Rawlings came through for me in moments of difficulty in my Presidency – Akufo-Addo [ARTICLE]

Paying tribute to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) founder at his pre-burial service, Akufo-Addo said they had a mutual commitment to public service.

The President noted that he didn’t always see eye to eye with Rawlings but they later became very good friends before the latter’s demise.

READ ALSO: ‘We are like travellers in this world’ – Ghanaians react as Kufuor pays his last respect to Rawlings

Nana Akufo-Addo with Jerry John Rawlings

Nana Akufo-Addo with Jerry John Rawlings

“It was no secret that the relationship that existed between the two of us, right from the heady days of 1979, through to my brief period in exile, his assumption of office as the 1st President of the 4th Republic, the historic Kume Preko demonstrations, my period as Attorney General and Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Kufuor administration, to my being elected 2008 NPP presidential candidate, was one of open animosity. We did not see eye to eye,” he said.

“However, with time, things changed. We came to see value in each other, and understood, to a very large degree, our respective perspectives. One thing we had in common was our mutual commitment to public service.

“From my entry into office, right up to the day he was called by his Maker, he remained a good friend and a repository of sound advice. I knew that, in moments of difficulty in my presidency, I could count on his considerable wealth of experience and knowledge. On those occasions, he came through for me.”

Rawlings’ burial service is currently ongoing at the Independence Square, after which he will be laid to rest.

The ex-President declined an offer for a university to be named after him while he was alive, however, Akufo-Addo insisted he deserved the honour.

The President, therefore, announced that University for Development Studies, Tamale will be renamed after Rawlings.

“While he was with us, he respectfully declined an offer I made to him in 2017 to have the University of Development Studies (UDS) which he personally helped establish named after him, but he rejected. His reason was that in adhering to his long-standing principle he did not want any national monuments or facility named after him.”

“Two days after his passing, at the 21st congregation of UDS I expressed my strongest conviction in spite of his reservation that such an honour should be accorded to him. I am glad that this has found favour with his family and the necessary formalities will be carried out to achieve this. That is the Jerry John Rawlings University of Development Studies Tamale,” Akufo-Addo added.

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