In memory of Jerry John Rawlings, two years after
Our nation was greeted with the devastating and unforgettable news of Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings‘ demise on this day, November 12, 2020, two years prior.
The sadness was overpowering and the shock profound. Absolute shock was intermingled with the anguish. He was regarded as a father figure and a man who adhered to his ideas with a steadfast dedication by those who were motivated by his leadership.
He brought a certain aspect of leadership in Ghana that made him popular with most Ghanaians as head of state and president just by virtue of his temperament. As an illustration, he worked alongside employees to restore Ghana’s railroads; he personally inspected ongoing infrastructure development projects and took the time to interact with the workers. He would assist the Ghana Armed Forces in providing emergency help when a major catastrophe struck. He would physically be there in Ghana at times of ethnic strife to aid in bringing about peace. His experience as an officer in the Ghanaian armed forces played a crucial strategic role in Ghana’s conflict resolution procedures during times of civil unrest in neighboring countries.
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J.J. Rawlings ordered that government buildings display the Ghana Coat of Arms of Freedom and Justice rather than his portrait in the 1980s. However, several PNDC (Minister) secretaries at the time disobeyed him and hung a photo of J.J. Rawlings in their desks.
Throughout his life, J.J. Rawlings advocated for the welfare of Ghana and its citizens. As a former president, he continued to support many people who needed various forms of assistance, including medical and educational support.
A picture of him is now frequently found on the back of cabs, trotros, and commercial buses. He was “The Man for the People, and The People Remember Him,” so this deed has special symbolism.
They recall his bravery and unwavering commitment to speaking out on pressing issues that affected the average Ghanaian. As long as it was for the benefit of the Ghanaian people as a whole, he did not hesitate to “say what needed to be said,” even if it went against the political grain.
Through the creation of the Municipal and District Assemblies, rural development initiatives, and the expansion of electricity across the nation, which helped to bridge Ghana’s North-South divide, Rawlings’ administration is credited with institutionalizing participatory governance. His tenure as Head of State and President of Ghana is reflected in the National Development Planning framework, ensuring food security, aggressive policies on the exportation of gold, cocoa, and other cash crops, the free zones idea, and a slew of other nationalist initiatives, to name just a few.
Two years from now, on November 12, 2022, we will remember JJ for his leadership, courage, and commitment. JJ will be remembered for leading a life with a meaning we will never completely comprehend.
Respectfully, sir. Your family, those who supported you and helped make your goal a reality, and Ghanaians and Africans who were moved by your example will remember you with affection.