Rawlings: ‘The valiant never taste of death but once’

Jerry Rawlings 12021221ew Former President, Jerry John Rawlings

Sat, 14 Nov 2020 Source: Kwaku Badu

“Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come (Julius Caesar).”

‘And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment’(Hebrews 9:27).

‘For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 6:23).

We (Ghanaians), in one way, or another, have fond memories of the unwearied late President Jerry John Rawlings.

Of course, the late president had many unrepentant critics, and I, in particular, as a matter of principle, have been an impenitent critic of the late President Rawlings.

That being said, I could not have been the Lucifer in his flesh, far from it. The point of departure, though, has always been the political ideology.

But in spite of our divergent views on political ideology, I cannot deny or ignore the fact that the late former President contributed his bit towards nation-building and left a legacy.

If for nothing at all, it was during his PNDC regime that the all-important 1985 Intestate Succession Law (PNDCL 111) was promulgated.

It is, however, worth mentioning that before the enactment of the Intestate Law, it was most unfortunate that there were no meaningful laid down inheritance laws to ensure that the children or the loved ones have a fair share in the intestate parent’s property.

In a nutshell, the deceased’s love ones were not considered as protected characteristics by the extended families and the state in general.

It was, without mincing words, a crude idea to deprive the loved ones of their entitlement, But then again, the state chose to look on unconcerned while the deceased’s immediate family continued to receive a raw deal through the strikingly odd and the unfair customary property law.

Unfortunately, back then, the seemingly weird and dowdy matrilineal inheritance laws of the Asante tribe for instance, to some great extent, handed more inheritance rights to men than women.

It was for that reason that the PNDC regime back then graciously intervened in 1985 and enacted the Intestate Succession Law-PNDC Law (111) to remedy the situation.

Take, for instance, before the promulgation of the Intestate Succession Law, the Anlo and Asante tribes in Ghana relied largely on decree and kinship socio-cultural practices to give more inheritance and property rights to men than to women.

Dearest reader, you may agree to disagree with the June 4, 1979, coup d’état, but the fact remains that the socio-economic meltdown during the Supreme Military Council (SMC 1&2) regimes called for drastic measures to ‘clean’ the system.

However, the excesses of the 1979 coup d’état, regrettably, debased the otherwise necessary intervention.

That being said, some of us will remain, inveterate hypocrites, if we refuse to point out that it was unnecessary for the military officers to stretch the whole concept of ‘house cleaning exercise’, and needlessly deposing the democratically elected government of the People’s National Party (PNP) led by Dr. Hilla Limann of blessed memory on 31st December 1981.

Whatever the case, the once indefatigable J. J. Rawlings contributed his bit towards the nation-building and impacted many lives, before departing from the scene.

J.J. may your soul rest in perfect peace.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu
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