- Rawlings has finally opened up on why the eight generals were killed by firing squad several years ago
- He said the eight officers were used as sacrificial lambs to atone for the blood-thirst of more than 80 officers from a particular tribe
- Papa J revealed that the killing of the eight officers was sad but he does not regret it one bit
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Former President, J.J Rawlings, who led the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) for the 4 June revolution, has finally opened up on why the eight generals were killed years ago.
Rawlings said the execution of the former head of states and senior army officers spared the country's ethnic cleansing in the Ghana Armed Forces in the early days of the 1979 revolution.
Speaking to Asaase Radio and reported by theGhanareport.com, he said the eight officers were used as sacrificial lambs to atone for the blood-thirst of more than 80 officers from a particular ethnic group.
“Unfortunately, too many of the names belonged to a certain ethnic group. That is all people wanted. This thing was going to look like some ethnic cleansing. That’s how come we had to load the fault on the head of the commanders, including innocent ones, and to limit the number,"
Opening up on one of the goriest moments in the annals of Ghana's history, Rawlings revealed that General Afrifa was originally not on the list of those to be executed, but an unnamed general took advantage of his (Rawlings’) naivety to add his name to the list.
Although Papa J admitted that some of them were innocent and victims of a “moral battle,” he said he had no regrets about the execution.
“I feel sad but no regret. Anything short of it would have been inviting trouble."
Meanwhile, Jerry John Rawlings revealed that unlike what many people, especially Ghanaians, know to be his surname, actually isn't.
Affectionately called Papa J, he recounted how his surname, which happens to be John, was changed when the military sent him a letter of enlistment.
The former president said he did not want a change in name together with all its legal requirements to ruin his chances of getting into the military, which had always been his dream.
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