Most Reverend Francis K. A. Lodonu, Emeritus Bishop of Ho has disclosed that late President Jerry John Rawlings could be christened as one individual that set the pace for constitutionalism and democratisation giving total development to the country in post-independence Ghana.
He acknowledged that though Dr Kwame Nkrumah attained independence for the country, his efforts soon drifted towards continental liberation, but Rawlings remained solid in shaping the ideals of nationalism and nationhood after torturous experimentation of the country’s destiny.
“These emerged as ideals foisted on probity, accountability and stability cascading into accountability, transparency and rule of law.”
Most Rev Lodonu, who was speaking to the GNA in an interview said Rawlings changed Ghana totally, Nkrumah was a man for Africa, while Rawlings was for Ghana, which he did by stabilising and nurturing the fledgling democracy, its independence.
He observed that crafting a constitution was the highest point of his career by stabilising the country.
He requested a re-establishment and a change in the June 4th celebration not as a day of triumph, but one to hone the ideals of reconciliation, prayer and lectures as a constant reminder of our recent past.
The youth must be told the ideals of June 4th and how that shaped the collective past and carving a niche for the future towards the goal of nation building.
Most Rev Lodonu said the takeaways for the youth was for them to stay away from violence, greed and be part of nationalism irrespective of the political persuasion.
“We should avoid corruption and stealing and build a nation that can be emulated by the rest of Africa as Ghana was the first to gain independence and we could move Ghana ahead economically, socially and politically.
He urged the youth to enjoy peace and the beautiful country by keeping the environment clean and safe.
He said Rawlings ventilated the recognition of women and particularly in politics too, ideals that needed to be inculcated into the youth.
“We should try to follow the principles for which Rawlings died solemnly, because he would want Ghana to be a prosperous country therefore we should work hard to make Ghana great.
Because of the struggle of the former President, we live in a safe Ghana.”
He said “Rawlings’ death was one of the greatest shocks he as an octogenarian received. This is a very sad day and year for Ghana, our motherland for losing a great son.
“As far as fighting corruption was concerned, he was a man who was not afraid to talk. He did everything to promote honesty to society.”
He could not fit into any political party and vice versa, so the option was to form his own political party. Since he was not here anymore, Ghanaians must know about his history and personality.
His presence would still be felt in the legislature, parliament, judiciary and civil service. He would always be remembered by Ghanaians. We should follow his principles; he always yearned for probity, accountability and honesty.”
He described Rawlings as the one who brought all revolutions to stop the coup d’etat.
He ushered in the constitution which he organised people from all walks of life, to be represented irrespective of their occupation, at the constitutional formation.
He did great things through the constitution and many people have gratitude towards that.29