A former aide to the late Jerry John Rawlings and now a Member of Parliament for Buem constituency in the Oti Region has paid a glowing tribute to his former boss, urging Ghanaians to emulate him.
Kofi Adams had the opportunity to eulogise Mr. Rawlings on the Floor of Parliament when the legislative chamber sat this week.
He touched on a wide range of virtues about the former military leader who later adopted civilian rule.
Mr. Adams was very particular about Flt lieutenant Rawlings’ vision on decentralization which he believes if adopted, will serve the interest of the nation.
The late president is due to be laid to rest this week with funeral activities scheduled between January 22 and 27.
Below is a transcript of the full submission by Kofi Adams:
The former president who we speak today paying tribute to, his words of ‘let my men go’ did not end in 1979; it stayed with him till death. He was one person who will put people way above himself. Indeed, sometimes at the risk of his life.
Many persons who used Tema road will be surprised that a Land Cruiser will pull up and will want to even offer them lifts and you will find only president Rawlings and the driver or sometimes alone.
Because in his mind, where that person was standing, it will be very difficult to get a vehicle to your possible next destination. Mr. Speaker, I have listened to the tributes, and one thing that saddens me and I pray it is never done to any leader of this country is what we visited on our late former president.
Indeed, the withdrawal of courtesies, I happened to be his aide at a certain time of the period when these courtesies were withdrawn and an illustrious son who we are paying tribute to today as he traveled around the world, sometimes having to carry his own bags using the ordinary route.
But actually, one thing he taught us that we must all learn is that he was really never angry. He took advantage of this attempt to humiliate him rather to build good walls. The stones that were thrown at him, he used them for a solid foundation.
It gave him the opportunity to interact with ordinary persons even as he traveled to know the understanding of situations then, he was courageous but very very humble.
Mr. Speaker, today he is gone but there were still a number of things that were very dear to him that we can take up as a people and as a country. He was particularly interested in decentralization that he really drove it. He was really interested in how he can infuse tradition and culture into our governance.
He is particularly interested in how we can make the government appointment position at the decentralized level much more useful than it is being done today. I believe we can seriously look at that.
Indeed, one thing that we can never forget about president Rawlings is one key law that helped a lot of disadvantaged persons especially our mothers who lost their husbands who didn’t have a will – the Interstate succession law, PNDC Law 111.
Indeed, women who lost their husbands had property taken away and thrown out of their homes almost immediately. But through this law and the intervention, children and mothers from such homes got something to be able to take care of their children.
I stand here today as a result of constraint for time to say President Rawlings damrifa due, due. Thank you Mr. Speaker.