The mortal remains of the former President, Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, who shockingly died last Thursday at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, is likely to be cremated as that appears to be one of his last wishes.
The 73-year old, who is credited with Ghana’s current democratic dispensation, having returned the country back to constitutional rule in 1992, before his demise, had indicated that he wants to be cremated for a very interesting reason.
Mr Rawlings, sometimes affectionately called Chairman Rawlings, who attended the popular Achimota School in Accra with his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, in one of his many interviews, said he wants to be incriminated and his ashes scattered in the Achimota Forest, where his former Alma Mata is sited.
JJ, in a tribute he wrote for his mother; Victoria Agbotui, revealed he spent more time in the Achimota Forest interacting with nature more than he did on campus.
He disclosed how many occasions his mother will visit him on campus to meet his absence because he had gone into the forest.
According to him, on one occasion, while returning from the forest, he chanced upon his mother angrily leaving a warning with a student for him.
The former Charismatic leader and founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), made the declaration during an interview with the Editorial Board of Achimota School’s magazine in 2016.
The long interview, published in April 2016 edition entitled “Walking down memory lane with his Excellency Ft. Lt Jerry John Rawlings” had the ex-Military leader, saying he wanted his remains back in the Achimota Forest to enable plants to grow.
Speaking on a number of issues covering his days at the popular school, the former President said because he loved the Achimota Forest, and he wished that when he dies, his body will be cremated and the ashes spread inside of the thick forest.
“Since I love the Achimota forest, I am looking forward to being cremated and my ashes brought to the forest and used to plant a few trees”, he said when asked what he missed most about the school.
His wish, which shocked the Editorial Board made of young Achimita students, was followed with a question by the late former President retorting “How else can we protect the forest for you?
He asked, “Are you afraid my ghost will be appearing?
But in his usual jovial self, Mr Rawlings laughed at what he had said explaining, his request is to get the forest which is one of the few historical sites left on the national capital preserved.
He laughed “Hahahahaha. So, let people believe it; that way, it will help preserve the forest”, The NDC founder went on by imploring others to emulate his wish, but was quick to add that in the event that others do not tow his line, he will be glad to be kept all alone.
“Some others should also do the same, if they don’t, the fewer the merrier. I don’t mind having that whole place to myself”.
Mr Rawlings died on Thursday, November 12, 2020 after a yet to be disclosed illness. He left behind a wife, four children and three grandchildren. He was the first democratic President of the fourth Republican Constitution