Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 January 2021:
Yesterday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio attended the state funeral of the late Flt Lt Jerry J. Rawlings, the first President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana who passed away on 12 November 2020, aged 73.
In his tribute to the late former President of Ghana, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio stated: “Although tributes never remove the sting of a hero’s passing, they help us remember what we cannot undo about their lives and their impact on society. His Excellency Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings was a friend, a mentor and statesman whose voice and deeds continue to inspire me”.
Recalling his personal relationship with the late Ghanaian leader, President Bio also said: “I will always remember his advice, that when a nation is broken and vulnerable; when injustice is so rife, leaders must make it their life’s mission to stand up for the ordinary man. If changes should happen, he often emphasised, then leaders must express righteous rage on behalf of and empower the people.
“I will remember President Rawlings as a patient and kind-hearted man who treated me with empathy and freely shared his experience and advice. He summed up what he stood for in a simple saying, ‘Stay true to your principle; maintain your integrity and history will always judge you kindly.”
A glowing tribute was also paid to late President Rawlings by the current President of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in which he said, among other things: “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”.
Jerry John Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947, in Accra. He was the longest-serving ruler in Ghana’s history – 11 years as a military leader and 8 years as a twice-elected civilian President – a total of 19 years.
He is survived by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings; four children – Zenator, Yaa Asantewaa, Amina, Kimathi; and five grandchildren.