Haruna Iddrisu (NDC- Tamale South MP), the Minority Group Leader in Parliament, has advised that the office of a former president is respected so that the country does not deprive any former president of his privileges.
“Those who celebrate Jerry Rawlings today, there are many who didn’t appreciate him. I have said that let the death of Jerry Rawlings ignite and resolve in the Ghanaian and every Ghanaian to respect the office of former President. Let’s preserve it, let’s honour it, let’s dignify it,” observed Haruna Iddrisu, who was one of the speakers at a symposium organised by the NDC in memory of the late former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings.
He continued, in reference to the actions of President Akufo-Addo who was once Attorney General: “If we respect that office and know that he has served and served Ghana in that highest capacity, you’ll not strip him of his privileges and facilities and turn around to want to honour him in death.”
Haruna Iddrisu noted that humiliating JJ Rawlings by stripping him of his privileges as a former President does not speak well of a country regarded as the beacon of democracy in Africa, thus taking a direct swipe at President Akufo-Addo, then Attorney-General, and Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, then Foreign Affairs Minister, who denied Rawlings access to the VIP lounge of the Kotoka Airport, resulting in the latter carrying his own luggage and joining queues at the departure and arrival halls during the first term of the Kufuor administration.
According to Professor Miranda Greenstreet recommendations, the former president was entitled to up to six months of travel outside Ghana with his family and a few aides.
However, one-time Attorney General and now current President Akufo-Addo argued that some aspects of those recommendations were privileges and not entitlements, and once he deemed Rawlings to have had a series of “boom” speeches that criticised the Kufuor administration, he Akufo-Addo, consequently withdrew those privileges.
As Foreign Affairs Minister, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang enforced those decisions by ordering all Ghanaian diplomatic missions abroad to not accord Rawlings any courtesies such as meeting him at the airports abroad when he arrived at foreign destinations and stopped all transport protocols, hotel bookings and convivialities for him.
“I am not saying this to say that, I do not appreciate what is being done, but [the past disgrace was] avoidable; some error that we do as a country to humiliate people who have sacrificed their lives, dedicated their lives to public service, does not serve the good of our country,” Haruna Iddrisu stressed.
The symposium, held at the Kama Conference Centre on Monday forms part of a series of activities planned to commemorate the legacy of the late former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Rtd.).
Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Rtd.) passed away on Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness.
He was 73-years-old.
He left behind his wife the former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, and four children.