The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, has urged Ghanaians to ride on the passing of former President Jerry John Rawlings to unite and heal the nation by upholding his principles and legacies.
He described Mr Rawlings as an enigma throughout his life that had manifested even in his passing.
"We must use this occasion of his passing to bring healing to this country, " he said.
Mr Mahama was speaking at a vigil held in memory of former President Rawlings who passed away on last Thursday after a short illness.
He said the passing of former President Rawlings marked the end of an era in the political journey of the country but also began a new era that must be shaped by the current generation.
"This marks the end of an era but begins another era and we must find the balance, " he said.
He said the late founder of the NDC approved of his choice of running mate before news of the decision was made public.
"He said you didn't tell me your choice but I know Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang is your choice, she is a woman of integrity," Mr Mahama recalled Mr Rawlings’s approval.
The NDC flag bearer for the 2020 elections was at the vigil in the
company of his wife, Mrs Lordina Mahama, and running mate, Professor Opoku-Agyemang.
The vigil, organised by the Greater Accra branch of the NDC, took place at the Obra Spot in Accra last Sunday and also had in attendance the family of the former President, including two of his children, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Kimathi Rawlings.
Also present were the national executive of the NDC, former government appointees, members of the Minority in Parliament and a section of the public who graced the solemn event which lasted five hours.
There were tributes read in his memory and dirges recited in his honour by members of his family and former appointees in his government.
Mr Mahama said the entire nation and members of the NDC were grateful for the life of the late founder of the NDC and pledged to work alongside the government, the family and the Anlo State to give the former President a befitting burial.
"We are grateful for your life. We thank God for giving you to Ghana," Mr Mahama said.
For his part, the General Secretary of the NDC, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, said the late former President stood for principles such as probity and accountability that were currently lost in the governance of the country.
He urged members of the party to ensure victory for the party in the December polls to honour Mr Rawlings.
“The principles of Rawlings are good, but they will be impotent if we are in opposition. So the best tribute to President Rawlings is to be committed to the rescue mission. So be fired up by the temporary demise of our founder to win this election and rescue this nation Ghana which was dear to his heart from the very ills he fought against all his life,” he said.
He charged party supporters to yearn to emulate the values of the late President.
Let's not disappoint
The Parliament Candidate for the Buem Constituency, Mr Kofi Adams, who was spokesperson for the late former President for many years, urged his colleagues in the NDC to put in more work in order not to disappoint their late leader.
"He had been worried about how well we are preparing for our elections until about four weeks ago when he said he saw a lot of confidence in our people," he said.
Mr Adams added that "this is a man who taught us that in adversity and difficult situations, you must not be down. Instead, you should start thinking of solutions and the way out".