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General News of Sunday, 31 January 2021

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Fellow Ghanaians! Rawlings’s first public phrase that has travelled through time

Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings passed on November 12, 2020 Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings passed on November 12, 2020

He called it a revolution, after he had given up power to a democratic government following a first coup. Dr. Hilla Limann took over the reins in 1979, after winning an election in the Third Republic.

Two years after, Rawlings reclaimed power, after complaining that the democratically-elected government had failed to correct the wrongs and evils for which he organized the first coup d’etat in 1979, June 4.

During this revolution, he dismissed the government machinery (Executive) of the Third Republic, dissolved the Legislature (Parliament), abolished the Council of State and introduced just one party; the Provisional National Defence Council.

The first line of his speech was,
“Fellow Ghanaians, as you will notice, we are not playing the national anthem. In other words, this is not a coup.”

The phrase “Fellow Ghanaians” has, in recent times, gained popularity, owing to its use by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his COVID-19 addresses to the nation.

In his very first address to the nation on the 11th of March, Mr. Akufo-Addo said,

“Fellow Ghanaians, good evening, 5 days ago on 6th March, at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, on the occasion of the nation’s 63rd Independence Anniversary celebration, I gave an update on the measures put in by government, in response to the novel coronavirus disease which has so far affected some 118,000 people, across the world, resulted in the death of some 4,000 persons and is wreaking havoc on the global economy.”

The phrase has since come to stay and has been identified with his updates to the country since then.

It is not uncommon today, to hear or see “Fellow Ghanaians” trending on social media platforms especially in recent times, before or after the President’s speech, what many may not know, is that, it, before now, was how one of the renowned speeches by Mr. Rawlings began.

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