John Jerry Rawlings, Former Ghanian President and Air Force Officer who steered Ghana to stable democracy, died on Thursday, November 12, 2020. He was 73.

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He died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after “a short illness”.

J. J Rawlings led two coups, first in 1979, before being elected as president of the nation twice.

Brief history of J.J Rawlings. Who was he?

J. J Rawlings was born June 22, 1947 to Ramsey John, a Scottish chemist and Victoria Agbotui, a Ghanian.

Rawlings received his basic education at Achimota before enlisting for the Ghana Air Force, where he excelled and graduated in 1969.

Lietenaut Colonel J. J Rawlings in uniform when he was still a military officer

Rawlings fought against corruption as he jailed many businessmen when he first seized power in 1979. The process was tagged ” house cleaning exercise” by his entourage. He was also behind the execution of several heads of state and flogging of market women accused of profiteering.

In 1992, Rawlings was elected President of the country for the first time after he introduced multi-party elections.

After two successive terms as president, he stepped down in 2001.

He was a charismatic and great leader whom many regarded as a man of the poor. For all of his time in power, Rawlings fought every bit of corruption and indiscipline he could perceive. No wonder he is regarded as a man who stirred Ghana to a stable democracy.

Tributes continue to pour since his death was announced. 

Ghana’s current President, Nana Akufo-Addo has announced a seven days national mourning for the great leader.

“A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss”, he said

He is survived by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings; his daughters Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings and Amina Rawlings; and his son, Kimathi Rawlings.


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