A NATIONAL Vice Chairperson of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Anita De Sooso, was on her knees yesterday pleading with the party’s founder, former President Jerry John Rawlings, to forgive the sins of the party.
President Rawlings’ grip on 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, when junior officials of the government openly rebuked him for criticising the government.
Worried by the seeming friction between the founder and the party, De Sooso 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; maybe 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 you. 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 when she was speaking at the commemoration of the June 4 uprising on Monday (yesterday).
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 stopped taking money from people before we vote for them.”
Why Rawlings doesn’t criticize Akufo-Addo-
Former President John Jerry Rawlings told the gathering that the constant lies being peddled by some members of the NDC about his family made it difficult for him to criticise the current administration.
According to Mr. Rawlings, he finds it difficult to believe some of the scandals that are being reported about the Akufo-Addo-led government because of the lies that are regularly peddled about him and his wife.
“Some of the little ones are so vicious with their mouths…the kind of sins and nasty evil things that they do but turn around and insult people like Martin Amidu, like my wife, like myself and I wonder if that is my wife they talking about, I wonder if that is me.
“When you say I don’t criticise Nana Addo or the things he does, to be quite honest, I don’t know what to believe or to disbelieve because I know some of the things our people say about Martin Amidu, my wife and myself are false,” the former military dictator said.
Background of the revolution
The June 4 Uprising sparked when the then government of the Supreme Military Council (SMC II) led by General F. W. K. Akufo put then Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings on public trial for attempting to overthrow the government on May 15, 1979. This happened because Rawlings was a junior officer in the Ghanaian Armed Forces, who with other soldiers, were refused 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. However, he and his fellow mutineers were put in guardrooms while their trial was going on but his diatribe resonated with the entire nation as there was massive suffering.
In the night of June 3, 1979, other soldiers, including Major Boakye Djan, broke into the jail where Rawlings was being held and freed him, and marched him to the national radio station to make an announcement. What the public heard from Rawlings was a 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 Akufo, Ignatious Kutu Acheampong and Afrifa for trial. They were subsequently executed by firing squad.