The Military High Command led by Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa, have expressed their condolences to former president Jerry John Rawlings and his family on the loss of his mother, Madam Victoria Agbotui.
According to a statement issued by the Communications Directorate of the former president’s office and signed by Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, General Akwa who led a delegation of the High Command to call on the former president and his family last Friday, stated that they were saddened by the news of the loss of Madam Agbotui.
“Mothers are very special persons and they give encouragement, enlightenment and take care of us from cradle to grave. The loss of a mother is an occasion for great regret. Take consolation in the fact that it is a call to higher glory,” Lt General Akwa stated.
The Chief of Defence Staff also assured the former president and his family that the Ghana Armed Forces stands in readiness to offer every support necessary to ensure the success of the funeral of Madam Agbotui.
On the same day, former President John Agyekum Kufuor sent a delegation led by his eldest son, John Addo Kufuor, to call on the former president and his family to “commiserate and console” them.
Mr Addo Kufuor said: “The country has been informed of the loss of a matriarch and the mother of our former president Rawlings. Of course in our society, the matriarch plays a very important role.
“The matriarch is an arbiter of peace and a store of knowledge for the family. If she is the matriarch of the president’s family, literally she is the mother of the nation. So, this is a significant event and I believe not many of our presidents have risen that high with their matriarchs in place.
“Therefore, we have been sent by former president Kufuor, my father, to come and commiserate and console the former president and his family.”
On Wednesday, a delegation of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference led by its President, Most Rev. Philip Naameh, also called to console former president Rawlings and the Agbotui family on the loss of Madam Victoria Agbotui.
Archbishop Naameh who is also the Archbishop of Tamale said, even though the loss of a mother is sad and painful, they prayed that the Good Lord grant the former president and the Agbotui family comfort and courage to accept the loss with the hope that she is having eternal rest in peace.
“We commend the gentle soul of your dear mother into the loving hands of God and pray for your consolation and that of your family.”
Relatedly, during a condolence visit on Thursday, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Affail Monney recounted how he met Madam Agbotui as a young reporter when the then President, Jerry Rawlings, instructed that he and his colleagues go and interview his mother.
“I happened to be in his office and he instructed us to go to Madina and interview his mother. The interaction we had is still lodged in my memory.
“A lovely mother, very calm disposition and I wish she could have exceeded the 100 plus years she spent on earth.”
Mr Monney said the GJA had a moral obligation to mourn with the former president, saying, “The loss of a mother, regardless of the age can inflict destabilising consequences, so we are here to console him and tell him that his loss is our loss and we stand by him.”
Other delegations that have called on the former president and his family include a delegation from the Gbi Traditional Area, led by Togbe Keh XII, queen mothers from the Hohoe Traditional Area, and NDC executives from the Korle Klottey constituency.
Ambassadors Dan Abodakpi and Victor Gbeho alternated in thanking the delegations and informing them of the funeral arrangements scheduled for Saturday October 24 in Accra and Dzelukope.
By Times Reporter