Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has paid a courtesy visit to the wife of former president Jerry Rawlings, who died on Thursday.
Surrounded by officials and family members, Akufo-Addo visited Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings in Ghana.
Rawlings, Ghana’s longest-serving leader, died of suspected coronavirus-related complications in Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
As a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician, Rawlings led a military junta from 1981 until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana from January 7, 1993, to January 6, 2001.
“A greater tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for the loss,” Akufo-Addo said, adding that Rawlings would be given a “fitting” state funeral.
He has declared seven days of mourning in the country and suspended campaigns for next month’s election.
Before his death, Rawlings was a supporter of former President John Mahama’s re-election plan against Akufo-Addo, for the election slated on December 7.
He had on July 2 warned Ghanaians about the danger of COVID-19, tweeting: “Fellow citizens, it does not appear that we can afford the comfort of thinking the COVID-19 virus has gone weak or lessened its grip. It is there and very much around, waiting to infect and claim the lives of those of us who will underestimate its danger.”
NIGERIAN President, Muhammadu Buhari, in his condolence message to the government and people of Ghana, said the entire African continent “will sorely miss the sterling qualities of the great leader.”
The President noted the unique role Rawlings played in strengthening political institutions in his country and Africa.