June 05, 2023

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Rawlings Receives Missing Pages Of June 4

Abook titled, The Missing Pages of June 4 written by the Minister of State in Charge of Tertiary at the Ministry of Education, Professor Kwesi Yankah, is questioning the mysterious disappearance of the original newspaper publications in public libraries on the June 4, 1979 uprising led by then Flt Lt J.J. Rawlings.

The 310-page book being a compilation of 55 episodes of his writings is due to be launched on November 2, 2017 at the Christ the King Hall in Accra.

The 55 episodes written in a satirical form, under the pseudo name, Abonsam Fireman, covered 22 months spanning January 1979 to March 1980.

Relevance of June 4

Explaining to the Daily Graphic after handing over a copy of the book to former President Rawlings, the reason for writing the book, Prof Yankah said it seemed to him that there was a deliberate attempt to expunge the June 4 uprising from the history of the country.

He said the history of Ghana could not be complete without the June 4 Revolution that sought to restore the dignity of the professional soldier and to stamp out corruption.

Prof Yankah, who was a strong supporter of the revolution, as a young lecturer at the University of Ghana, still believe that what the revolution stood for remained relevant in Ghana today.

He said June 4 was a landmark revolution with probity and accountability, still key in the country’s democratic dispensation and could, therefore not be wished away as though it never existed.

Turbulent times

Prof. Yankah said the 55 episodes were written during turbulent times in the political history of the country when critics of the then government were tracked down, harassed and intimidated.

He said the period of the Abonsam Fireman series was during the days of General F.W.K Akuffo, Flt Lt Rawlings and the early part of President Dr Hilla Limann.

Catholic Standard

“At that time, there was no freedom of the press and any public lecture against the government was clamped down. Ghanaians at that time lived in fear.

“It was in the midst of this that the Catholic Standard was loudest against dictatorship and its priests were very vocal in favour of free speech,” Prof Yankah recalled.

He recalled that the Catholic Standard was a very popular newspaper at that time and was, therefore, the only newspaper in the country, “that kept Ghanaians alive”.

Missing pages

Asked why he wrote such a book, Prof Yankah said he believed that the June 4 story was not properly told, “and we stand the danger of losing important chapters of the history of Ghana.”

He said a search for original newspaper stories of the revolution proved futile, saying, “nowhere can you get June 4 stories in any media house or any public library.”

He said the book, The Missing Pages of June 4, was, therefore to restore the story of June 4, which he did by compiling articles by an anonymous columnist in the Catholic Standard, the then young Kwesi Yankah.


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