Burial of former President Rawlings: Preparations underway at Military Cemetery

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
Former President Jerry John Rawlings
Former President Jerry John Rawlings

Preparations for the interment of former President Jerry John Rawlings at the new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra has commenced, with the construction of the tomb and some decorations in the yard.

The former President will be buried on Wednesday, January 27, this year at the cemetery which is now designated as the burial ground for former Heads of State in the country.

This will be after burial service at the Black Star Square in Accra on the same day.

The event would be led by the Ghana Armed Forces.

When the Daily Graphic visited the cemetery in the La Dadekotopon Municipality in the Greater Accra Region yesterday, work was ongoing, including the clearing of weeds and painting of pavements.

There were also some military personnel guarding the area.


In an interview, the Director of Public Relations of the Ghana Armed Forces, Colonel E.Aggrey-Quashie, said the military was fully prepared to ensure a colourful celebration of the life of the former President.

However, he said, due to the COVID19 protocols, the activities would not be as elaborate as previously was done for other late statesmen.

Colonel Aggrey-Quashie said GAF was closely working with the State Protocol and the family of former President Rawlings to ensure a successful programme.

The activities, which will start from Friday, January 22, in the Anlo State, will include some traditional performances which would end on Saturday, January 23, to pave way for the national activities on Sunday, January 24.

It will begin with a Catholic Requiem Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra, followed by a vigil at the Air Force Base at 6 p.m.

On Monday, January 25, the remains of the former President will be laid in state at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).

Filing past the body will start by Heads of security agencies, leaders of political parties and the general public.

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, January 26, President Nana Addo Dankwa AkufoAddo,the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, former heads of state, as well as heads of constitutional bodies will also file past. And at 10 a.m., Members of Parliament, led by the Speaker, Mr Alban Bagbin, and former Speakers will also file past.

At noon, the Chief Justice, Justices of the Supreme Court and former Chief Justices will also file past, with Members of the Council of State, as well as former ministers of state, also, filing past at 1 p.m.

Members of the diplomatic corps will then take their turn at 2 p.m.

There will be traditional and customary rites celebrations at the foyer of the AICC where the body will lie in state.