Former President Jerry John Rawlings.

NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE 41ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE JUNE 4 UPRISING UNDER THE THEME: STRENGTHENING THE SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM, RESILIENCE AND INTEGRITY IN DIFFICULT TIMES.

Thursday, June 4, 2020, marks the 41st anniversary of the 1979 June 4 Uprising, which was led by Flt. Flt. Jerry John Rawlings after being freed from military custody for an attempted coup plot to overthrow the Supreme Military Council II on May, 15, 1979. The Uprising was necessitated principally by the conviction of the junior ranks of the Ghana Armed Forces to get rid of corrupt practices within the armed forces and in the political and social life of the country. It was indeed a decisive action to lay the foundations of finding lasting solutions to Ghana’s economic difficulties and to establish a democratic system of governance, hinged on the pillars of probity, transparency, accountability and social justice.

On hindsight, it could be said that, 41 years after that popular uprising it is good enough to reflect on the spirit and bravery of those who laid down their lives to embark on a strategic rescue mission of this country. Analysis of the theme for this year’s anniversary, that is, “STRENGTHENING THE SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM, RESILIENCE AND INTEGRITY IN DIFFICULT TIMES”, brings to the fore what June 4 stood for, and still remains an indelible mark in the socio-economic and political development of our dear country, especially, in these trying moments of the COVID-19 virus. For the past few weeks since the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic, the patriotic spirit of the Ghanaian has been tested to the seams.

Can we genuinely say that Ghanaians demonstrated the true spirit of love of country, and for one another when it comes to being our neighbour’s keeper; and acting in due diligence as officials of state?  In attempting to be resilient, have we been flexible enough in dealing with issues that bothered on the very poor and vulnerable members of our society, in terms of being considerate in ensuring that the spirit of moderation directed every action that we have taken in initiating pro-poor solutions to our teething problems?

On the heels of integrity, there are the virtues of honesty and truthfulness which greatly espouse the godliness in us. As citizens of this country, can we hold our chest out to say that we have been truthful in serving, to the best of our abilities, positions entrusted to us by the President of the Republic of Ghana? As citizens of Ghana, can we honestly say we have been faithful and loyal to Ghana in whatever we do to promote the fortunes of our collective good? Living to the call by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during his historic inauguration as President of the Republic of Ghana on 7th January, 2017, can we sincerely say that we have been citizens but not spectators to the affairs of state in ensuring its survival and growth?

In the difficult and trying days before the June 4 Uprising, there were excessive incidents of bribery and corruption, state ineptitude, ego-centric tendencies, disrespect for laws of the state, the elderly, and even the lack of fellow-feeling. Though there were obvious excesses in the course of the 86 days of a house-cleaning exercise that rocked the very foundation of every facet of Ghana, the memories of it remind us of the need to hold in high esteem the tenets of probity, transparency, accountability and social justice, as the veritable guiding principles of building a resilient nation-state, hinged on a renewed spirit of patriotism among the rank and file of its citizens, who are embedded with the highest sense of integrity.

One may love to hate the June 4 Uprising, but there is little denial of the fact that, the essence of the event will live with us as the only tested guiding principles with unfettered assurances of building Ghana into the modern nation-state we all desire. COVID-19 has dawned on us the need to be self-sustaining as a nation by prioritising what we produce with little reliance on the external. Our penchant craving for everything foreign has been exposed with bitter lessons of treasuring and using our God-given resources to our best advantage.

It will, however, take a deliberate national cleansing and renewal of heart by revisiting the theme for this year’s June 4 celebration, that is, “STRENGTHENING THE SPIRIT OF PATRIOTISM, RESILIENCE AND INTEGRITY” in coping with these difficult times of the coronavirus pandemic.

BY OSEI PIESIE-ANTO, A SOCIO-POLITICAL ANALYST.

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