The family of former President Jerry John Rawlings have called on Anlo Chiefs to pardon them for the delay in informing them of the passing of their own, Mr Rawlings.
The death of Mr Rawlings, who hailed from Dzelukope and a chief in Anloland, on November 12, 2020, first broke on social media, carried by traditional media and was subsequently announced by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo same day.
The bereaved family in a visit to officially inform the Anlo Traditional Council of the death of the statesman, asked for forgiveness from the Council in lapses in communicating the news of his demise per the Anlo customs.
Mr Victor Gbeho, former Anlo Member of Parliament, who spoke for the delegation, which included Mr Joshua Agbotui, Mr Bill Ashiagbor, Dr Senanu Dzokoto and, Dr Zanetor Rawlings and Mr Kimathi Rawlings (children of the late former President), said what happened was not deliberate and had no intention to disrespect the customs and traditions of the people.
“About three weeks ago, the nation supported us to send Mr Rawlings’s mother, Madam Victoria Agbotui to her ancestors. Later, we were planning to thank the Anlo State first and then the entire nation for their roles. But today, we’re here with a heavy heart. We know the customs and traditions of our people but it’s the times and seasons we’re in.
It’s unfortunate you had to learn of the passing of your son, Jerry John Rawlings the way you did. We failed to communicate the falling of the big tree to Torgbuiwo and Mamawo early because even before we could organise ourselves to do anything, the news was already out. We’re now here, as customs demand, to respectfully inform you that the former President Rawlings is no more and also to invite you in deliberations towards his final funeral rites.”
Torgbui Agbesi Awusu II, the Awadada of Anlo who received the family on behalf of Torgbui Sri III, the Awoamefia of Anlo accepted the plea and said Mr Rawlings’ demise was a loss to the family, Anlo State, Volta Region, Ghana and the world.
He assured that the Council would be in touch with other interest groups including the family, the state and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which he founded in order to give a befitting burial to the son of the land and chief, Torgbui Nutifafafiaga I.