bloody coup against another Military regime, Supreme Military Council.
June 4 came on the heels of a prior abortive coup on May 15, 1979 when Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings and other ranks were arrested.
The AFRC executed three former Military Leaders of Ghana as part of what the regime described as its “house cleaning” exercise.
Those executed were Lt. Gen Afrifa, Gen. I. K. Acheampong and Lt. Gen. Akuffo.
They were killed alongside five other Senior Officers.
Late Dr. Hilla Limann was later elected President on the ticket of the People’s National Party in subsequent elections allowed by the AFRC thus heralding Ghana into the Third Republic after 100 days of the AFRC’s bloody and iron-fisted rule.
When Mr. Rawlings addressed party Cadres on the eve of the June 4 anniversary, he accused his Successors John Kufuor and Late John Mills of plunging the country into an abyss and expressed hope that President John Mahama will reverse the damage.
Mr. Ephson however found Mr. Rawlings’ assertion in that regard puzzling.
He said Mr. Rawlings should take the blame for any retrogression of Ghana’s fortunes, if any.
As far as Mr. Rawlings’ allegation about indiscriminate land grabs by top government officials is concerned, Mr. Ephson said: “Kanda GNTC, that building is for the 31st December Movement; the Cantonments, where there was a problem, it’s for 31st December, there are others. Has he talked to his wife that the land grabbing for the 31st December is too much? He should remove the speck from his eyes”.