Rawlings pays tribute to Prof Awoonor
Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings on Thursday described the late Professor Kofi Awoonor as a man who spoke against socio-economic injustice and had a good understanding of human frailties and inequalities.
The former President said: ‘Professor Awoonor helped lay the foundation of the revolution which saw a period with a sense of purpose and integrity – a period when democracy was at its best.’
He said it was those qualities that struck him when he first met the Professor during a visit to the University of Cape Coast in 1982 to address students on the principles behind the December 31 Revolution.
President Rawlings paid the tribute when he and Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, paid a call on the family of Professor Awoonor at his residence in North Legon to express their sympathies over the passing of the former Council of State Chairman during the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya on September 19.
Professor Awoonor’s role during the revolution, President Rawlings noted, should be celebrated and not shoved under the carpet by some current leaders of the NDC who choose to dissociate themselves from the ideals of the PNDC that gave birth to the NDC.
The former President wrote in a book of condolence opened in memory of Professor Awoonor, that: ‘On the onset of the 31st December 1981 revolution when integrity was very high you were one of the bold and leading advocates of the PNDC principles and we thank you for it.’
President Rawlings gave particular attention to Afetsi Awoonor who was with his father on the fateful day and prayed that he will recover soon. He described terrorism as a global responsibility saying ‘we owe it to each other to fight it’. Afetsi Awoonor is introduced to President and Mrs Rawlings
The former President called for the need to rid the world of inequalities especially in our part of the world as Africa’s susceptibility to economic disparity can generate animosity amongst the vulnerable, which then brings hatred of serious proportions that can compel people into violent acts such as terrorism.
President and Mrs. Rawlings were received by family members and senior officials of the NDC led by Mr. Dan Abodakpi, Major General Anyidoho and Kofi Portuphy. Also in attendance was veteran writer, playwright and academic, Madam Ama Ata Aidoo.
Poet, author, Academic and diplomat, Professor Awoonor served in various capacities under President Rawlings, culminating in his appointment as Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1990 to 1994.
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