Former President Rawlings is a man with an enviable charisma which has endeared him to many.
However, there are also some families who continually blame the former military ruler for the killing of their loved ones during the Armed Forces Revolutionary(AFRC) Council days which we barely hear him address.
Rawlings who was the Head of State during the days recounted on the Execution of some political leaders notable among them was Lieutenant General Akwasi Amankwaa whom the former signed a death warrant for the General to be executed albeit not happy about it.
He explained that, it had become necessary at that time because most of the actual offenders who were equally Generals in the military came from a particular ethnic group. It was therefore unwise to execute all of them who were about 80 or more but instead had to apportion blame to some innocent Commanders to pay the price.
Rawlings narrated thus, “It must interest you to know that Afrifa was being provocative and I had him locked up, and he wasn’t feeling too good so I asked that they [take] him to hospital. After he recovered, the gentleman keeping an eye on him was called Dennis, asked what needs to be done to Afrifa so I asked him to let him go home.”
Rawlings admitted that, it was hurtful to execute all those Generals because some of them were indeed good people but it had become necessary at the time. He shockingly revealed that, on the evening of the execution, he had presented the names of the victims with such sadness and tears in his eyes to a senior colleague officer who was also a General only for him to be asked that “where is the rogue? The rogue’s name is not on the list.”
Rawlings who didn’t know who the rogue was rather surprised when the Senior Officer, mentioned Afrifa’s name.
The Former Head of State explained thus, “So, I turned towards him expecting him to say who he meant by that rogue. Because here you are, trying to prevent a situation with such a list, for him to be asking for an additional name, a name that was not on the list, took me aback a little. Then he said General Afrifa,” Rawlings added, refusing to disclose the name of the general.
Rawlings said the General persuaded him saying “Afrifa had been advanced a good lot of money to wage a campaign against Acheampong’s union government and instead of using that money for that purpose,…he used the money to edge out Paa Willie [William Ofori-Atta] and took over the leadership of that party…so I kept quiet collected the list and went away and did what I had to do.”
Unfortunately that was how come Gen. Afrifa’s name was included in the list and was executed Rawlings explained, saying he was rather young by then to understand lot of the occurrences.