The entire Africa mourns the demise of Ghana’s former president “Jerry John Rawlings. He passed on, on 12 November 2020 at Korle but teaching hospital Accra, Ghana ,aged 73 as a result of Corona virus complications.
The current president of Ghana, Nana Akuffo Addo has ordered that the national flag be flown to half Length and also a 7days mourning for the former president.
Jerry Rawlings was born on 22 June 1947 in Accra, Ghana. To Victoria and Ramsey John, a chemist from castle Douglas in kirkcudbrightshire Scotland.
Rawlings finished his secondary School education at Achimota college in 1967. He joined the Ghana Air force shortly afterwards; on his application, the military switched his surname “John” and his middle name “Rawlings”. He was posted to Takoradi, western region, to continue his studies, he graduated in January 1969,and was commissioned as a pilot officer, winning the coveted “Speed Bird Trophy” as the best cadet in flying the SU-7 ground attack supersonic jet aircraft as a result of his aerobatic skills.
Rawlings grew discontented with Ignatius kutu Acheampong’s government, which had come to power through a coup in January 1972. Acheampong was accused not only of corruption, but also of maintaining Ghana’s dependency on pre-colonial powers that led to economic decline.
Five weeks prior to the 1979 elections, Rawlings, alongside six other soldiers staged a coup against the government of general Fred Akuffo, the coup turned out unsuccessful. And Rawlings was arrested by the Ghanaian military. Rawlings was publicly sentenced to death in a general court-martial, and immprisoned. His statement on social injustice that motivated his actions won him civilian sympathy. While awaiting execution, Rawlings was set free by a group of sympathetic soldiers. Claiming that the government was corrupt, he led another coup to overthrow the Akuffo government And supreme military council. Rawlings established and became the chairman of a 15 member Armed Forces Revolutionary council (AFRC), primarily composed of Junior officers.
He ruled the country for 112 days and arranged the execution of eight military officers by firing squad, including Generals kotei, joy ameduma, Roger felli, utuka, as well as three former heads of states including, Arifa, Acheampong, and Akuffo.
On 24 September 1979, power was peacefully handed by Rawlings to president Hilla Limann, whose people’s national party (PNP) had the support of Nkrumah’s followers. Believing the Limann regime to be unable to resolve Ghana’s neocolonial economic dependency, Jerry Rawlings led a second coup against Limann and indicated the entire political class on 31 December 1989. In place of limann’s (PNP), Rawlings established the Provisional National Defense Council(PNDC) in 1981.
After 11 years of military rule by Jerry Rawlings, he retired from the Ghana Armed Forces and served a further two democratically elected terms starting from 1993 with the 4th Republican constitution, and ending in 2001.
Jerry John Rawlings married Nana Konadu Agyema in 1977 and they had 4 lovely children together.
JJ Rawlings has been a national Hero in Ghana until his death. And he surely will continues to live in the heart of many Ghanaians.