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Council of State, Graphic pledge support for Rawlings

BY: Nana Konadu Agyeman & Joshua Bediako Koomson
Former President Jerry John Rawlings with the Graphic delegation after their meeting. Among them are Mr. Ato Afful (4th from left), Mr. Franklin Sowa (2nd left) and Mr. Kobby Asmah (2nd right)
Former President Jerry John Rawlings with the Graphic delegation after their meeting. Among them are Mr. Ato Afful (4th from left), Mr. Franklin Sowa (2nd left) and Mr. Kobby Asmah (2nd right)

The management of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) has offered to provide free communication support to assist the family of former President Jerry John Rawlings as the company’s widow’s mite towards the funeral of his mother, Madam Victoria Agbotui.

The Managing Director (MD) of the company, Mr. Ato Afful, made the pledge to the former President yesterday when he led a delegation from the company to commiserate with the former President and his family.

The team included the Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr. Kobby Asmah; the Director of Marketing and Sales, Mr. Franklin Sowa, and the Director of Technical Services, Mr. Charles Amoako.

Earlier, a delegation from the Council of State had also visited former President Rawlings to mourn with the family.

Led by its Chairman, Nana Otuo Siriboe II, the delegation expressed the support of the council towards the burial and final funeral rites of Madam Agbotui, who passed away on Thursday, September 24, aged 101.

Nana Otuo Siriboe II interacting with former President Jerry John Rawlings during the visit. Among those in the picture are Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings (3rd from right) and some members of the council. Pictures: EBOW HANSON 

Gratis

“Our beloved former President has lost his mother and we thought it wise that we should come to sympathise with the family and also pledge our widow’s mite to support the family to see our mother off in the most fitting Ghanaian and Anlo manner.

“On behalf of this team and on behalf of our business, we will grant you all the communication support that you require for the funeral that is within our ability as the GCGL as gratis,” Mr. Afful pledged.

The managing director said as the funeral arrangements had already been announced, the company was going to do what it could within its mandate to ensure that Madam Agbotui was given a befitting burial.

“Words elude us at this time and it’s only fitting that we do what we have to. We will only pray, as our faith teaches, that she finds solace in the bosom of the Lord and eternal rest for giving this nation a proud son and gallant leader who has been very instrumental in the history of this land,” Mr. Afful said.

Customary rites

Both the Council of State and the GCGL delegations presented assorted drinks to support the pre-burial arrangements, as custom demands.

‘We’ll mourn with you’

Nana Otuo Siriboe recalled how painful it was losing a mother.

Citing himself as an example, he said although he had been a chief for 23 years, when his mother passed away some years ago he forgot temporarily that he was a chief and wept like a baby.

“I was the last of six children and I naturally was pampered and so I felt the pain,” he said, and recalled how Mr. Rawlings had sent a delegation, led by a former Chairman of the Council of State, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, to mourn with him in Juaben, an act which he said “really touched my heart”.

“So it is probably ordained that I should also mourn with you in the position that I humbly occupy as the Chairman of the Council of State. We want to assure you that we will be with you in all the festivities that have been planned, both in Accra and Dzelukope, and also to tell you to take heart because the Lord is with you and will always be with you,” he said.

Funeral arrangements

Speaking on behalf of the Agbotui Family, the Stool Father of the Anlo State, Mr. Dan Abodakpi, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee for Madam Agbotui’s funeral, expressed appreciation to the members of the Council of State and the GCGL management for taking time to mourn with the former President and his family.

He said the late Madam Agbotui would be interred on October 24, this year.

The body would be laid in state for filing past at the forecourt of the State House from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on October 24, he said.

An inter-denominational church service would be held, after which the body would be conveyed to Dzelukope in the Volta Region for interment.

Commendation

The Press Aide to the family, Dr. Kwesi Djokoto, commended the GCGL for its support to the family since the announcement of Madam Agbotui’s death.

“Graphic has followed very well the activities in this house — your front page of today’s issue carried news about the President’s visit, and over the weekend you dedicated one and a half pages to the activities that took place here last week,” he noted.

“On behalf of the family, I want to extend our profound appreciation for the kind of support that you have already offered and we thank you for pledging to do more for our family,” Dr. Djokoto added.