Papa “J” your dearest wife and children will miss you, your wonderful family and friends in Ghana and the rest of the world will miss you, but most importantly the Cadres of the Revolution in Madina and all parts of the country and the world will miss you most.
We have no one to take your place to act as a faithful, honest and dedicated leader, who hates to see someone cheated. You commanded so much respect to those who understood the intent and purposes for which the Revolution came to redeem the stinking image of Ghana’s economy.
Indeed, a great Leader of Ghana and Africa is gone.
Before the road from Zongo Junction in Madina to Social Welfare was constructed, the Late J. J. Rawlings stood and declared that, that particular section of the madina roads was going to be completed because he was impressed by the work of the Cadres and the people of Madina who voluntarily had already started to construct the road and so upon seeing this, a durbar was held at the grounds where today stands the Methodist Church, very close to Randy Pharmacy at Madina. It was at this point that J.J. declared that the road would be given out to a constructor and true to his word, he fulfilled his promise to the Cadres and people of Madina.
One remarkable phrase Papa J made when he was at the point of death “Let my people go” makes him unique and unparalleled.
During your trial after the famous 15th May, 1979 uprising you showed the world, how brave you were by telling the Jury, they should leave everybody and that you were responsible.
In view of this we saw you as our Mentor and cherished the Revolutionary ideas and named the roundabout at the Madina New Road as the Rawlings Circle in 1983.
You established the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) as a new government, People’s Defense Committees (PDCs) were formed in all neighborhoods across the length and breadth of the country as well as Workers’ Defense Committees (WDCs) to monitor production in factories and workplace to supervise all aspects of work and more particularly act as watch dogs for the defense of the revolution.
These and other hardline measures became clear by 1983, when you reversed the course and adopted conservative economic policies, through Economic Recovery Programmes (ERP), including dropping subsides and price controls in order to reduce inflation, privatizing many state – owned companies, and devaluing the currency in order to stimulate exports. To the extent, transport fares and prices of commodities were kept under control.
It was such rare Revolutionary Spirit that made Cadres to start organizing Communal labour which finally led to the reconstruction of the Madina Zongo Junction to Social Welfare Road.
The rehabilitation of public toilets and public stand pipes in the Madina Market area, the collection of mountains of refuse in the Madina market and which also led to the construction of the Madina Market as all can see today.
The construction of an underground culvert from Madina Firestone to link the main drain at Masalatsi solved flooding in that area. The tarring of link roads in the Madina Township were made motorable for vehicular traffic.
These free–market measures sharply revived Ghana’s economy, which by the early 1990’s had one of the highest growth rates in Africa.
Before 1992 you formed the consultative assembly for the drawing of a peoples’ constitution. This led to us to the path of democracy, the first presidential elections was held, you were elected the President on the ticket of the national Democratic Congress, (NDC).
You were re-elected in 1996 and stepped down from the presidency in the year 2000.
Most Cadres of the Revolution had para military training and this encouraged them greatly to sacrifice for self–help projects within the Madina Community amongst other revolutionary duties.
The organization of chiefs in the Madina cosmopolitan Area, eg. – Akans, Ewes, Ga – Adangbes and Northerners made it possible to facilitate community Development which brought unity in all community endeavours in and around the catchment Area of the then Zone “12”.
Yes, this is the man Jerry John Rawlings an epitome of a Revolutionary leader and an icon of Africa and the world, whose ideas were based on Transparency, Probity and Accountability.
His leadership role in Ghana and Africa as a whole was the product of the visionary dreams of the founding father of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
This Revolutionary zeal also led to the formation of the Madina Student Union (MASU), the emergence of an artisans’ organization into groups and association like mechanics, placing them into garages, Hair Dressers, Dressmakers, Traditional Herbalist Associations, (T.H.A) and Market Women Association. All these associations have now become national associations across the country today.
The Madina Cadres worked hard and succeeded in organizing the various ethnic groupings, churches and other organizations in Madina, and arranged meetings with them periodically to plan the welfare and safety of the people of Madina.
Amongst those who made these ideals to work include people like; Togbui, Agbotui Nyaho, J. J.’s uncle, Nana Badu Nkansah, the Head of the Akan Community Togbui. Tekpor for the North –Volta Community and Togbui Adika for the mid rally Ewe Community Col. Amenya Southern section-Anolo Nene Pene Olaga the Head of the Ga Adangbe Community, and the Northern communities, headed by the present Chief of Madina – Baba Sariki. The G.P.R.T.U. Chairman, Mr. Korkuvi, the Leader of Madina Market Women the late Bea Mame was very active in organizing the market women to support the Cadres and Community leaders in the developmental projects of the Madina Community.
As a source of encouragement and training impacted by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings the Cadres, decided to name the one and only Circle in Madina after him. The Madina Rawlings Circle as it is, is where we are having this memorial of the Great hero of our Nation.
Cadres lead by C.M. Ankude, the Zonal Organizing Assistant, Kofi Agbematsor, REC. Tetteh, Nicholas Abri to mention a few, were very vibrant, honest and fearless in the performance of their duties.
Papa J influenced the work of the then Accra District Zone 12 Secretariat which comprises Lagon, Madina, and Adenta.
One noticable achievement of the Cadres was the formation of the Arbitration and Complaints Department, that was handling various cases of dispute and were directly linked up with the Madina Police Comrades and always refer criminal cases to them for due processes of adjudication.
After the Revolutionary Era this process was changed and brought about the establishment of a Court in Madina in the same premises and now located relocated to the Madina Estate.
Madina was under very good control under the administration of the Cadres and Community Heads and gained popularity on the documentary film organize by NAFTY and name it Ghana reborn as a result of the numerous projects that the Cadres initiated, the construction of gutters from Hannah Preparatory School Junction to the Madina Post Office area.
The housing of transformer at the Atomic Junction, KVIP toilets in the Madina Market, and the Madina Cluster of Schools, extension of pipe born water to the Madina Market and many more projects that keep standing to the memory of the Revolution and Cadres.
Indeed, Papa “J” you have left an unforgettable legacy of Transparency, Probity and Accountability which stands as the bedrock upon which leadership of our dear Nation thrives.
You gave home to the ordinary man putting in him the Revolutionary Spirit that stands for truth, dedication and selflessness, this spirit absolutely no one can take away from us as Cadres.
We salute you, Papa “J” our Hero.
Ghana and the rest of the world will forever remember you.
Fare thee well, take a good Rest in Peace.
Power to the People, “Aluta Continua” unabated.