President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced a state burial for the late former President Jerry John Rawlings who died on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
The President, made the announcement when the family of the late president formally informed him of the passing of Mr Rawlings at the Jubilee House in Accra, Thursday evening.
In a very sombre mood, President Akufo-Addo said a state burial for the former president was befitting since he was not an “ordinary Ghanaian.”
Nonetheless, he said the wishes of the family would be respected even as the country mourned and prepared to bury Mr Rawlings.
“I am extremely disturbed and saddened by his passage. He was not an ordinary Ghanaian…and therefore his passage has to be a matter for the Ghanaian nation,” the President said.
Former President Rawlings' uncle Colonel Joshua Agbotui led the delegation from the family of the former president Rawlings that called on the President.
Also present were his daughters, Zenator Agyeman-Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings, Amina Rawlings and Capt Richard Fordjour.
Spokesperson for the family, Mr John Blagogee, recounting events that led to the death of the former President said, “Some few days after the burial, the former president fell sick and was hospitalised.”
He said, “Lots of efforts were made and I know the president was in touch with his brother. Little did we know that former president would leave us.”
“So we’ve come here formally to inform the President and the entire government that it is true that Jerry John Rawlings is no more,” he added.
President in shock
President Akufo-Addo who said he was still in shock over the passing of former President Rawlings described him as “a man of great vitality, dynamism and energy”.
“I was given this information this morning when I arrived at the office and I find it hard up to now to really incorporate the information. This man of great vitality, dynamism and energy, it is difficult to consider him as dead body lying in the morgue.
“But then, it’s one of the things all of us have to get used to. Because the Almighty has His own plans for each of one of us. And improbable as some things may be, nevertheless, they happen. This is a moment for reflection and for continuing to believe in His purpose. As it appears the former President’s work here on earth has come to an end,” he said.
Describing his relationship with the former president as “tempestuous”, President Akufo-Addo said he believes that “we came to see value in each other at the end.”
President Akufo-Addo directed the Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Opare to liaise with the Rawlings family and draw up a plan for his burial.
“I know the feeling of family on such an occasion and I think that you will understand that on the death of such a man, precedence has to be given to the state of Ghana. The chief of staff will be in contact with Colonel Agbotui to make sure he’s given a befitting exit,” the President said.
“I am determined to do that and his contribution to this country’s history is there for all to see. And at the end, if he’s had to leave, I think a grateful nation should show its appreciation of him in the manner that it organises his send off,” he added.
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