The funeral date of the late Jerry John Rawlings has been postponed, an aide Kwabena Andoh has confirmed.
The funeral had been planned on 23 December 2020, but there has been a disagreement over the date within the Agbotui and Awadada families.
“The office of former President Jerry John Rawlings informs the general public that his funeral will no longer take place on Wednesday December 23, 2020.
“A new date will be communicated to the public in due course.
“The inconvenience to all who had made prior arrangements for the funeral ceremonies is deeply regretted,” a statement from Rawlings’ office said.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed the international community about the development.
“Due to unforeseen circumstances, the funeral will not be held from 20th December, 2020 as planned… The new date for the funeral will be communicated in due course,” the Ministry’s communique to all diplomatic missions said.
The government of Ghana has since asked the families to resolve the issue in order to plan towards a “befitting state burial.”
“The President would be grateful if the families of the late President could resolve all outstanding matters and convey to the Office of the President an agreed date for his funeral, for the necessary action to be taken as soon as possible,” the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, said in a letter to the families.
Rawlings died on Thursday, 12 November 2020 following a short sickness at the Korle Bu Hospital. He was 73.
Jerry John Rawlings was born on 22 June 1947 is a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979.
He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.
Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979. Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on 15 May 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the Fourth Republic. He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000.
Until his death he served as the African Union envoy to Somalia.