Jerry Rawlings, Ghana’s former president, dies

Former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings is dead, the country’s local media has reported. He was 73-years-old.

He died on Thursday at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, where he had been admitted a week earlier.

Local media reports indicate that he succumbed to Covid-19 complications.

He was president between 1981 and 2001. Before that, he led junior Ghanaian army officers in an unsuccessful coup in 1979 in a bid to overthrow the government of General F.K. Akuffo.

He was imprisoned soon after but was released months later after junior military officers attempted another coup that succeeded.

Rawlings led the country briefly as the leader of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council. During this three-month period, the Council oversaw the execution of three former Heads of State – Akuffo, Ignatius Acheampong and Akwasi Afrifa.

Two years later, however, Rawlings ousted President Limann on grounds that his government was ineffective and that Ghana’s economy was in poor shape. It is during this period that Rawlings’ rule began until he retired in 2001, handing over power to John Kufuor.

Rawlings leaves behind his wife Nana and three children – Zanetor, Amina and Kimathi Rawlings.

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