Shocking news that elicited grief among Ghanaians last year, was the announcement of the death of the founder of the Fourth Republic, Jerry John Rawlings, which sadly occurred on November 1, 2020.
Death is a debt every soul owes. The circumstance or timing can sometimes compound our grief: yet, there is hardly a good time to die.
Until about that fateful Thursday morning, when the enigmatic leader took his last breathe, Jerry John Rawlings, was a man who is full of life.
Jerry Rawlings lived like a man not counting the days in his life, but the life in each day. His passing shocked a lot of people both home and abroad, although every soul will one day taste death, his came too early for many.
Many believed he still had a lot to offer not only Ghana but humanity. Over the years, as a military leader and later a democratically elected president, he showed his unflinching love for his country. The life he lived was for Ghana first and last.
His philosophy in a united, fair and peaceful and diverse Ghana was undergirded by his tolerance when he allowed people of different faith to practice without fear of persecution.
Although a Christian, he saw the necessity to accept that only through mutual tolerance could the nation survive and prosper, that was why he went further to give Muslims in Ghana two holidays.
Jerry Rawlings, believed Ghana could be better than this that, he even criticized leaders of a political party; the National Democratic Congress he founded.
He had an abiding faith in the ability and capacity of Ghana, that he never stopped talking about where we have gone wrong and how to turn things around.
He was passionate about the fight against corruption, that he did not only preach it, but practice it in the 19 years that he was the Head of State.
Until his death, corruption was one of the societal ills he detested. He fought the canker that has robbed the country of badly needed development until his last breathe.
At his death, he is variously described as a giant, man of integrity, who imbibed the idea of probity and accountability, in fact he was all those and more.
Jerry Rawlings, believed so much in sharing and would go to great lengths to assuage the pains felt by people he met along his path, this is a story shared by many.
As he is laid to rest today, we have a firm belief that his Maker, the Almighty God, will judge him fairly and grant him eternal repose. That ought to be the consolation for his family and a grateful nation.