The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has described late President Jerry John Rawlings as a strong advocate of probity and accountability, who helped to embolden the media to defend those values as required in democratic governance.
The Association saluted him for enshrining Chapter 12 in the 1992 Constitution, which provide for Freedom and Independence of the Media on an unprecedented scale.
“We credit him with the birth of the 1992 Constitution, which has helped more than any other in our history to anchor Ghana’s democracy,” it said.
A statement signed by Mr Roland Affail Monney, the GJA President, and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Sunday, said: “GJA is struggling to overcome the shock and trepidation over the sudden demise of former President Rawlings after a short illness.”
“The Association is indeed reeling under anguish and grief in disbelief that the man whom we had seen barely two weeks ago in a sombre mood but in his usual charismatic demeanour, playing a remarkable role at the funeral of his beloved mother, begone so soon?”
The statement said the GJA’s heart went out to his wife and children, the rest of the family and the entire nation for such a colossal and irreplaceable loss.
“Although our former Head of State and the first President of our 4th Republic may not have been the best of friends of the media, during his nearly 20 years rule, he reached out to the media when he turned statesman”.
The cordial relations, the statement said, culminated in the National Executive of the Association, paying him a historic courtesy call on Thursday, October 31, 2019, as part of activities to mark the 70th Anniversary of the GJA.
The Association would forever remember him for the unique role he played in the transformation of the country, it said.