Wa (UW/R), Jan. 27, GNA – Some Residents in the Upper West Region have eulogised former President Jerry John Rawlings, as his mortal remains goes to rest today.
They said the former President showed exemplary leadership in his fight against corruption and transiting Ghana from military rule to democratic governance.
“He has shaped out the democracy the way we see it today. He ruled for a long time but was ready to hand over power to another successfully elected government who was not even from his party,” Reverend George Apasera, the Upper West Regional Chairman of the Local Council of Churches, said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa on Wednesday.
He said former president Rawlings would be forever remembered for his selfless service and the way he laid down his life for the nation and that he was very humble.
Rev. Apasera, who was also the General Overseer for the Christ Frontiers Mission International in Wa, and a member of the Upper West Regional Peace Council, observed that the former president had left a legacy behind as the longest serving President who had left a lot of development behind.
Mr Francis Xavier Tengepare, another resident in Wa, said the former President would also be remembered for his principles of probity and accountability.
He told the GNA that Rawlings was “a man of justice, a man who acts by his words, a man who will want to see that the poor, deprived and marginalize equally benefit from the national cake”.
“What I remember about him is the fact the he brought University for Development Studies to northern Ghana,” he added.
Mr Seidu Sadick Abubakari, the Secretary to the Upper West Regional Chief Imam, noted that Rawlings dedicated his life to the fight against corruption in the country, even when he was out of power.
He said Rawlings leadership saw the development of the educational and agricultural sectors as well as road infrastructure among others in the country.
“Rawlings could go out himself and take part in the construction of roads …he did very well as a former military leader who willingly handed over power to a constitutionally elected president. He could have decided not to hand over and we would not have had this democracy we have today,” he explained.
Mr Abubakari observed that Ghana could have good leaders but that the country might never get a leader of the former President’s caliber.
Mr Bajin D. Pobia, a veteran journalist, said the development projects that the former President embarked in the country especially, the north was unmatched.
He mentioned the extension of the national electricity grid from the South to the North, the establishment of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Polytechnic education among others as some of the legacies of the former President in the north.
He said the Upper West Region will forever remain grateful to him for the creation of the Region and ensured development was brought to the doorstep of the people.
“The country has lost a gem. We have lost a statesman, full of humour and one who had the nation’s interest at heart,” Mr Pobia said.