A former Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Ambassador Victor Smith, who is also a former special aide to the late former president Jerry John Rawlings, has said, he was extremely shocked at the demise of his former boss.
He said on the Key Point programme on TV3 Saturday that considering how old his mother got to before dying, 101 years, he thought Mr Rawlings would probably live beyond 90 years before passing.
The former Ghanaian leader died at age 73. He died on November 12 2020 at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, in Accra.
Recounting how he received the news of his demise, Ambassador Victor Smith told host of the programme Abena Tabi that “We were campaigning in the Ashanti region, myself and former President Mahama. We had gotten to Obuase, the programme hadn’t even started and we were in the car when I got a call from Accra that the Old man has passed.
“I asked, what do you mean the old man has passed, which old man are you referring to? The person said your old man, Jerry Rawlings. I asked, what happened? Whether it was an accident or something. Then, the person said no, he died in Korle Bu.
“I was so shocked because I never knew he was ill and indeed, he had recently buried his mother and looking at how old his mother got to, 101, I can only guess that he will probably will die after 90. That was what I was thinking, that is if you look after yourself well. I crossed checked with somebody who was actually there when he died.
“So, I called [former] president Mahama and gave him the bad news, he was in a different car. So he asked us all to cut off the programme and return to Accra. S we all came back to Accra.
“But even driving from Obause to Kumasi, there were so many calls coming through that they have heard something and they are not sure and the more I talked about it the more I choked on tears because it was really sad.
“I was just wondering, was he that ill? I asked the body guards and his driver , they are my friends, I recruited them when I was working with Rawlings and they said he only got ill last Sunday, he was feeling feverish and one thing led to another, he was in hospital and he is gone.”
Mr Rawlings was buried on Wednesday January 27, 2021.
His wife, Former first lady, Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings paid a glowing tribute to him. During the final funeral ceremony.
In a tribute read on her behalf by her daughter Amina Rawlings, she said she is convinced it was not by sheer coincidence that she met Rawlings but that they were meant to be.
Opening the tribute with a beautiful poem, Konadu eulogized her husband describing how supportive he has been to her as a wife, mother and throughout her endeavors to empower women in Ghana and also help underprivileged communities.
She said they have worked together as a team to better the lot of Ghana and that for her was something destined to happen.
She recounted how far they have come in life and how they influenced and supported each other through thick and thin.
“Jerry, I know God created us for each other and today we make a formidable team, notwithstanding the ups and downs of life. We believe in each other and in our dream of making Ghana a country we could all be proud of”, she said.
“To me, you were and will always be Jerry, my love, my life partner, my friend, you worked for Ghana… I say farewell”, she reiterate.
While reading the tribute, Amina could not hold back her tears, he broke down momentarily, put herself together and continued.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana