In the early hours today 12th November, 2020 His Excellency the Former President of the Republic of Ghana, Flt Lt (rtd) Jerry John Rawlings was said to have passed on at the Korle-Teaching Hospital after a short illness.
News circulating the local media speculate COVID-19 may have been a prime factor in his death, but that is yet to be confirmed. His death comes just weeks after the burial of his mother Victoria Agbotui, who passed recently.
Jerry John Rawlings passes on – A brief history about the former President
His Excellency the Former President of Ghana, Flt Lt (rtd) Jerry John Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947 to a Ghanaian mother from Dzelukope in the Volta Region, and a Scottish father. He completed his secondary education with an O’ Level General Certificate of Education in 1966. He then joined the Ghana Air Force in 1967, where he subsequently enrolled at the officer cadet training school at Teshie in Accra, and later at Takoradi.
He completed training as a commissioned Pilot Officer in 1969 and won the “Speed Bird Trophy”, as the best cadet in flying and airmanship. Being a skilful officer, he earned the rank of Flight Lieutenant in April 1978.
He led the first failed coup d’état which sought to overthrow the regime of General Fred Akuffo on 15th May 1979. Jerry John Rawlings was thus arrested, imprisoned, and sentenced to death. But before he could be executed, his friends in the Ghana military led by Junior Officers freed him and overthrew the regime of General Fred Akuffo in a coup on June 4, 1979.
Jerry John Rawlings subsequently overthrew Dr. Hilla Limann’s constitutional government on December 31, 1981, citing weakness in leadership and economic malfeasance. He soon became a military leader who transitioned to become the first president of the 4th Republic of Ghana. He thus transitioned from authoritarianism to multiparty democracy and spearheaded the country into economic recovery.
Jerry John Rawlings Passes on – Here are 6 of his notable accomplishments to the development of Ghana
- Jerry John Rawlings returned Ghana to democratic rule in 1992, after a public referendum by a wide majority approved a new constitution. Other African Countries like Nigeria, Togo, and Côte d’Ivoire were unable to achieve that feat at the time.
- Expanded electricity to the Northern parts of Ghana which past governments seemed to have ignored.
- Under the NDC’s agricultural policy and program from 1994-2000, Ghana’s Food Production Index of 148% for 1995-1997 was recognized as “the third-highest achievement” in the world after Jordan (157%) and China (156%) according to the World Bank’s 1999-2000 Development Report. In short, Ghana was recognized as one of the leading food producers in the world.
- Under his leadership, Rawlings constructed the six-lane dual carriage road that leads to the four-lane dual carriage road from the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to Independence Avenue.
- He engaged in peacekeeping missions and achieved political and economic stability in some countries particularly in the Sub-Saharan region filled with conflicts such as Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia Togo, and Sierra Leone.
- In 1983, Rawlings housed hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians living in Nigeria who were expelled. He sheltered them at the El -Wak Stadium and then reunited them to their family homes. An advanced country like Germany witnessed a negative impact on its economy during the German reunification.
His Excellency the Former President of Ghana, Flt Lt (rtd) Jerry John Rawlings was a fearless leader respected by many.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE