Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings has justified the humiliations suffered by Ghanaians under the regime of the Armed Forces Revilutionary Council which he chaired in 1979.
Speaking on Asaase Radio with Kwaku Sakyi Addo, the former President said the actions of the military were a sort of retaliation for the sufferings some soldiers endured from civilians. He cited how such soldiers were drained in urine for merely asking for price reductions in the market.
JJ Rawlings said the soldiers didn’t have much of a choice when they got in charge and they had to retaliate on innocent souls. The former President however said, what they did wasn’t what anybody should do.
“Humiliating people is something that nobody should do. Educate people and bring them out of their ignorance but don’t humiliate them. The country felt very humiliated when on account of your foolishness [military officers turned politicians], soldiers end up with urine being thrown at them,” Rawlings said.
Narrating the massive hoarding of goods that went on at the time, Rawlings said, “how do you end up selling antibiotic and baby milk on your sunny table… a soldier in uniform is pleading for a reduction, and you go so far as to throw your [stored] urine at him, you know what, if I hadn’t asked Major Mensah Gbedemah, who was then the Chief of Staff…because he didn’t seem to realize that the more you delayed the action of breaking down Makola, the women will pay for it with their lives.
“Let them take their anger on the edifice…no bulldozer, no explosives, let them go in with sledgehammers…so we did what we had to do, hoping and expecting that this was it,” he added.