Rawlings:1981 Coup could have been avoided if Limann learnt lessons
Erstwhile Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings has stated that the 31st December 1981 coup could have been avoided if the People’s National Party (PNP) government led by Dr Hilla Limann had drawn some lessons from the June 4 uprising. The 1981 coup brought the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) into power led by Mr Rawlings.
Culled from Ghanaweb, according to him, Limann after his assumption of office begun to devalue the essence of the uprising by luring AFRC members out of the country.
He said the PNP government begun to live in oblivion that most of the unrewarded and genuine leaders of AFRC were still on the ground.
Mr Rawlings said the constitutionally elected President Limann and his appointees treated citizens with impunity where they were intimidated, arrested and some persecuted for fighting for their rights.
The former President recalled that Dr Limann’s administration failed to correct the wrongs that were becoming a canker in the Ghanaian society hence the 1981 coup which saw his government overthrown.
Speaking during the 40th anniversary of the June 4 revolution covered by MyNewsGh.com, he justified, ‘had those who climbed into the seat of power three months later, learnt the lessons of the June 4th uprising, 31st December 1981 could have been avoided. Right after the PNP government came into office, those in authority proceeded to devalue the essence of the uprising by luring AFRC members out of the country, forgetting that most of the genuine, unrewarded and unrecognized leaders were still on the ground’.
He stated that they could not have allowed Limann’s government to re-govern people with fear factor by terrorizing them on daily basis.
‘Although the majority of soldiers, service men and students, were still craving for freedom and justice, the intention of the authorities was to intimidate, harass, arrest and persecute some of them. The motive of these actions was to re-terrorize our people back into subordination and submissiveness; in short, to re-govern the people with the fear factor,’ he recounted.
The former military leader wondered why some leaders still have difficulty learning the basic fundamentals of freedom, justice and democracy in governance.
Mr Rawlings said some leaders are power drunk and just want to be feared by the populace arguing that these actions if not checked breed corruption and dictatorship.
‘Some governments and some people in positions of authority or power do not care to be respected, to be loved, to be liked or admired; they simply want to be feared. Fear cages healthy defiance and feeds corruption and authoritarianism,’ he fumed.