'Gone but not forgotten:' - Akufo-Addo celebrates 'Comandante' Rawlings

Akufo Addo Rawlings 1st Anniversary President Akufo-Addo and Rawlings had a good relationship in later years

Sat, 13 Nov 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has celebrated the memory of former President Jerry John Rawlings on the occasion of the first anniversary of his passing.

"Gone but not forgotten. Continue to rest in peace, Comandante," Akufo Addo posted on social media today. His post was accompanied by a photo of him and JJ conferring on an issue.

Today, November 11, 2021, marks exactly a year since the passing of the former president who is Ghana’s longest-serving Head-of-State.

A Catholic mass was held for him at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra with the family - his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and four children all in attendance.

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia was in attendance with other top government functionaries. Former President John Dramani Mahama led a delegation of the National Democratic Congress.

Rawlings passed away at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, where he was on admission for an undisclosed illness.

Reports at the time suggested that ex-President Rawlings was brought to the National Cardiothoracic Centre of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.

He was subsequently transferred to the Intensive care unit of the hospital on Wednesday, November 11, 2020, and passed on Thursday, November 12, 2020.

He was 73.

Rawlings’ four-day state funeral

There was a four-day state funeral organized in honour of the former President which began on Sunday, January 24, 2021.

The funeral began with a Catholic Requiem Mass at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra and was followed by a vigil at the Air Force Officers Mess in Accra.

He was laid in state on Monday, January 25, 2021, at the foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre after which the immediate family of the former President received the mortal remains for a brief family ritual at dawn before the public viewing.

Rawlings goes home

Jerry John Rawlings was buried on January 27, 2021, at the 37 Military Cemetery in Accra.

The pre-burial service took place at Independence Square where scores of Ghanaians gathered to pay their last respects to JJ Rawlings.

President Akufo-Addo, the Vice President and other government officials were present at the funeral.

Who was JJ Rawlings?

The son of a Scottish farmer and a Ghanaian mother, Rawlings entered the Ghana Air Force, graduating in 1969.

A decade later, as a senior officer in the air force, he overthrew a military government, handing over power to a civilian leader.

He oversaw the execution of several former heads of state and army generals for corruption but expressed some regret about the killings. Later the execution by firing squad of Supreme Court judges also left a stain on his legacy.

"I am still aware that we in Ghana do not like bloodshed," he said at the time.

"I personally do not like it. I mean, I'd rather, let's say, confiscate a man's wealth and bring him down to the level to which he's brought us just to give him a taste of what life has been, what he's done to us."

In 1981, he led a second coup and was the head of a military junta until introducing multi-party elections in 1992, when he was first elected president.

He stepped down in 2001 after serving two terms but continued to wield a strong influence in the country.

He began his time in power as a committed socialist but later introduced free-market reforms.

He ushered in a long period of political stability after a tumultuous series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s.

In later years, Rawlings campaigned for African nations to have their international debts written off.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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