The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Thursday expressed its condolences to the nation, family and associates of Former President Rawlings, saying his loss is “incalculable”.
In a statement, signed by its General Secretary, Mr John Boadu and copied to the Ghana News Agency, on Thursday night, the NPP said it received the news of the passing of the first President of the Fourth Republic with “profound shock and disbelief”.
Mr Rawlings passed on on Thursday, November 12, after a short illness at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, where he was receiving medical attention. He was 73.
“The Party accordingly conveys its deep sympathies to the bereaved family, particularly, his wife, former First Lady of the Republic, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings and children in these difficult times,” the statement said.
“Equally, the NPP commiserates with his close associates and the Ghanaian people for this incalculable loss”.
The NPP said Mr Rawlings would forever be remembered in the annals of history as the longest serving Ghanaian Leader.
The founder of the National Democratic Congress served for 19 years, with 11 of them, however, being as a military leader from December 31,1981 to January 7 1993, leading the Provisional National Defence Council.
He was President from January 7 1993 to January 7, 2001.
He had previously served briefly as the Head of State from June 4, 1979 to September 24, 1979, as the leader of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, which overthrew the Supreme Military Council II, in a coup de etat.
The NPP said Former President Rawlings would also be remembered “as the man who spearheaded Ghana’s transition from the Third to the Fourth Republic, which is the most enduring Republic in the nation’s history, reminding us of our renewed and unfettered commitment to upholding the very tenets of rule of law and to a regime of uninterrupted constitutional order.
“The NPP takes cognizance of the directive by President Akufo-Addo for all national flags to fly at half-mast as well as his declaration of seven days of national mourning to honour the memory of the former Ghanaian leader.
“The President of the Republic, who doubles as the NPP Presidential Candidate, equally announced the suspension of his campaign and that of the Vice President for the next seven days in honuor of his memory.”
The Party said former President Rawlings had duly paid his dues to the country, “making him deserving of this recognition for a life well lived in honour of country.
“The NPP wholly associates itself with the decision of the President to work closely with the family of the late former President to give him a fitting State funeral.
” Ghana has indeed lost a great pillar. May the soul of former President Jerry John Rawlings find comfort in God’s bosom, and may the family he left behind and indeed the rest of the nation find solace to bear this great loss”.