Mr Rawlings, then a flight lieutenant in the army, became chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), a group of junior military officers which had seized power in a coup from the Supreme Military Council II (SMC II) of General F.W.K. Akuffo at dawn that day.
The leaders of the coup had explained that deteriorating economic conditions in the country and rising corruption, among others, had occasioned the takeover, with three former military heads of state being tried and executed for various offences in the aftermath of the putsch.
Speaking on the 37th anniversary of the uprising, Mr Rawlings likened the impact of the coup to Jesus Christ’s reaction to gambling and selling in God’s temple in early times, suggesting it cleaned up the injustices in the system and purged the country of immorality.
He stated: “Within that period, the nation finally had justice. Let us not be so dishonest, so unethical, so immoral as to pretend we didn’t know what brought about the 1966 coup, what brought about the 1972 coup, and what brought about June 4 and the subsequent follow-up of 31st December.
“June 4 is, therefore, not about me; it is rather the collective action and expression of a people when they cry out, rise up, and rightfully demand proper governance, accountability, probity, justice, and respect from those who are supposed to govern us.”