Former President Jerry John Rawlings
Former President Jerry John Rawlings

Former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings’ biography captured the values and principles he believed in and practiced throughout his life.

It also captured his early life and education, married life, political career, international relations and post-presidency activities as well as his philanthrophic work, awards and honours chalked in his 73 years on earth.

It was read by Mr Eric Gbeho, Son of former Diplomat, Ambassador Victor Gbeho, during the state burial service at the Black Star Square, in Accra on Wednesday.

The tribute eulogised the former President Rawlings’ charismatic qualities, noting, “Duty, accountability, social justice, human rights, dignity; these are all values that former President Jerry John Rawlings not only held in high esteem, but practiced every day during his time on earth”.

It described the former President Rawlings as a towering and transcendent figure in African politics.

It said the former president was widely admired on the African Continent and internationally, for his patriotism, sincerity, drive and participatory leadership approach.

The former President Rawlings was an Airforce Officer, a pilot, a husband, father and statesman, as well as a philanthropist and a national hero.

“Above all, Jerry Rawlings was a man of the people, a selfless man who gave his life willingly in service to the ordinary Ghanaian.

“His life’s work was not to champion the causes of those with wealth or power or special connections, but it was to give a voice to those who were not heard,” it read.

It said the strength of Rawlings was his sincere dedication to the cause of the working poor and oppressed masses.

Rawlings’ own words said: “For myself, I am ready for whatever sacrifices are required in such a struggle for a better life for our people, and I will forever work with and be at the service of the people who share that common cause”.

The burial service climaxed a four-day of elaborate state funeral, which saw people from all walks of life paying their last respect to the former President who ruled the nation for 19 years

Former President Rawlings is touted as the “People’s Man” for his charisma and values of probity, accountability and social justice that enamoured him to many.

There is a 296-page tribute brochure that contained tributes from the Family, government, National Democratic Congress, ECOWAS, the Anlo State, world leaders, organised groups, friends and loved ones, eulogising former President Rawlings.

The mortal remains of the former President Rawlings would be interred at the new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra.

The mortal remains of the former President would be placed on a “gun carriage” and paraded through some principal streets of Accra before his internment at the new Military Cemetery in Burma Camp, Accra.

Ghana’s longest serving head of state passed away on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.

Rawlings was 73 years.

He was survived by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings and four children; Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Amina Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings and Kimathi Rawlings.

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