Africans Abroad

NDC- USA held a virtual vigil in honor of former Prez Jerry Rawlings

Former President Jerry Rawlings

The leadership of NDC USA held a memorable virtual vigil on November 22, 2020 in honor of the founder of NDC and former President of the Republic of Ghana, H. E. Jerry John Rawlings. Rawlings passed away in Ghana on Thursday November 12, 2020 after a short illness.

The program attracted participants from all over the world. Speakers included Hon. Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, Former General Secretary of NDC and Minister of State, who shared his personal experiences with the late Chairman Rawlings during the revolutionary PNDC era. He recalled personal instances of the discipline the late President instilled in all the cadets that worked with him and his call for justice, probity and accountability to the people of Ghana by all office holders. “Chairman Rawlings was a selfless man, who held very deep conviction of care and the betterment of the lives of the ordinary Ghanaians. He would be missed.” said Alhaji Huudu Yahaya, who called in from Ghana.

H.E Koby Koomson, a former Ambassador of Ghana to the US, also recalled the disciplinary Chairman Rawlings. He stated Rawlings was a very detailed and perfectionist leader, whose modus operandi was always to the betterment of the ordinary Ghanaian. Ambassador Koomson read some excerpts of his tribute to H. E. Jerry John Rawlings that he sent to Ghana, stating some of his personal experiences with the late Head of State of Ghana. During the reading of his tribute, he emphasized what a great and compassionate leader Rawlings was and how Ghana, and the world at large, have lost a great man of our time.

Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan called in to share his personal experiences as well, which were relayed by Brother Akbar Mohammed. He called Rawlings one of the greatest leaders of our time and a personal friend of his and the people of the diaspora. Farrakhan recalled his time and moments spent with H. E Jerry John Rawlings, a man who spent all his life caring and standing for the rights of the ordinary people and formed the bedrock of our community and not just the rich and affluent.

Other speakers were Madam Maame Aba Dadzie, Chairman of NDC USA, who chaired the event from Ghana and read a tribute on behalf of the NDC USA chapter.

“Eye Zu
Eye Za.
Today we gather in solidarity to remember our late great leader, founder of the Great Akatamanso party-NDC, the 1st President of the fourth Republic of Ghana, H. E. Jerry John Rawlings, affectionately called Papa J, whose demise occurred barely over a week ago in Accra.

President Rawlings, shall forever be remembered for his selflessness and dedication to the betterment of the lives of all citizens of Ghana, not just the privileged few.
A leader who led by example.
As I wrote in the National Book of Condolences; So long our great and beloved founder of NDC and former President of the Republic of Ghana.
Your demise have left us fatherless, who shall we now turn to for counsel……
You have fought a good fight and run a great race, but we would have wished you stay with us a little longer.
Your memories lives on.
On behalf of NDC USA, we say, fair thee well, may Your Soul Rest In Peace.
Damirifa Dua
Eye Zu
Chairman Rawlings”.

Vice Chairman Dr. Joshua Quaye MD, who is the acting Chairman of NDC USA, also spoke very eloquently about the role the late President had played and the mark he left for the ordinary people of Ghana. Comrade Cobby Boahene, the former Chairman of NDC US/Canada also recalled how an invitation was extended to Chairman Rawlings in 1985 through Ambassador Spio-Grabrah, and to his surprise, Chairman Rawlings accepted, which was to begin their bond of friendship that lasted till his death. He recalled the humility of Chairman Rawlings, to the extent that, when he once was in transit at a New York airport returning from a trip to the Caribbean, he joined the taxi queue, patiently waiting his turn to grab a cab to his hotel, until a Nigerian taxi driver noticed him and quickly arranged a limousine to take him to his Hotel. When he asked him later at his hotel, “Chief why didn’t you just tell them who you are, rather than standing in line?” Mr. Rawlings’s answer was, “Cobby, am I better than those in line ahead of me?” That was the man he knew: even as an honorable statesman, he was always humble and always caring for the masses rather than just himself.

Comrade Prince Agyeman, Chairman of NDC Washington Metro Branch, who spoke on behalf of all the branch chairmen in the US, also spoke very passionately of the exemplary leadership of Chairman Rawlings, who any time he visited the US, always made time to visit with the local NDC party members.
“He was without a doubt, the People’s leader.
May His Soul Rest In Peace”.

One diasporan admirer Sedinam Moyowasifza who lived in Ghana for over 30 years, voiced the opinion that Chairman Rawlings was not just a President of Ghana alone, but one that touched the lives of many within the African diaspora. “His contribution to the return of African Americans to Ghana is profound. His memory should be honored by the AU in a special way”.

The theme for the program was “A life Well Lived” and it lasted for about two hours.

Source- Steve Dei

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