Former President Jerry John Rawlings said he had lost the zest and moral turpitude to light the flame as the aloofness and thievery of government to the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian had made it a travesty to continue to light the flame.
An emotional Rawlings clutching a stick of flame at the Revolution Square in Accra Monday, in readiness to light the perpetual flame to mark the 33rd Anniversary of the June 4 Uprising, dramatically pointed the flames to the skies, as if to invite the heavens to descend to Ghana, turned and handed the flame to an aide and ordered that the fire be extinguished.
But for the intervention of close confidantes, former President Rawlings would have taken yet another unprecedented step by breaking a ritual he has performed for decades.
He told hordes of NDC cadres at the ceremony that the lighting of the perpetual flame had become a meaningless exercise, enunciating his long-held mantra that the government formed by the party he founded Ė National Democratic Congress Ė had deviated markedly from the principles, values and ideals of the June 4 Uprising which served as a lynchpin for the formation of the NDC.
But upon counsel and appeals, the former president reluctantly rescinded his decision not to light to flame but even then he did not complete the process the way he has been known to do it - dip his hands in the flame.
No government official was visibly present at the Revolution Square.
Mr Rawlings Saturday addressed a June 4 rally at the Victory Park at Aflao in the Volta Region asking how the NDC could possibly hope to beat the flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo at the 2012 polls "when you are rejecting the values of June 4. How can you win when you are afraid of values of June 4, freedom and justice?"