It was sparked when the then military government of the Supreme Military Council (SMC II) of General F K. Akuffo put then flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings on public trial for attempting to overthrow the government on May 15th 1979.

This happened because Rawlings was a junior soldier in the Ghanaian Army who with other soldiers were refused their salaries.

Rawlings turned the trial against the government by accusing it of massive corruption and requesting that his fellow accused be set free as he was solely responsible for the mutiny.

He was incarcerated for sentencing. His diatribe resonated with the entire nation as there was massive suffering.

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.

Jerry John Rawlings

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.

Rawlings was appointed the head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) by the revolting Junior military officers to run the country until the ongoing election was completed.

He handed over Power to Dr. Hilla Limann in September 1979. But Rawlings again overthrew Limann on 31 December 1981. 

Though the June 4th became a noted date in Ghana's history. it has been said to be a date that brings a lot of pain to people who either lost loved ones, lost businesses or had to flee the country.

Major (RTD) Osahene Boakye Gyan speaks

One of the architects of the June 4th uprising, Major (RTD) Osahene Boakye Gyan described Jerry John Rawlings as 'foolish' honest and truthful man.

Major Boakye Gyan who spoke on Accra-based Okay FM's 'Ade Akye Abia' programme in the year 2018 on the occasion of the commemoration of the June 4th uprising explained that Jerry John Rawlings was brought in to lead the June 4 after they (Osahene Boakye Gyan and other high ranking officers in the military) had led a successful uprising.

June 4th Revolution

'He invited me for a meeting at the Continental Hotel where he told me about the need to go and takeover, and I said takeover what?" Major Boakye Gyan recalled.

According to Major Boakye Gyan, he asked him to stop the careless talk otherwise he will be a "cannon fodder".

"…One thing about him (Rawlings) is that he doesn’t lie… he's a fool but he doesn't lie," he said