- Rawlings ushered Ghana into democracy after years’ of military dictatorship and anarchy
- His absolute transformation from a military despot to a civilian democrat is inexplicable
- He peacefully handed over power to the opposition NPP in 2001 when his party was defeated in the 2000 general elections
President Akufo-Addo says history will be “kind” to former President Jerry John Rawlings for his contribution to Ghana’s democratic growth.
Speaking on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, at the state funeral of the late first president of the fourth republic, Akufo-Addo commended Rawlings for ditching dictatorship for the current democracy the country is enjoying.
According to the president, a positive verdict will be rendered on Rawlings' contribution to the “evolution of our nation and the entrenchment of its democratic institutions and culture.”
Rawlings’ name and works, he said would continuously leave “strong footprints in the sands of time.”
Akufo-Addo was unequivocally frank in his tribute, sounding brutally honest.
Without mincing words, he stated that it was no secret the relationship between him and the former president was “one of open animosity.”
That, however, changed after he visited Rawlings’ Ridge residence in 2012.
They began to see each other, and understood to a very large degree, their respective perspectives.
One thing they had in common was their mutual commitment to public service.
That auspicious visit to the Ridge residence signified the easing of tensions between the two, leading to what the president described as “a friendship that lasted for the better part of some eight years.”
Rawlings would remain a fountain of cogent advice and on several occasions for the president who counted on his huge wealth of experience and knowledge.
The last time the two met was during the funeral of Rawlings’ late mother, Victoria Agbotui, at the forecourt of the State House on October 24, 2020.
Rawlings advanced a symbolic gesture to the president when he was called up by the clergy to receive special prayers as the only surviving son.
“He told the men of God to wait and called for me to walk up to join him to receive the special prayers. He whispered to my ears as I stood beside him: “I reminded them that they should pray for you also because you had also lost your mother.” I was touched by this,” President Akufo-Addo stated.
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