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Growing up, I learnt about a man who was portrayed almost in all narrations as treacherous, insensitive and [a] dictator. Kind courtesy pre fourth republic history and values I uphold myself, I came to an understanding, the roots and inspiration of/to some happenings during your over two decade rule as Head of State and President in the AFRC/PNDC and fourth republic days respectively.
Generally, I could realise actions of an ouster drived by a desire to fight social and economic impoverishment bred mainly by corruption and lack of direction.
Like you openly admitted regret in a number of your inactions and decisions taken during your time as leader of a military juntas in recent interviews, rights and freedoms which were alien during that regime were denied the ordinary person. Till date, relations of such individuals who suffered the enmity of those times continue to have a soiled affection for anything “J.J”.
How interesting the political growth of a military capo, sunk in authoritarianism remains the “father” of Ghana’s fourth Republican Democracy. Through an NDC machinery, you won an election and became President in 1993 and were retained in your ’96 bid. Most colourful of your democratic deeds was your peaceful transfer of power to President J.A Kuffour and for that matter, the new NPP Government in the year 2000 (four months before my birth) upon expiry of your term as President and Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. Senior analysts say that peculiar stage of an 8-year old system as at that time is what truly justified your genuineness in proclaiming and embracing a working democracy.
Post Presidency, your life as a Statesman and Diplomat was unfettered as you became a strong influencer in both national and international affairs.
I endeavour to carry on your crusade for probity, transparency and accountability in public service.
Although no more with us, your legacy remains immortal!
GHANA IS THANKFUL OF YOUR SERVICE.
Rest in peace, Soldier!
Rest in peace, Papa J’!
(10 Moroe Kojo Ln, Anaji-Takoradi, Ghana)
Tel: +233 50 615 0791)