Rawlings’s death must unite Ghanaians, says Asantehene

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, shared fond memories of Jerry Rawlings, especially during his time as president

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has said the death of former President Jerry John Rawlings should serve as a unifying factor for all Ghanaians.

“I am saddened by the demise of the late former President,” the Monarch noted.

“I recount when I ascended the throne in 1999, he was the then President, I remember we had a lot of discussions on a wide range of issues,” Otumfuo Osei Tutu II made the remark after a delegation from the family of Rawlings, led by Victor Gbeho, paid a courtesy call on him at the Manhyia Palace to officially inform him of his passing.

Asantehene added: “I even told him if he leaves the presidency, the Manhyia palace is always opened as his home, and since then we have had a lot of interactions. He recently informed me about the death of his mother, I have lived peacefully with him for all this while. He was a military leader, but he didn’t hold onto power when it was time for him to leave the throne.”

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II also used the opportunity to sign the book of condolence opened in honour of the late former president on Thursday (19 November).

On his part, the leader of the delegation, Ambassador Victor Gbeho, said the family will communicate the date for the burial of the late statesman after a final decision has been taken.

“We are here to inform His Royal Majesty Otumfuo of the demise of the late President and for the state funeral, we are in touch with others to determine the date and nature and venue of the funeral. We will let Otumfuo know as soon as these are decided upon.”

The delegation included Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings and Kimathi Rawlings, daughter and son of the late leader, respectively.

Rawlings died last Thursday (12 November) at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness. He was 73.

Fred Dzakpata

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online.

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