President Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo on Friday morning visited Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings to console the family on the death of former President Jerry John Rawlings.
President Akufo-Addo led a government delegation to the Ridge residence of the former president following an official communication of the death to the government on Thursday evening.
The president’s arrival at the house of the late former president was preceded by that of other government officials including Vice President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and his wife Samira.
J.J. is gone: Nation in tears
Shock waves reverberated across the length and breadth of the country late Thursday morning as the disturbing news of the demise of former President Jerry John Rawlings broke.
The former President, who had ruled the country from 1981 to 1992 as Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and from 1993 to 2000 as
a democratically elected President, died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
The family, which confirmed the sad news of his death, said he had passed away after a short illness.
A statement signed by a daughter of the former President, Dr Zanetor Rawlings, requested privacy “at this difficult moment” and gave an assurance that funeral
arrangements would be announced in due course.
Like a thunderbolt, the death of the 73-year-old Rawlings, Ghana’s longest-serving Head of State, hit the nation hard and all the heated political activities have
been grounded until further notice.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo declared seven days of national mourning, from today Friday, November 13, 2020, in memory of former President Rawlings.
The President has also directed that all national flags should fly at halfmast throughout the country for the next seven days.
The flag at the Jubilee House has started flying at half-mast.
“In honour of the memory of former President Rawlings, the Vice-President and I have suspended our political campaigns for the same period,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo, who together with the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, announced the suspension of their campaigns, also conveyed the deep condolences of the government and the people of Ghana to the wife of the late President and former First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, their children and the family “in these difficult times”.
The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, has also suspended his six day campaign tour of the Ashanti Region following the death of the founder of the party.
Mr Mahama described the onetime military leader and two-time President of the Fourth Republic as an “iconic leader”, and that the NDC needed time and concentration to mourn his passing and celebrate his legacies.
Many associates of the former President, including those who served in his government, have been visiting his Ridge residence to commiserate with the family of the former President, who supervised the burial and funeral of his mother only about three weeks ago.
Personalities who visited the Rawlings residence included International Evangelist and former cadre, Rev. Dr Lawrence Tetteh; boxing legend, Professor Azumah Nelson; a former Minister of Health, Mr Samuel Nuamah-Donkoh; a former Minister of Education, Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah; businessman, Mr Alfred Agbesi Woyome; a former Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor; a former Minister of Defence, Dr Ben Kunbuor; a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Kweku Ricketts-Hagan, and a former Central Regional Minister, Mr Aquinas Tawiah Quansah.
The news of the passing of the former President, whom many describe as a charismatic leader, has broken the hearts of many in the regions, with some expressing surprise at the sudden death.
While social media is buzzing with messages of condolence from across the world, people who worked closely with him are yet to come to terms with the untimely death of the celebrated statesman.