Former Head of State and President of Ghana, Ft. Lt. JJ Rawling has stated that he feels sad about the killings of the former Generals, but does not regret the action.
JJ Rawlings, in an interview with Kwaku Sakyi Addo on Asaase FM, explained that the situation at the time made it rife and necessitated the executions, that without it happening a lot of problems would have occured.
“We had no choice than to get rid of them because they humiliated the country. This execution was reaction to action. They were engaged in too many illegal stuff like hoarding and what we did was the best. If we really wanted to punish all those Generals their number would have run into 80, unfortunately too manyof them belonged to a certain ethnic group and that would have looked like an attack on that ethnic group so we had to limit the number and put the burden on the Commanders.”
During the June 4 era eight men including Military Commanders and former Heads of States were executed.
In the night of June 3rd 1979, junior military officers including Major Boakye Djan broke into the jail where Rawlings was being held and freed him, and ostensibly marched him to the national radio station to make an announcement.
The first time the public heard from Rawlings was a now legendary statement that he Rawlings had been released by the junior officers and that he was under their command. He requested all soldiers to meet with them at the Nicholson Stadium in Burma Camp in Accra.
The entire nation went up in uproar. The soldiers rounded up senior military officers including three former heads of states, General F. K Akuffo, Ignatious Kutu Acheampong and Afrifa for trial. They were subsequently executed by firing squad.