Former President Jerry John Rawlings

Late Former President Ft. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings has been described as one who led the revival of communal spiritedness in the country.

Mr Prosper Afenyo, a member of the Men’s Fellowship of the E.P. Church in Ho, and who was active during the days of the 1979 revolution, said to the Ghana News Agency that JJ Rawlings’ emergence on the political scene was marked by strong commitment to developing the nation through self-help efforts.

He noted how the former President followed his political purges with a dedicated house cleaning exercise that mobilised all towards self-development.

“Hard work is the hallmark of Jerry John Rawlings,” Mr. Afenyo said, and narrated the days, when the late President was “digging toilets for communities.”

He recounted how the spirit of communism would “die” after he left power briefly, and also how he would coerce people to become responsible again during his re-emergence in 1981.

Mr. Afenyo said the nation had witnessed how flooding was reduced, and cholera cases dropped under his watch.
He said Rawlings’s efforts at completing schools and hospital projects across the country using local work gangs were highly successful, and must be emulated.

Mr. Afenyo said the champion of collectivism helped to realise numerous physical interventions projects that span housing, roads and bridges, and sea defenses, and also managed the country through a dark period of famine, and an emigrant crisis.

“He came again in 1981 to check control pricing and hoarding and artificial shortages. He promoted “people’s shop” initiative in communities, and voluntarism was again revived in Ghana and we were using local materials to develop,” he said.

Mr. Afenyo emphasised that the greatest achievement of Ft. Lt. Rawlings was his political development agenda, which he based on a “power belongs to the people” mantra and steered towards the decentralisation of the governance structure.

“Decentralisation is the greatest political achievement in the world and it was the reason villages became towns and urbanisation grew very fast in Ghana,” he noted.

The former President is credited with establishing in 1988, 110 district assemblies and 110 district capitals across the country, all served with water and electricity.

Mr. Afenyo said a mausoleum would be a befitting establishment to the honour of the late President, and welcomed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s resolve to name after him, the University for Development Studies.

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