Having governed the country for about 2 decades, former President Jerry John Rawlings is perhaps one of the most respected Ghanaian leaders in the 4th republic.
Although his past actions have not been devoid of controversies, there are many more he has undertaken to tackle social issues such as corruption, sanitation, and general discipline of the populace.
Even though his tenure as president expired several years ago, he has not shied away from indulging in acts to ensure Ghanaians are in check.
Some of these actions have drawn commendations and praises from the populace.
On the occasion of his 73rd birthday, GhanaWeb takes a look at some instances former President Rawlings won the hearts of Ghanaians with his acts.
Rawlings directs traffic
In February 2019, Mr Rawlings was spotted directing traffic on the Prampram stretch of the Accra-Aflao road.
Being the disciplinarian that he is, after noticing several drivers on the stretch exhibiting carelessness and indiscipline, Rawlings got off his vehicle and directed traffic in the area to restore order.
“Move here! You, move there!”, he could be heard saying in excerpts of the video captured by an eyewitness.
Watch the video below
Rawlings berates Adom-Otchere, says he spews nonsense
At a time when he was being bastardized for some of his decisions as president by journalist and host of Good Evening Ghana, Paul Adom-Otchere, Rawlings called him out to put him to order and set the records straight.
While presenting an editorial on his show, on September 9, 2019, Mr Adom-Otchere blamed the former President for deliberately destroying Ghanaian businesses for fear of being ousted from power.
“Ghana needs only two Dangotes to survive. We have had about thirty of them. [But] government after government, they throw them away, starting from Rawlings. And he is the guiltiest on this matter. JJ Rawlings is the most guilty of this thing… [He] pulled down every Ghanaian business because you are afraid that they’re too strong to take you out of power,” he noted.
But in a quick rebuttal during the 38th anniversary of the 31st December Coup D’etat at Winneba, Rawlings lambasted him for making allegations he was not clear about.
“That small boy, what’s his name? Paul Adom-Otchere or something, he just wakes up every day and starts spewing nonsense,” he said.
“Next time I will take time and teach you what entrepreneurship means. When we say private capital or capitalism or socialism what it means and you will see how they have used Africans. Do you think we are doing capitalism? America, right across to Europe to the Soviet Union, there is accountability. Look at the capitalism Africa say we are doing, it is just thievery and they call capitalism…”
Rawlings attends independence parade in Sogakope
Another gesture that earned him praise from Ghanaians involved the former president attending the March 6, 2020 parade at Sogakope in the Volta Region.
There were concerns MRawlings had boycotted the programme since his reserved seat had been left vacant at the event which was held in Kumasi this year.
But in a statement explaining his absence, he indicated that it was to show solidarity with the people of the area following the spate of violent attacks, which culminated in the death of the assemblyman of the area, Marcus Mawutor Azahli.
Additionally, JJ placed a GHC25,000 bounty on the killers of the slain assemblyman and called for swift justice.
Rawlings gifts ex-MP vehicle
Former President, Jerry John Rawlings on August 21, 2019, presented Former Member of Parliament for Hohoe North, Patience Esi Pomary with a re-conditioned KIA Sorento sports utility vehicle at a short ceremony in his office at Ridge in Accra.
Rawlings decided to assist the former MP following a request from her some months before.
Describing Madam Pomary as a true patriot who has dedicated most of her life to the good of her people with little to show for it’, he decided to honour her to inspire others.
Rawlings also said Madam Pomary’s dedication and selfless commitment to people was very commendable and expressed the hope that persons who dedicate their lives to the good of their communities and their country will be recognized on their own.
In a bid to increase the awareness of afforestation and instil the habit of tree planting in Ghanaians, Former President, Jerry John Rawlings, was again at the forefront, this time, however, by partnering sanitation company, Zoomlion Ghana Limited and the Forestry Commission for a one-week tree planting exercise in parts of Accra to commemorate the June 4 Anniversary.
Over three hundred trees were planted along the Shiashie – Legon stretch of the Madina road.
Planting the first tree, Rawlings urged the Ghanaian media to use their platforms to educate the Ghanaian populace on the need for them to protect the environment and plant more trees to live long.