Tributes have been pouring in for Ghana’s former president, Jerry Rawlings, who died in Accra on Thursday morning, aged 73.
African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat tweeted: “Africa has lost a stalwart of Pan-Africanism and a charismatic continental statesman.
“My sincere condolences to his family, the people and the government of Ghana.”
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his heartfelt condolences, saying that “the entire African continent will sorely miss the sterling qualities of the great leader.”
He also said that he believed that “the passion, discipline and moral strength that the former Ghanaian leader employed to reposition his country over many years” would “continue to reverberate across the continent and beyond”.
Buhari also hoped that Rawlings’ ideas “for development in Africa… will always be remembered”.
President of Liberia, George Weah, in a tweet, said: “Ghana, Liberia and Africa will miss a great leader. Liberia remembers his immense contribution to the attainment and sustainment of peace during the dark days of our own history.”
Pan-Africanist Prof. PLO Lumumba in a Facebook post said: “I am sad to learn of the demise of President Jerry Rawlings, a good friend and great man. Let us honour him by emulating his courage and candour. J. J., old soldiers never die!!”
Former Nigerian Vice-President Atiku Abubakar tweeted: “Jerry Rawlings was an African giant. His tenure as leader of Ghana remains emblematic with the restoration of that country. Even after office, he stood tall for African unity and renaissance.”
Ghana’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has declared seven days of national mourning in honour of the former president.
In a statement issued by the Presidency, Akufo-Addo said: “I have directed that all national flags should fly at half-mast for the next seven days in all parts of the country and I have declared seven days of national mourning from Friday, 13th November, 2020.
“I convey the deep sympathies of the government and the people of Ghana to his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the children and the family of the late president in these difficult times.”
The statement said that the Government would work closely with the family of the late president on the arrangements for “a fitting funeral” for him.
“A great tree has fallen, Ghana is poorer for this loss,” he said.
But the family of the former president is asking for privacy, as it mourns him.
“The family requests privacy at this difficult moment,” his eldest child, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, said in a statement in Accra.