Captain George Nfojoh, Former Press Liaison Officer for the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) and also the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), has said that scores of persons who did not believe and trust in the reasons why Jerry John Rawlings toppled the Limann administration, said beautiful things about him during his final funeral ceremony.
Captain Nfojoh told Abena Tabi on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday January 30 that the coup achieved about 70 per cent of its objectives.
It may not have achieved 100 per cent but it did achieve the main objectives, economic stability, although there were excesses following the overthrow of the government, he said, adding that “We didn’t need 100% to pass.”
On 24 September 1979, Mr Rawlings passed on power to President Hilla Limann, whose People’s National Party (PNP) had the support of Nkrumah’s followers.
However, two years later, on 31 December 1981 Rawlings toppled Limann on the heels that the civilian rule was weak and the country’s economy was deteriorating.
Subsequently, the killings of the Supreme Court justices, military officers Major Sam Acquah and Major Dasana Nantogmah also occurred during the second military rule of Rawlings.
But touching on the excesses, Captain Nfojoh said the coup plotters cannot be held liable for those extremes.
“We agree that when we talk about excesses, it doesn’t mean that we planned those excesses, even soldiers, their old enemies they chase them , so it happens and I believe that is why the National Reconciliation Committee was set up to take care of some of those things .
“When there is a revolution or when there is a coup and guns are in the hands of soldiers and individuals, you can imagine what that means. And so it happens, we agree that there were some excesses and we tried as much as possible.
“From June 4, I travelled with Rawlings to every part of Ghana without food, without water, we want to every part of the country just to educate the people about how we wanted Ghana to be and how everybody should contribute. We got up early in the morning and we went out, sometimes he went in helicopter, we went by road to map out the area first then, he came by helicopter and then landed when he saw our vehicle.”
He added “People who didn’t trust us, people who didn’t believe us came and out to speak good about Rawlings during his funeral.”
Mr Rawlings died at age 73. He died on November 12 2020 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, in Accra.
Recounting how he received the news of his demise, a former Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Ambassador Victor Smith, who is also a former special aide to Mr Rawlings also told host of the programme Abena Tabi that “We were campaigning in the Ashanti region, myself and former President Mahama. We had gotten to Obuase, the programme hadn’t even started and we were in the car when I got a call from Accra that the Old man has passed.
“I asked, what do you mean the old man has passed, which old man are you referring to? The person said your old man, Jerry Rawlings. I asked, what happened? Whether it was an accident or something. Then, the person said no, he died in Korle Bu.
“I was so shocked because I never knew he was ill and indeed, he had recently buried his mother and looking at how old his mother got to, 101, I can only guess that he will probably will die after 90. That was what I was thinking, that is if you look after yourself well. I crossed checked with somebody who was actually there when he died.
“So, I called [former] president Mahama and gave him the bad news, he was in a different car. So he asked us all to cut off the programme and return to Accra. S we all came back to Accra.
“But even driving from Obause to Kumasi, there were so many calls coming through that they have heard something and they are not sure and the more I talked about it the more I choked on tears because it was really sad.
“I was just wondering, was he that ill? I asked the body guards and his driver , they are my friends, I recruited them when I was working with Rawlings and they said he only got ill last Sunday, he was feeling feverish and one thing led to another, he was in hospital and he is gone.”
Mr Rawlings was buried on Wednesday January 27, 2021.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana