It is not surprising that the nation has been thrown into a state of glum and shock following the sudden death of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, the first President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana on the morning of Thursday, November 12, 2020.
Indeed, the country is mourning the loss of one of its illustrious and distinguished sons who is an enigma, loathed, and loved at the same time.
It was indeed a melancholy, losing this distinguished personality of the land – brave soldier, airman, and shrewd politician.
The Ghanaian Times joins the millions of Ghanaians to extol his virtues and commiserate with his family, friends, and the entire country, to which he dedicated his time, energy, and strength to hold together for the 19 years that he presided over the affairs of our dear nation.
The late President Rawlings may have his shortcomings but overall his contribution to nation-building cannot be overlooked and as former President John Kufuor put it, ‘History would give him a balanced place in the annals of our nation”.
It cannot be lost on anyone that in life, former President Rawlings was not perfect and had his failings. He naturally would have a downside, but he also achieved a lot for humankind and it is for this reason that we must unite in this difficult time to carry on with nation-building from where he left off.
Regrettably, petty bickering has emerged in the last few days after the death was announced which suggests that differences are developing as to how the nation is going to forge ahead in unity with the processes leading to the funeral befitting a statesman.
The Ghanaian Times is not interested in the arguments and counter-arguments as to who must or must not mourn the late former President. It is needless.
What is important is, we must all remember first and foremost that the late Former President was President for all Ghanaians without exception. We cannot forget also that he has an immediate family, an extended family, was a founder of a political party as well as a member of an ethnic group with its traditional norms and practices.
In spite of all the above, there is no justification for the creeping differences that are emerging at this early stage of planning a befitting burial for the departed late statesman.
We appeal to all sides to rise above the things that set us aside and rather dwell on those that bring us together so that we can bid him a befitting farewell.
Bickering over our statesman and an African icon otherwise, would be embarrassing ourselves, not only internally, but to the international community.
Source: Ghanaian Times
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