Ghana’s Former President, Jerry Rawlings, Is Dead

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Ghana's Former President, Jerry Rawlings, Is Dead
  • Ghana Declares National Week of Mourning
  • Buhari Sends Condolences

Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died at the age of 73.

He led two coups, first in 1979, before twice being elected president in multiparty polls.

He first seized power railing against corruption and was responsible for executing several former heads of state for their alleged graft and mismanagement.

John Rawlings was also seen as a champion of the poor, but came to be criticized for alleged human rights abuses.

He died on Thursday in a hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.

A week of national mourning has been announced in Ghana for the country’s longest-serving leader, who oversaw the transition to multiparty elections in what is now one of Africa’s most stable democracies.

The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama, founded by Rawlings, has announced that he is suspending campaigning for next month’s elections.

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Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the government and people of Ghana over the demise of the former President.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President said Africa would miss what he described as the deceased’s sterling qualities.

The statement reads; “President Buhari believes the passion, discipline and moral strength that the former Ghanaian leader employed to reposition his country over many years continue to reverberate across the continent and beyond.

“The President notes, with commendation, the unique role the former President played in strengthening political institutions in his country and Africa, stimulating the economy for sustainable growth, and vociferously championing the African cause by urging many leaders to work towards interdependency on the global stage, especially in areas of competitive advantage.

“President Buhari joins family, friends and associates of the former Ghanaian leader in mourning his departure, assuring that the ideas that Rawlings postulated, particularly for development in Africa, and his sacrifices in working in various countries as an envoy for peace and democracy will always be remembered.

“The President prays that the almighty God will grant the Ghanaian leader eternal rest, and comfort all his loved ones,” the statement added.

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