President Akufo-Addo has disclosed that processes are underway to rename the University of Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale after former President Jerry John Rawlings.
Delivering a tribute at the burial service of the former statesman Wednesday, he conceded that although Mr Rawlings rejected the offer while alive, naming the tertiary institution after him is an honour after his passing.
President Akufo-Addo insisted that the act is to immortalise the vibrant and energetic leader who played a significant role in the establishment of the istitution.
“Whilst he was with us, he, respectfully, declined an offer I made to him in 2017, to have the University of Development Studies (UDS), Tamale which he personally helped establish, named after him.
“Two days after his passing, at the 21st Congregation of UDS I expressed my strongest convictions that in spite of his reservations, such an honour should be accorded him,” he stated.
The President said, “I am glad that this has found favour with his [Mr Rawlings’] family, and the necessary formalities will be carried out to achieve this, that is, the Jerry John Rawlings University of Development Studies, Tamale.”
In 2019, Mr Rawlings asked the then Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh to withdraw the aspect of the University Bill that was going to ensure that the UDS was named after him.
This was because the former statesman had a long-standing principle which was “not to have any national monument or facility named after him.”
However, after his demise, many, including his family, President Akufo-Addo and the management of the UDS have advocated for the tertiary institution to be named after him.
JJ Rawlings passed away on Thursday, November 12 at 10 am.
The 73-year-old died at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a short illness.