Address by Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings at the 32nd Anniversary of the June 4 Revolution – Kumasi, Jubilee Park

5 06 2011
Nana Konadu June 4 2011Your Excellency President Rawlings, Nananom, Members of Parliament and other leading members of the NDC, cadres, party supporters, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen:Congratulations to all of you here on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the June 4 uprising. Your presence here is a clear manifestation of the value you have for an event that kicked off the journey of renaissance for our country and raised the political consciousness of the average Ghanaian.
I wish to also offer a proud welcome to the hundreds of bold women and men from across the length and breadth of the country who are here today to show strength and prove that the journey that started on June 4 1979 and metamorphosed into the 31st December Revolution and subsequently the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was one that created enlightenment and opportunities for our men and women folk nationwide. Akwaaba!

The theme for this year’s theme, “Unity in Diversity” is very relevant because of the current situation our great NDC party finds itself.

Before one goes into detail about the NDC of today, let me first outline the relevance of June 4, yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Many have over the past few years and indeed in the last few days attempted to denigrate the achievements and relevance of June 4, twisting the facts, telling outright lies and creating the impression that June 4 was just a petty political exercise by the men and women who laid down their lives to stem the tide of decay that had engulfed Ghana then.

People who for current political expediency and cheap economic gain find it convenient to put down the role June 4 has played in the socio-political
development of this country are people who do not deserve to call themselves patriotic Ghanaians. I say so because when we talk about the history of political development in Ghana, even international observers are quick to talk about June 4 as laying the foundation for a new political philosophy in this country.

Prior to the failed May 15 mutiny and subsequently the June 4 uprising, successive elected or military governments had derailed the socio-political and socio-economic development of this country. The Breton Woods institutions had written off Ghana and actually regarded it as a failed state with no serious hope of recovery because of the political musical chairs that had become the order of the day.

I am very happy a lot of young people are here today. They are the leaders of our future, but unfortunately a lot of our selfish and greedy political leaders; intent on seeking their own personal interests sponsor commentators to use the media to distort the events of June 4.

June 4 was a spontaneous reaction that erupted as a result of the bottled up anger of the people. The people had been suppressed for over a decade. The economy was on its knees and even when people had purchasing power there were no essential amenities to purchase. Hoarding of goods to create artificial price increases ­ kalabule – was the order of the day and the sense of feeling and unity of purpose that Ghanaians are noted for had given way to individualism, selfishness and plain greed.

Our political leaders, rather than help to change the status quo, encouraged the rape of our country by amassing personal wealth at the expense of the impoverished and defenceless people.

When June 4 erupted it was with a singular aim of ensuring that the anomaly that had befallen our political development would be rectified. That was why in just three months elections were held and a new leader took over the mantle of managing the country. The architects of June 4 1979 were just selfless Ghanaians some of whom spilled their blood to save this country. If they had petty political or economic ambitions they could have stayed on just as their predecessors had done and raped this country as well.

They did not!

The 31st December Revolution, which followed, was precipitated by the failure of our new leaders to focus on the process of regeneration initiated by the AFRC. They rather took us back into the status quo that preceded June 4.

Between December 31 1981 and December 1992 Ghana went through a very difficult and painful transformation that brought out the sense of unity and purpose of Ghanaians.

With most national infrastructure destroyed and electricity distribution limited to about a quarter of the country, a major drought befell the country bringing it to its knees and further worsening our already deprived economy. To add salt to our injuries one million Ghanaians were deported from Nigeria under circumstances calculated to cripple the will of the people and derail the resolve of the revolution to instil freedom, justice, probity and accountability into the body politic of Ghana and thence to the road to social, political and economic recovery.

Ladies and gentlemen through a leadership of character and integrity, Jerry John Rawlings and his compatriots led Ghana through a tortuous journey of leadership by example, emancipating the Ghanaian and encouraging some of us to also help break the socio-cultural barrier that prevented women from taking active part in social development.

Today if I stand here, bold and assertive, it is because the revolution offered Ghanaian women an opportunity to be heard. I represent a new breed of Ghanaian women who are skilled, have excellent organisational and leadership qualities and can represent their people at all levels of political or social leadership.

These are the ideals behind the establishment of the NDC. The motto: ³Unity in Development² is not much different from today¹s theme of ³Unity in Diversity². The theme is very relevant because some of our people have lost their sense of direction and have embraced a new culture that preaches power to our leaders and oppression to the people.

The NDC rode on a crest wave of change in 2008. Change from the brazen abuse of our national resources by the NPP and the corruption, injustice and abuse of office that characterised their tenure. Our people toiled through some very harrowing circumstances to win the change that we eventually won in early 2009. But soon after that victory some in our party decided that rather that move forward as a unified force, consulting the grassroots at all times, they rather cocooned themselves and decided we should just accept the top-down decisions that they took.

Today the NDC is at the crossroads. We are at the crossroads because we have failed to appreciate the diverse nature of our party and the fact that it is rich with a wealth of knowledge, experience, talent and opinion. Until we learn to appreciate the need to tap such knowledge, is crucial to the success of our party, that the need to consult at all levels, particularly at the grassroots level is key to party unity and progress, then we would have failed the millions who put their hope in us to lead Ghana onto a new pedestal of political glory.

Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot afford to allow the state of hopelessness and gloom to engulf us forever. We cannot afford to allow the petty agendas of a select few to corrupt us into a state of slumber allowing thieves and charlatans to take over at the next election.

The NDC owes Ghanaians a responsibility to get its act in order and go back to the values that made it a formidable force. We cannot continue to bleed; we cannot continue to be on our knees. We cannot allow the likes of Jerry John Rawlings and all those who risked their lives and spilled their blood to bring Ghana to the enviable status it was in 2000 to feel that they have wasted their lives.

The time has come to send a message to those leaders of ours who have lost a sense of direction to redirect themselves to the path of probity, accountability, freedom, justice and integrity.

The time has come for all to be strong, bold and assertive. Ghanaians deserve the NDC to give them a proper sense of direction and hope and from today I enjoin every single man or woman here to join the crusade to bring the NDC back to the ideals of June 4.

Ladies and gentlemen, we dare not fail. Posterity will not forgive us if we fold our arms and adopt a wait and see attitude.

People, Revolution.

Action, Now!!!

We shall overcome.

Thank you.

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