“We can never see another leader like this again”. says Kofi Boateng
The president of Ghana, Mr. Nana Addo Akufo-Addo,has announced the demise of former president J.J Rawlings who died in the early hours of Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, aged 73.
“It is with great sadness that I announce to the nation that the 1st President of the 4th Republic, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings has joined his anscestors ” president Addo-Akufo wrote
Rawlings was a flight lieutenant of the Ghanaian Air Force, who first staged military coup as a young revolutionary on May 15, 1979, five weeks before scheduled elections to return the country to civilian rule. He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected president of the country. A military ruler, who later joined politics, and ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001.
“I convey the deep sympathies of Government and the people of Ghana to his wife,the former first lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, the children and family of the late president in this difficult times” president Akufo- Addo wrote
Jerry Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947, initially handed power over to a civilian government but took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
He however resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first president of the Fourth Republic.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years. After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian constitution. Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000.
Papa, as fondly called was so popular among the grassroots Ghanaians who saw him as a national hero and father figure, who took them from a corrupt society to a more saner one by getting rid of those with questionable characters within the military and civilian circles.
He had been spotted severally in the public controlling traffic, joining queues and making himself available to the less privileged. These are parts of the legacies he left behind in Ghana.