Ghana’s former President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, has accepted an invitation from the government of Burkina Faso to chair a committee to institute a fitting memorial for the late Burkinabe leader, Thomas Sankara. He accepted the invitation when the Secretary General of the Burkina Faso Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Dr Stanlislas Bermile Meda, led a delegation to Accra to deliver a formal request from the Burkinabe government.
Dr Meda told President Rawlings that he had been nominated because of his close relationship with Thomas Sankara, his sense of dedication to the masses and the fact that he oversaw the establishment of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum. The Burkinabe official said his government had decided to replicate the Nkrumah Mausoleum to honour Captain Sankara. The Nkrumah Mausoleum was inaugurated in July 1992.
In accepting the invitation, Flt Lt Rawlings said: “It is a privilege, an honour and a big responsibility. I do accept it and believe with the support of your government and the humble people of Burkina Faso, we should be able to come up with a monument befitting of Capt. Thomas Sankara.
Captain Thomas Sankara rose to prominence in 1983 when he took power in a popular uprising. He renamed his country Burkina Faso from the French colonial Upper Volta and pursued a self-sufficiency drive, consisting of land reform, prioritising education through a national literacy campaign and the promotion of public health through a massive immunisation drive. He was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d’état in 1987.