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Tue. Sep 19th, 2023

Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings was a younger and charismatic determine when he first got here to energy in a coup on 4 June 1979. Coups happen in capital cities, and as Kumasi is 250 kilometres from the capital of Ghana, Accra, folks anticipated that it could be a while earlier than the Ghana Air Pressure pilot would present himself in Ghana’s second metropolis. He was, in any case, half Ewe, and may need doubted if he can be welcome within the capital of Ashanti. The scholars on the Kwame Nkrumah College of Science and Expertise (KNUST), nevertheless, have been smitten by his arrival on the political scene and the promise he introduced of a folks’s revolution. So when a couple of weeks after the coup, the Flight Lieutenant got here to Kumasi, he was greeted on the campus by your entire scholar physique, massed of their 1000’s with KNUST tutorial and workplace employees, safety guards and farm labourers. What the brand new chief was not ready to face, was a requirement for the abstract execution of a number of the college professors.

Rawlings stopped his car on the massive expanse of the college’s sports activities subject the place he was met by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr E Bamfo-Kwakye. Deciding to handle the quickly assembling multitude stood on the roof of his car, the youthful chief invited a really unsure Vice-Chancellor to hitch him. His vigorous shout of ‘Folks!’ was greeted by the thunderous roar of ‘Revolution!’ Then he launched into his effectively rehearsed speech on what his revolution would entail.

‘Ghana is riddled with corruption perpetrated by the managerial {and professional} class which runs the nation’s companies, authorities departments and public establishments,’ Rawlings mentioned. ‘The entire group must be cleansed of those parts.’ He defined that he had begun the operation on the high with the execution on 26 June 1979 of twelve leaders, together with three former heads of state: Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa (1969-1970), Kutu Acheampong (1971-78) and Fred Akuffo (1978-79). Now he relied on the folks to show their corrupt oppressors in order that they is also punished. ‘Who’re the responsible folks on this campus? They have to even be uncovered.’

Some college students requested if these folks would even be executed and this set off a common demand for wholesale executions. Rawlings replied that he was not in favour of extra executions; different types of punishment should be employed. Nevertheless, the scholars couldn’t be persuaded to switch their calls for and a prolonged stalemate ensued. Nothing that Rawlings or the Vice-Chancellor may say may dampen the decision for blood. The shadows have been lengthening throughout the sports activities subject so the V-C recommended shifting to the nice corridor. Little doubt he was relieved to descend from his precarious perch.

The heated dialogue continued within the overflowing corridor however impasse endured. Finally, to launch everybody to their suppers, Rawlings threw the scholars a problem. ‘You already know the corrupt folks on this college. Convey them to me on the sports activities subject at 08.00 tomorrow morning and I’ll have them shot by firing squad.’

That night time many professors, lecturers and directors didn’t sleep of their homes on the campus. Conferences went on within the college students’ halls of residence all through the nighttimes. The Flight Lieutenant rose with the solar and took his breakfast within the Vice-Chancellor’s lodge. Then he made his approach to the sports activities subject to maintain his appointment. As he had little doubt anticipated, the scholars had no captives at hand over.

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