Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020
12345
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

Remembering Jerry Rawlings

Remembering Jerry Rawlings

By Rotimi Fasan

The seven-day period of national mourning declared by President Nana Akufo-Addo to mourn the passage of Ghana’s former president, Jerry John Rawlings, ends today.

During this mourning period the Black Star flag of Ghana flew at half-mast. While receiving members of the Rawlings family who had visited the Jubilee House office of the president of Ghana to formally inform him of the death of Rawlings, President Akufo-Addo had promised the deceased president would be given a state funeral.

His status as both a former president of Ghana and in the national history of Ghana demanded it. His funeral, the President went on to say, was the responsibility of the Ghanaian government.

President Nana Akufo-Addo was frank enough to admit that his relationship with President Rawlings was fraught, but both came to see the value in each other.

Two of President Rawlings’ daughters were on the delegation that visited President Akufo-Addo.

READ ALSO: This old Soldier: Jerry Rawlings

One of them is standing as does her mother, the former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman, in parliamentary election slated for later this year. Indeed, major players in the election had to suspend campaign activities out of respect for the former president on hearing of his passage.

Rawlings, born on June 22, 1947, was 73 when he died of yet undisclosed ailments on Thursday, November 12, 2020. His father, James Ramsey John, was Scottish while his mother, an Ewe from Dzelukope, Keta, in Ghana, was Victoria Agbotui. She died in September.

A mercurial figure, Rawlings was a celebrated fighter pilot in Ghana’s Airforce. He rose to the rank of Flight Lieutenant and emerged as the head of the junta that ousted the military government of General Fred Akufo on June 4, 1979. He was on death row in prison over a failed coup in May, 1978, when he was freed by his comrades who he eventually led to stage a coup against the regime of General Akufo.

There is no doubt that Jerry Rawlings was a very remarkable figure who was driven by a pan-Africanist vision that envisioned an economically stable and independent Africa.

A charismatic, fire-spitting radical in the mould of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, he was certainly the last of the cohort of radical military leaders including Muammar Ghaddafi and Thomas Sankara that emerged from Africa in the latter part of the twentieth century.

His June 4 ouster of the military regime of Fred Akufo and the subsequent execution of Ghana’s former military leaders, all generals, was the template on which he executed his anti-corruption, pro-people policies.

It was the basis of his moves against the elected government of Hilla Limann who he handed over power to in September 1979 only to remove him from power in a coup on December 31, 1981. This was exactly two years from the day of the coup that ousted Shehu Shagari from power in Nigeria.

I have vivid recollection of a black and white image of Rawlings’ smiling face in a military uniform on the cover of a little book titled, I believe, The 4th June Revolution.

The title of this book which brings to mind Ghaddafi’s Green Book (both of which I first read in my eldest brother’s library) gestures at the idealism that propelled the action of the young men that spearheaded the series of coups and reforms, beginning from 1979 through the economically turbulent 1980s, that would ultimately transform Ghana from a military state to one of Africa’s most stable democracies from 1993 onwards under Jerry Rawlings.

They had a grand vision of their action and the expected outcome. But it was not all smooth sailing. Ghana under Rawlings went through hell and came back.

But he was committed to bringing back the good times after the harsh economic climate of those years when basic necessities of life (food and groceries among others) were, due to galloping inflation, unavailable and Ghanaians fanned across their borders in a bid to survive.

During this period many Ghanaians migrated to Nigeria where they dominated the artisanal sector as tailors, shoe makers and bread sellers, etc. Others better educated found jobs as teachers in primary and secondary school.

Faced with her own economic crisis in 1983, the Nigerian government expelled Ghanaians from the country in the famous Ghana-must-go episode, a truly sordid period in Africa’s postcolonial crisis. But Rawlings stood the course and pulled Ghana back from the brink of disintegration.

In the wake of his passage many Ghanaians have recalled with nostalgia some bywords of the Jerry Rawlings’ years that functioned as mantras of his reformist agenda: ‘accountability’, ‘transparency’, ‘probity,’ etc. Rawlings was not exactly an ideologue with an organised body of ideas that drove his vision.

While he spoke much, addressed huge crowds and galvanised youth groups and workers, he had very little by way of writing. Not even his memoir which he was about writing before his death. Ghana, Africa is the worst for it.

He was, it would appear, motivated more by the idea that every Ghanaian, African or human being, deserves to enjoy those basic necessities that make life liveable in dignity.

Consumed by this vision, he went all out to sell his ideas to his people and was prepared to confront anyone that stood in his way. This brought him into head-on collision with many who questioned his democratic credentials.

But Rawlings it was who inaugurated Ghana’s Fourth Republic and after serving two terms in office ensured the smooth transition of power to a party in opposition.

This explains why he is considered by many as the architect of modern Ghana, perhaps only superseded in fame and accomplishment by Ghana’s first democratically elected ruler and one of Africa’s best, the Osagyefo himself, Kwame Nkrumah. Remarkably no Ghanaian has accused Rawlings of corruption even two full decades after he left the presidency. His commitment has been to the Ghanaian people and Ghana where he lived all his life.

His time in power obviously influenced some of Nigeria’s military leaders, especially Ibrahim Babangida, who appeared to have taken a lot out of Rawlings’ political playbook. Aside from the populism, witness the naming game: Armed Forces Ruling Council, AFRC, a clear echo of Rawlings’ Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, AFRC.

Also, Babangida’s theatrics in 1986 of setting up a political bureau, just as Rawlings did, ostensibly to help chart and determine Nigerians’ democratic preferences in their programmed return to civilian rule, or even more tellingly the botched attempt to transition from a military fatigue-wearing general to a civilian ruler, a move Jerry Rawlings achieved with relative aplomb and respect.

The Rawlings’ years may now be in abeyance but not the role and impact of the man Jerry John Rawlings, a Ghanaian original that gave of himself in all its flawed humanity to his nation. Rest well, the one nicknamed Junior Jesus.

Vanguard News Nigeria 

The post Remembering Jerry Rawlings appeared first on Vanguard News.




Read also

TxDOT proposes extra lane, bridges along US 79 in Round Rock

Omar Richards Is Your November Player Of The Month

Larsa Pippen's Walk Of Shame Back To Scottie Pippen Seen In Photos



News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro




Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here