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You are gone but not forgotten, late former president Rawlings; my hero and mentor

Jerry John Rawlings?resize=713%2C494&ssl=1 Former president of Ghana, the late Jerry John Rawlings

Thu, 11 Nov 2021 Source: Ibrahim Hardi Landlord

I received a call in the early hours of 12th November 2020 from an unknown person who told me "old man is no more, please don't respond to media for now".

The voice was not Dr. Donald, it was not Dr. Djokoto, it was not Mr. Michael, it was not Madam Mariam, it was not Mr. Kobina Addoh, it was not Captain, it was not Joe,(The eagle eye), Scorpion, The body guide or Dr. Zenator Rawlings. Up to date, I'm yet to reach that "heartbroken number".

It's been a year since you left us. Some of us can't still believe you left us. But to some of us, you left to fulfill a prophecy that the 31st December coup is the last coup in Ghana because some of us are clearly aware that, if you were to be alive, what really happened in the 2020 general election would have been a different story. You left a true legacy that is unmatched in the history of Ghana. You stood for the ordinary citizens since you came to the political limelight in the 70s.

On 15th May 1979, After your arrest for the mutiny, You boldly voiced out the reality of the suffering masses and went ahead to tell the court-martials that you are responsible for what had happened and that your men should be set free. You were nicknamed Junior Jesus because men of these generations are not ready to die for their country. You knew very well aware that, your punishment is death but you still stood on your grounds of being solely responsible for the coup attempt in 1979, May 15.

You handed power over after the June fourth uprising in 1979 to the democratically elected government of Dr. Hilla Liman People's National Party with the assurance to the elected president that you would return if what the masses are looking for is not attended to. After the June fourth, 1979 uprising, Ghanaians were calling for the blood of "criminals or nation wreckers" to flow to appease the country. You listened to their needs and carried out the exercises to pave way for the development of the natìon. You handed the Destiny of this country to Dr. Hilla Liman on 21st September 1979 and did return on 31st December 1981.

You went on air and declared to the whole world that you are ready to pay the price, Which is ultimately death, for what you have done if the masses are not in support of what you have done. The masses cheered you. They now have a leader they can trust to fight corruption in the country. What Ghanaians are witnessing today is worse than that period and our generation is looking up to God. You risked your life to save the country and future generations won't forget about you.

You formed a government known as Provisional National Defence Council( P.N.D.C).

A simple definition of provisional means arranged or existing for the present, possibly to be changed later. You didn't assume perfection and believed that one day, Ghanaians would like to be represented by their representatives in the near future hence the Provisional National Defence Council.

The reconstruction of the country started straight away. You brought all those who earlier on moved to Nigeria as a result of the economic hardship to start the rebuilding of the nation. The district assemblies were inaugurated to bring developments to the doorsteps of the people, an extension of electricity and road networks to urban and rural areas, new educational reforms and infrastructure development spring across the country for citizens to be educated. Polytechnics and other tertiary institutions were established under your leadership to bridge the gap of uneducated citizens.

At your time as president, other Africa countries were faced with instability. You took it upon yourself and your provisional national defense council to make sure there is peace within the neighboring countries.

You came into the political limelight at the same time with your friend, President Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso but unfortunately, he was eliminated early by the "enemies of Africa". Both of you were seen as a threat to the West because your steps were seen to liberate Africa from their hands. You escaped several killing attempts on your life, You foiled several coup attempts against the Provisional National Defence Council and succeeded in returning the country to the fourth republican constitution we are currently enjoying today hence some named you "the father of the fourth republic".

You founded the natìonal democratic congress (N.D.C) on your vision of probity, accountability and social justice and won two successful elections with a huge margin and handed over power peacefully after your constitutional term of office came to an end, even though a lot of people thought you would still like to hang on to power like other greedy African leaders. You were pushed by certain elements to amend the constitution to remain in power like we are currently seeing in other African countries, but you still stood on your ground and said no.

You were seen as a "powerful man" and any time you opened your mouth some people are feeling uncomfortable.

They are a lot of people who lied a lot about you when you were alive and now that you are gone, some praised you and some even want others to believe they stood by you when In actual fact, they were/are following material things with their hearts Which you turned down to serve humanity. Several times they tried to name edifices and national monuments after you which you turned down and said "you preferred to be in people's hearts than monuments"

You are gone but not forgotten. You remain our hero and mentor till we meet again.

May your soul continue to rest in peace.

Columnist: Ibrahim Hardi Landlord