BLAZING FIRE! Jerry John Rawlings dips his hand into revolutionary flames
JJ Burns In Flames

Former President Jerry John Rawlings and leader of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) yesterday enacted some dramatic scenes at the Revolution Square in front of the Flagstaff House, when he dipped his hand into a blazing fire.

This was at the 34th anniversary celebration of the June 4th revolution, which catapulted him to political power in June 4, 1979.

Surprisingly, Mr Rawlings declined an invitation to read what could have been one of his usual ?boom speeches? on such occasions because he said he had spoken enough at a cadres forum the previous day.

The founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) ??disappointed the anxious audience when he ceded his slot to address the crowd to the chief of Otublohum, Nii Doodo Nsaki II.

He could, however, not do without his usual antic of passing his hand through the flame.

National Security Co-ordinator, Lt. Col. Larry Gbevlo Lartey (rtd), was also seen hovering around with a walking stick, which doubles as a folding chair in arm, spotting a black jacket with a pair of trousers to match and topped with a coolie high cap and sunglasses.

He occasionally pitched his folding chair and sat in the midst of people like a spy looking out for a target.

Citizen Vigilante

Former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Martin Alamisi Amidu, the vigilante man who is single-handedly fighting Alfred Agbesi Woyome in court, also made an appearance at the Square.

Mr Amidu, a cadre of the revolution, joined the leader of the uprising and several other cadres to commemorate the event.

The once tough-talking Mr Amidu, who prides himself as a ?citizen vigilante?, was ?full of smiles.

Later, Mr Amidu was given the honour to light the ?perpetual flame? which is usually done by Mr. Rawlings himself.

When the former President took the torch to light the flame, he turned left, right and then looked at the fire at the tip of the torch and asked his bodyguard to call Mr Amidu for him.

He later invited former General Secretary of the NDC, Alhaji Huudu Yahya, a cadre and the Odikro of Adeambra in the Eastern Region, Nana Ampofo, to assist Mr Amidu in lighting the flame.

Another personality who surfaced at the celebration was the controversial Michael Soussoudis, a cousin of ex-President Rawlings.

Mr Rawlings pulled a few jokes in his native Ewe language with the calm-looking Soussoudis.

In his speech, Nii Doodo Nsaki stressed the need for Ghanaians to learn from the lessons of the June 4th revolution and shun the things that brought about the uprising which were greed and corruption.

Wreaths were laid in memory of those who fell during the uprising, one of the bloodiest in the history of the country.

Present were a former First Lady, Nana Kondu Agyeman-Rawlings, spokesman for Mr Rawlings, Kofi Adams,a former Minister of Transport, Mike Hammah, Volta Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga and former Member of Parliament for Odododiodoo, Jonathan Nii Tackie Kommey.

Mr Rawlings demanded to be given one of the flags of the revolution, which he hoisted on his Toyota V8 land cruiser vehicle while leaving the Square for his Ridge office.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu


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