Rawlings ‘catches’ fire to mark 31st December

Former President Rawlings lighting the Perpetual Flame in Accra

Former President Rawlings on Friday December 31 symbolically ‘held fire’ to commemorate the fallen heroes of the 31st December Revolution.

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The occasion was the 29th Anniversary of the Revolution which overthrew the democratically elected government of Dr. Hilla Liman after the coup of June 4 1979, which was to end all coup d’états.

Critics of the revolution have condemned the commemoration of the event by Mr. Rawlings and his cohorts and the NDC as a party.

They have tagged the celebration an illegality that must be condemned. But the NDC insists the revolution served a good purpose.

The celebration was marked with a solemn ceremony at the Flagstaff House to remember the souls of the fallen heroes of the revolution.

The ceremony was attended by the leader of the revolution, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, government officials, retired military officers, serving officers, cadres, members of the 31st December Women’s movement and members of the public.

Wreaths were laid for the fallen heroes on behalf of the people of Ghana, the security services, the cadre corps and for the principles of probity and accountability. Prayers were also said for the fallen heroes followed by a minute’s silence.

The cadre corps also mounted a parade led by Amos Aryitey after they had marched through some principal streets of Accra. The Ghana Dance Ensemble brought emotion to the ceremony when they played dirges with their flutes.

Mr. Rawlings, who did not lay any wreath personally mounted the cenotaph, to symbolically put his hands into the perpetual flame and pretended catching the fire.

As part of the event, Former President Rawlings will be the Special Guest of Honour at a public lecture to be held under the theme, “Integrity for Sustainable Democracy”.

The lecture takes place at the Teachers’ Hall in Accra on Friday December 31.

The ceremony will be co-chaired by Dr Ahiawordor, a lecturer at the University of Ghana and Ebenezer Anowa, Tema East Constituency Chairman of the ruling National Democratic Congress.

Leading speakers will include Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and former Minister for Health, Samuel Nuamah Donkor.