Correspondence from Eastern Region:
Some residents in the Asuogyaman District and Lower Manya Krobo Municipality of the Eastern Region have remembered the late former President, Jerry John Rawlings for his principles, democratic credentials, and affability.
The residents who shared fond memories of the late President with this GhanaWeb in Atimpoku and Odumase-Krobo described him as a man who represented strong values, protected the vulnerable, and ensured that multi-party democracy returned to Ghana under his watch.
Mr. Asafo-Adjei, a teacher at Odumase-Krobo said, “JJ Rawlings is a Star of Africa. Apart from Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who led Ghana to Independence, I can say JJ was the second in Africa. He’s a man of no-nonsense.”
Recounting the ‘kalabule’ days of 1983 and the role the former president played in ensuring that the citizenry was not cheated by greedy traders, Mr Asafo-Adjei said the late President ensured that the innocent Ghanaian was not taken advantage of.
“Stores were not even opened if you want a commodity you have to go through this kalabule to get it. Now when JJ came, he made it a policy that anybody who would be found hoarding any product would be punished through caning and other things. Now through the help of JJ, everything abounds,” he said.
Describing himself as a fan of the late Ghanaian leader, he also recalled how JJ Rawlings evacuated Ghanaians trapped by war and harassment in Liberia and Nigeria respectively, safely home.
Another staunch fanatic of the late President and a taxi driver at Atipoku in the Asuogyaman District of who gave his name only as Abeiku also said “I remember him for the fact that he brought democracy to Ghana.”
According to him, though Mr. Rawlings hurt some people during his leadership, he should rather be remembered for his good deeds.
“Ghanaians should focus on the good things he [Rawlings] did, what he did was the best because but for him, we wouldn’t be where we are now as a country because he did a lot for us which our subsequent leaders should have continued but things rather became worse under them,” Abeiku noted.
He praised the former president’s anti-corruption fight, adding that he would have dealt strictly with corrupt officials if he were still in power.
Another resident, Barbara Serwaah Boadu sharing fond memories of the late president described him as an affable leader who drew everybody close to him.
She recalled an instance where she encountered the former president when he came to commiserate with her family when they lost a relative.
She said, “the Rawlings we’ve been seeing on TV we thought would be a different person when we should see him physically but he was so lively and he was accepting everybody, everybody who wants to shake him, he’s ready to open his arms to shake and I was not expecting an ex-president to be so accommodating to the ordinary person like what we saw.”
The residents who spoke to GhanaWeb expressed their deepest condolences to the family of the fallen leader and bid him farewell.
The late President Jerry John Rawlings died in November 2020 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.