The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) has joined a long list of groups and organizations that have reached out to the family of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings to express sympathy.
The former President had died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital following a short illness on Thursday, November 12.
According to the GJA, it had received the news of the sudden death of the former President with shock and trepidation.
“The Association is indeed reeling under anguish and griefing in disbelief that the man whom we had seen barely two weeks ago in sombre mood but in his usual charismatic demeanor, played a remarkable role at the funeral of his beloved mother, be gone so soon,” a statement from the GJA read.
They stated that even though Rawlings had not been friendly with the media during his nearly 20 years rule, he had reached out to the media when he turned statesman.
“The cordial relations culminated in the National Executives of the Association, paying him a historic courtesy call on Thursday October 31, 2019, as part of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the GJA,” the statement read.
They added that the Association will eternally remember him for his move to make Ghana the stable democracy it is now, and “credit him with the birth of the 1992 Constitution which has helped more than any other in our history to anchor Ghana’s democracy.
The Association praised the former President’s strong advocacy for probity and accountability in the society, claiming that it had energized journalists to tow that line in keeping successive governments in check.
“He was a strong advocate of probity and accountability in the society and by so doing, he may have helped to embolden the media to defend those values as they are required to in a democracy,” the GJA stated.
Finally, the GJA concluded by adding that the former President’s decision to enshrine the Freedoms and Independence of the media in Ghana in the 1992 constitution had contributed immensely to the rapid growth of the media in Ghana.
“We salute him for Chapter 12 of the 1992 Constitution which enshrined freedom and Independence of the media in Ghana, on an unprecedented scale.”
Below is the full statement