On Thursday, November 12, 2020 the news of the death of President Jerry John Rawlings broke around mid-morning sending our nation into a state of shock and disbelief.
The more the news spread, the reality of the loss dawned not only on us as a family, but also on every one of the millions across the world who admired him for his convictions which he stoutly defended till his last day.
It has been a difficult 12 months having to live with the knowledge that he is physically not here with us, but as Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
The Lord has been there for us and for all those who in diverse ways lost a loved one.
Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings was, however, a man who one cannot forget easily. His loving and charismatic demeanour struck everyone he met and for mum and us every passing day brings new memories of who he was – larger than life but still a simple personality with so much warmth and compassion.
As a young father, your love and care knew no bounds. To quote from mum’s tribute to you: “You took pride in your fatherly duties. There was no task too tiresome and bothersome for you, as you sought to take care of your young family.”
You struck a chord with the ordinary people of this country and could not fathom why a small group of the privileged class had taken over Ghana and consistently mismanaged it. You and like-minded colleagues believed some action had to be taken. The rest is history.
Probity and accountability were not just popular words associated with Jerry John Rawlings. You did everything you could when you were leader of this country to live that ideal and convince all Ghanaians to follow suit. The journey of combating corruption has been a complex journey for Ghana but while you lived, you never stopped championing that cause. We are still far from where you wanted your beloved Ghana to be but your ideals and what you stood for, will also haunt those who choose to cut corners to achieve undeserved riches. This applies to politicians and non-politicians alike.
Your environmental credentials always preceded whatever you did. We recall some of our local trips where you stopped a convoy and together with your security detail extinguished a raging bushfire before proceeding with the journey.
This is not a tribute daddy, but how does one speak about Jerry John Rawlings, J.J without remembering all these about you?
Your loss was a loss to the whole country and the pain was one felt by most Ghanaians. Nevertheless, we take this opportunity to thank all well-meaning Ghanaians for the outpour of love and support when we lost our dear husband and father. The international community’s pouring of condolence was also very moving – all these a reminder of how many lives Jerry Rawlings had impacted.
It was indeed touching that many from across the length and breadth of Ghana, expressed their sympathies and offered us a shoulder to lean on. In you we sought and continue to seek our consolation.
As many of you join us here today, we join you in sending our best love to President Jerry John Rawlings. May his dear soul rest in eternal peace.