When he was being sent into the world by the Creator, was I there to have known the map which was crafted around the journey of his life? Certainly not!
As an unashamed believer of the Word of God, I know it for a fact that the Good Lord created all of us in His own image, and gave us the power and mandate to have dominion over ALL other things that He created.
Our God, is, omnipotent and omnipresent; and as it is the case that He created us in His own image, I can say without any equivocation that, Jerry John Rawlings is no longer with us in-breath; however, he shall remain omnipresent as far as the political history of Ghana is concerned.
Who can dare write the political history of Ghana without the colourful kaleidoscope of Jerry John Rawlings, ala, May 15, 1979; June 4, 1979; December 31, 1981; 11 years of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC); eight years of the first period of the National Democratic Congress (NDC); and his life after leaving office?
The bright lights of the 19 years of Jerry Rawlings as President of Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana, can never be darkened by any fruitless attempts to invert that time and space of our history.
I can still see myself as an eight-year-old boy, standing on the upper deck of Kotoka Primary School in Burma-Camp, when I first set eyes on Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings – standing bare-chested atop a Mowag, at the Nicholson Park.
Those were the very heady days of the Revolution, and, Nicolson Park was one of the places where the Leader of the Military Junta, used to address the Men who were enamoured by his bravery and charisma.
I can also not forget standing atop the same upper deck of Kotoka Primary School with other pupils, as we watched the selfsame Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, carrying the casket of a certain Major Collison (an officer of the Recce Regiment), who died in the heat of the December 31, military takeover.
Apparently, Major Collison was not a target for elimination, but he was in-charge of the armory at Recce and got hit unfortunately in the heat of the takeover, so, Jerry John Rawlings exhibited his deep sorrow for the passing of the Major, by deciding to be among the casket carriers to the old location of the Garrison Methodist Presbyterian Church in Burma-Camp, for the funeral service.
I grew up from being a boy into a man with Jerry John Rawlings at the helm of Ghana’s affairs, and my strong attachment to what he stood for, and how he redeemed a dying nation from the throes of death, shall never wane.
Nobody – not even Jerry John Rawlings himself, has claimed piety; so, in eulogizing him, it is not because I am calling him a saint: he was not a saint in the saintly meaning of the word, but he succeeded in etching himself on the ASSET side of Ghana’s Balance Sheet.
Gifted with so many God-given attributes, Jerry John Rawlings had a great sense of humour, and really knew how to hold the attention of, people, groups, gatherings, nations, that he came into contact with.
He had his wits very much about him, had a natural aptitude for using words and ideas in quick as well as inventive ways to create humour to lighten up any atmosphere.
Those who were close to the late former President, know, that, there was never a dull moment around him.
Jerry Rawlings knew how to seize moments and make the best out of nothing.
Jerry Rawlings was exceptionally charismatic, and never lost any of his charisma till his departure to the place where we shall all go when God Almighty plants our departure dates on our chest.
I just turned 50, and I cannot stop thanking God Almighty for making it possible for me to have had a very close relationship with President Jerry John Rawlings and President John Evans Atta-Mills.
I am humbly honoured to have caught the attention of His Excellency President Jerry John Rawlings, the Founder of my Ghanaian political tradition, as well as, His Excellency President John Evans Atta-Mills, the man who really spotted my talents and abilities amongst the multitude, and personally called me into service for God and Country.
I shall NEVER forget the early morning of, Friday, July 24, 2020, when President Jerry John Rawlings arrived at the Asomdwee Park at 6.30 am, upon the invitation of the Atta-Mills Institute (AMI).
The AMI was marking its First Anniversary with a wreath-laying cum solemn Remembrance Ceremony at the Asomdwee Park and President Rawlings arrived; walked up to the tombstone, and placed a white rose on tombstone.
President Rawlings did not only place a white rose on the tombstone, but more touchingly, he raised his head to the heavens and spoke silently: he most certainly used the opportunity to make peace with his late predecessor.
I, Samuel Koku Sitsofe Anyidoho, I am humbly grateful to God Almighty that he made it possible for me to get President Rawlings to make peace with President Atta-Mills before he (Rawlings) left to join his predecessor in the world beyond.
I know it for a fact that the souls of President Jerry John Rawlings and President John Evans Atta-Mills, are watching eagle-eyed over me and protecting me for the exemplary love and loyalty I showed to them while they lived as my bosses and mentors.
Considering the deep heart with which President Rawlings and President Atta-Mills loved our dear Motherland, Ghana, and considering the same deep heart with which I also love Ghana, it is more than obvious that, my destiny-tooled association with the celebrated departed Leaders of my pollical tradition and the Republic of Ghana, is anchored to the, saying; Birds of the same feathers flock together, and when they flock together, they fly so high.
Jerry John Rawlings is no more: but his love for this dear country of ours, as well as the core principles of, Probity and Accountability, shall be championed by scores of BELIEVERS who are ready to fight the next level of the STRUGGLE.
Thank God that, on January 7, 2021, the NDC MPs evoked the spirit of the Revolution when they sang the Revo, Revo, Revolution, has a long way to go, but has come to stay …, to stand their ground and ensure that the Right Honourable Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, was duly sworn-in as the Speaker of the Eighth Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
It was also extremely exhilarating listening to, Alhaji Hudu Yahaya (flanked by Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, the National Chairman and current Leader of the NDC – per the Party’s Constitution, once elections are over and the bid for Presidency does not materialize, the Chairman is Leader till a new Flagbearer is elected), reading the NDC’s tribute at the funeral service, and state categorically that, Jerry Rawlings SHALL forever remain the Founder of the National Democratic Congress.
In other words, NOBODY nor groups shall be allowed to use any backdoor tactics and shenanigans to try and impose anybody on the Party as its Founder just because Jerry John Rawlings is no longer with us in flesh and blood.
I congratulate His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Republic of Ghana for giving the late President Jerry John Rawlings a befitting and dignified funeral and burial service.
Papa J was a great man and I shall miss his human presence.
Sir, your piloting abilities here on earth have been etched in gold: may you land your plane perfectly on the tarmac in the Land of your Ancestors and may the same plane land you safely in the bosom of the Most High.
Samuel Koku Anyidoho
(Founder & CEO, Atta-Mills Institute)
Saturday, January 30, 2021.