According to Mr Akufo-Addo, in moments of difficulty in his presidency, he could count on Mr Rawlings’ considerable “wealth of experience and knowledge,” and “on those occasions, he came through for me.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said these in a tribute to Mr Rawlings during his final funeral rites at the Black Square in Accra on Wednesday, 27 January 2021.
The President admitted that although Mr Rawlings and himself were not the best of friends at a point, with time, things changed and they came to see value in each other.
Nana Akufo-Addo stated: “It was no secret that the relationship that existed between the two of us, right from the heady days of 1979, through to my brief period in exile, his assumption of office as the 1st President of the 4th Republic, the historic Kume Preko demonstrations, my period as Attorney General and Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Kufuor administration, to my being elected 2008 NPP presidential candidate, was one of open animosity. We did not see eye to eye!!
“However, with time, things changed. We came to see value in each other, and understood, to a very large degree, our respective perspectives. One thing we had in common was our mutual commitment to public service.
“My visit to his Ridge residence in 2012 signified the easing of tensions between us, leading to a friendship that lasted for the better part of some eight (8) years. Indeed, when the Ghanaian people, in 2016, reposed, for the first time, their confidence in me in the elections of that year, one of the first persons on whom I paid a courtesy call was His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings.
“From my entry into office, right up to the day he was called by his Maker, he remained a good friend and a repository of sound advice. I knew that, in moments of difficulty in my presidency, I could count on his considerable wealth of experience and knowledge. On those occasions, he came through for me.”
Mr Rawlings died on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.
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