President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the government and people of Ghana over the passing of the country’s former President, Jerry Rawlings, aged 73.
In a condolence message by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, Buhari affirmed that the entire African continent would sorely miss the sterling qualities of the great leader.
According to the Nigerian leader, the passion, discipline and moral strength that the former Ghanaian leader employed to reposition his country over many years continue to reverberate across the continent and beyond.
The president noted, with commendation, the unique role the former President played in strengthening political institutions in his country and Africa.
He lauded him for stimulating the economy for sustainable growth, and vociferously championing the African cause by urging many leaders to work towards interdependency on the global stage, especially in areas of competitive advantage.
He assured that the ideas that Rawlings postulated, particularly for development in Africa and his sacrifices in working in various countries as an envoy for peace and democracy would always be remembered.
The president prayed that the almighty God would grant the Ghanaian leader eternal rest and comfort all his loved ones.
Rawlings, who seized power twice in military coups but went on to bring democratic rule to the West African country, died on Thursday at the age of 73.
Rawlings overthrew then ruler, Gen. Frederick Akuffo in 1979 when he was an army lieutenant.
He handed over power to civilian rule soon after but then led another coup two years later, decrying the government’s corruption and weak leadership.
From 1981 to 1993, Rawlings ruled as chairman of a joint military-civilian government.
In 1992, he was elected president under a new constitution, taking up that office the following year and serving two terms before handing over power to John Kufour who succeeded him in 2001.