Former Finance Minister in the erstwhile Rawlings administration, Prof Kwesi Botchwey says the principles of probity and accountability espoused by Jerry John Rawlings should now more than ever bring awakening into the nation.

Interacting with JoyNews after paying his last respect to the late former Statesman at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) Monday, Prof Botchwey said Ft Lt Rawlings exhibited extraordinary leadership when the country was at the “brink of social disintegration”.

As such, the cardinal principles Mr Rawlings displayed in restoring the country, particularly, the economic sector must be reintroduced in his memory.

“He was someone who provided very critical leadership at a time when the nation was at a brink of total social disintegration. He provided leadership especially in the area of economic policy transformation and leadership in helping us take decision that needed to be taken even though they were painful and cost him some political blackening.

“So I hope that the cardinal principles that he stood for, that is, probity, accountability will be taken seriously. These are all values that after his tenure, eroded. So I hope that [his death] will be an awakening of the whole nation to prioritise probity and accountability at all times,” Prof Botchway said.

Eulogizing Mr Rawlings, the former Finance Minister said, “It is a very sad day for the nation, JJ was such a huge figure in our whole political sphere. And as I said in my tribute, when a man attains such a huge stature we get very used it and imagine that somehow the laws of biology wouldn’t work on him.

“But it is sad this has happened and it happened so suddenly. I think that the nation would remember him as someone who was dearly loved especially for the ordinary man who saw in him someone who spoke for the ordinary man.”

The longest-serving Finance Minister was among hundreds of notable members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who trooped into the AICC today where the body of the former President has been laid in-state as preparations for his burial get underway.