President Akufo-Addo has described the contributions of the late former president Jerry John Rawlings to Ghana’s development as enormous, and again signalled that the government is ready to offer him a befitting state burial.
The president expressed his sadness at the sudden demise on Thursday of Flight Lieutenant Rawlings, the first president of the Fourth Republic.
Consoling the widow, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, children and extended family of the late president during a visit to the Rawlings residence to express his condolences on Friday, President Akufo-Addo said he still finds it so difficult to believe that the dynamic, vital and energetic personality that he knew is no more.
President Akufo-Addo said that President Rawlings having served his country and contributed significantly to it, his departure has to be the responsibility of the Ghanaian state. “We are going to be writing volumes and volumes on his contribution to Ghana,” he said.
The president said Rawlings’s contribution to Ghana’s development will not be forgotten.
Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, the eldest daughter of the late president and MP for Klottey Korle, expressed the family’s gratitude to the president and his team for their visit and support, as well as the immense honour done to her father by ensuring that he will be recognised with a full state burial.
Dr Agyeman-Rawlings said the family was yet to discuss the details of a date for the funeral.
President Akufo-Addo was accompanied by a group including Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, his wife, Samira Bawumia, Chief of Staff Frema Osei Opare, the chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Freddie Blay, and Ghana’s ambassador to China, Edward Boateng.
Former president Mahama
The flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress and former president, John Dramani Mahama, has also expressed shock at the sudden passing of the party’s founder.
Speaking during a visit to Mrs Agyeman-Rawlings and the family of the late president, Mahama said Rawlings’s demise was a loss for not only the family, but the entire NDC fraternity. He said the party stands ready to play whatever role it has to play to ensure a smooth send-off for the founder.
Mahama said the positivity President Rawlings stood for is something the NDC has to protect and fight for to ensure that his role is never forgotten, and so that he is placed in his rightful place in Ghana’s history. He said the party is observing the seven days of national mourning, hence the cessation of campaign activities across all regions of the country.
The NDC candidate, who was accompanied by his running mate, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, expressed sincere condolences to Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and the family on the sad loss.
The former president was also accompanied by the NDC general secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, the former Speaker of Parliament Edward Doe Adjaho, the current Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, and a host of leading party members.