He [Akufo-Addo] paid tribute to the burial service of the former statesman on Wednesday, January 27 admitting that although Mr. Rawlings refused to accept the offer while alive, it was an honor to name the tertiary instituton after him.
President Akufo-Addo, speaking during the final funeral ceremony of Mr. Rawlings at the Black Star Square in Accra said that “There are many who acknowledge him as the Founder of the 4th Republic, a Republic which has proved to be the most enduring and stable in our history, and which has witnessed eight (8) successive elections, three peaceful changes of government from one party to another, and five Presidents. For all his revolutionary antecedents, he set, in 2001, the enviable precedent, which has, since, guided our country, of respecting the two-term limit of the Presidency and superintending the orderly transfer of power to his democratically-elected successor.
President Akufo-Addo insisted on the act of immortalizing the vibrant and energetic leader who played a major role in the in the institution building.
He further said “I am glad that this has found favour with his family, and the necessary formalities will be carried out to achieve this, i.e. The Jerry John Rawlings University of Development Studies, Tamale”.
“Whilst he was with us, he, respectfully, declined an offer I made to him in 2017, to have the University of Development Studies (UDS), Tamale which he personally helped establish, named after him.
His justification was that he didn’t want a national park or facility named after him in keeping with the long-standing principle.
“Two days after his passing, at the 21st Congregation of UDS I expressed my strongest convictions that in spite of his reservations, such an honour should be accorded him,” he stated.
In 2019, Mr Rawlings requested Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, the then Education Minister, to
remove that aspect of the University Bill which ensures that the universityhas its names.
This is because the former statesman had a long-standing principle “not to be named after a national monument or facilities.”
Nevertheless, after his death, many, including his relatives, President Akufo-Addo and the UDS administration, have advocated for the tertiary institution to be named after him.
Rawlings died on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
The 73-year-old died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.
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