Former Ghanaian military leader and President, Jerry John Rawlings, has passed on.
The 73-year-old died of coronavirus complications at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on Thursday morning.
He had been admitted at the hospital shortly after he buried his mother about a month ago.
Rawlings, a military ruler, who later joined politics, ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001.
He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected president of Ghana
A flight lieutenant of the Ghanaian Air Force, Rawlings first staged military coup as a young revolutionary on May 15, 1979, five weeks before scheduled elections to return the country to civilian rule.
When it failed, he was imprisoned, publicly court-martialed and sentenced to death.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
Rawlings as leader of Ghana launched a massive anti-corruption campaign that purged the nation of corrupt political elements.
He then 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.
He was until his death, the African Union envoy to Somalia.
A former Nigerian Presidential candidate and media mogul, Dele Momodu, confirmed the sad news in a tweet.
“The saddest news of this year. My God. Former President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana has passed on. I’m completely devastated. Good night, an African hero.”
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