The President, Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has disclosed that late former President Jerry John Rawlings came through for him during difficult moments in his presidency.
In his tribute at the pre-burial service of the late former leader, President Akufo-Addo described Rawlings as a “repository of knowledge.”
According to him, the late president never denied him any advice when he needed it.
Akufo-Addo explained that, although he and Rawlings “did not see eye to eye”, the National Democratic Congress founder subsequently became “a good friend”.
“It was no secret that the relationship that existed between the two of us, right from the heady days of 1979, through to my brief period in exile, his assumption of office as the 1st President of the 4th Republic, the historic Kume Preko demonstrations, my period as Attorney General and Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Kufuor administration, to my being elected 2008 NPP presidential candidate, was one of open animosity. We did not see eye to eye.”
“However, with time, things changed. We came to see value in each other, and understood, to a very large degree, our respective perspectives. One thing we had in common was our mutual commitment to public service. From my entry into office, right up to the day he was called by his Maker, he remained a good friend and a repository of sound advice. I knew that, in moments of difficulty in my presidency, I could count on his considerable wealth of experience and knowledge. On those occasions, he came through for me,” he added.
Jerry John Rawlings, who birth Ghana’s Fourth Republic died on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after battling ill-health.
The pre-burial service took place at Independence Square and scores of Ghanaians were there to pay their last respects to the late former President.
President Akufo-Addo used the opportunity to announce that the University for Development Studies, Tamale will be renamed after Jerry John Rawlings.
“While he was with us, he respectfully declined an offer I made to him in 2017 to have the University of Development Studies (UDS) which he personally helped establish named after him, but he rejected. His reason was that in adhering to his long-standing principle he did not want any national monuments or facility named after him.”
“Two days after his passing, at the 21st congregation of UDS I expressed my strongest conviction in spite of his reservation that such an honour should be accorded to him. I am glad that this has found favour with his family and the necessary formalities will be carried out to achieve this. That is the Jerry John Rawlings University of Development Studies Tamale.”