Hon John Dramani Mahama last Friday declared that the greatest lesson of the June 4 Uprising was the lesson of Accountability.
“Sovereignty lies with the people. Leaders must be accountable in their actions to the people. June 4 established the lesson that when the people are oppressed, they will rebel against the oppressor,” John Mahama declared.
Delivering a speech at the June 4 lectures under the Theme, The place Of June 4 in Ghana's 50 years, the NDC Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, recalled how the uprising of June 4 occurred as a culmination of a struggle waged by social forces including students and organized labour against Kutu Acheampong's misrule, characterized by Kalabule, cronyism and all manner of political corruption.
June 4, he said was not about bloodshed or violence or the execution of military generals including three former heads of state, he said, just as the French revolution was not about violence even though the then French King, Louis 16, his wife and his family were led to the guillotine and violently slaughtered.
June 4, he said has taught Ghanaians never again to allow a situation where those in leadership will lord it over the ordinary people and leave them with no option for meaningful change.
Hon John Mahama had a word of advice for those who want to distort the happenings of those days: “We should not judge the past with the lenses of the present. One must live the experience to better understand it.”
He said given the objective conditions of the time, its difficult to see how June 4 could have been avoided.
“Those who want to indulge in the luxury of the unlived experience may do so. But the truth is that inevitably, the social forces would have converged and brought about some social unrest given the scale of the anger of the people against the depravity at the helm of affairs at the time.”
The MP for Bole Bamboi, also explained that June 4 demonstrated that the people of Ghana are capable of rallying themselves and rising to the occasion when they have faith in the leadership.
“In the struggle against colonialism, the people rose to the occasion because of their faith in Nkrumah. In the early days of Kutu Acheampong, the people again rose to the occasion under Operation Feed Yourself. During the PNDC, the same spirit was shown when the people rallied under the charismatic leadership of Rawlings to undertake critical exercises like the cocoa evacuation from farms.
Hon. John Dramani Mahama, said that there was so much wrong happening under the NPP, but the current regime is not being held to the same level of accountability because in the view of the people, they do not measure to the high level of honesty and accountability of those whose antecedents are the June 4 uprising and the 31st December Revolution.
“We are held to a higher measure of accountability. People today tell us that maybe we should also lower the bar of accountability when we come back to power because of the way the NPP has taken it to an all time low. A few of our supporters tell us to also 'chop freely' like the NPP and de-emphasize our revolutionary honesty. But we cannot change our measure of accountability. We must continue to hold aloft the banner of accountability.”
He said that NDC's commitment to social justice and peoples democratic empowerment must remain unwavering.
He aso urged the NDC to work hard to re-establish the truth about its image and combat the wrong perceptions the paty's opponents have succeded in planting in the psyche of some people against it. These false perceptions he said are: The NDC is ungodly, is violent, hates the media, is not democratic and are anti business.