The death of former president Jerry John Rawlings has ended an era and started a new one, Presidential Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) John Dramani Mahama, has said.
Former President Mahama said the role of Mr Rawlings in Ghana as the founder of Ghana’s democracy should be protected.
Speaking during a vigil organized by the NDC on Sunday, November 15 in memory of its founding father, Mr Mahama said “since his exit, I have seen postscripts eulogizing him and I have seen a few others in anguish that he passed so peacefully”.
“This marks the end of an era but it is also the beginning of an era. The persona of Rawlings bestrides Ghana like a colossus.
“His impact on the current trajectory of Ghana has been immense and it is necessary for us to appraise his role as the founder of Ghana’s current democracy.”
Meanwhile, his eldest daughter, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, has said her father led an inclusive government that factored into consideration the opinions of others during decision making.
Speaking during the vigil, the incumbent Member of Parliament for Klottey Korley Constituency said: “Rawlings led an inclusive government which even before the era of constitutional rule understood the value of every body’s opinion in decision making.
“I pray that as we approach the elections on December 7, we let these values live within us and absolutely protect what we have as a nation because that is how we will honour his memory.”
A huge crowd of mourners believed to be sympathizers of the largest opposition party founded by Mr Rawlings in 1992 thronged the Obra Spot at Kwame Nkrumah Circle to keep the vigil in his honour.
The first president of the Fourth Republic and the founder of the NDC, Jerry John Rawlings, died Thursday, November 12 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.
President Akufo-Addo has declared a 7-day national mourning and directed all flags to fly at half-mast while the government together with the bereaved family plans a state burial for the deceased former president.
The NDC has, however, started a series of activities in honour of their founder, one of which is the vigil held at the Obra Spot.
In attendance were Mr Dramani Mahama, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin, Minority Leader of Parliament Haruna Iddirisu, NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the family of the late J.J Rawlings represented by Zanetor and Kimathi among other leading members of the NDC and sympathizers.