The former President of Ghana and the founder of the National Democratic Congress ( NDC) Flt. Lt. Jeremiah John Rawlings has died at age 73.
This unfortunate incident happened on Thursday, 12th November, 2020 at 10 a.m. at the Korle-bu Teaching hospital, Accra, where he was receiving treatment for a short illness. His death was confirmed to the media by sources close to the family of the former President.
The charismatic leader was born in Accra to a Ghanaian mother Victoria Agbotui an Ewe from Dzelukope, Keta in the Volta Region and to a Scottish father, James Ramsey John, a Chemist from Castle Douglas.
He had his formal education at Achimota School and went to the military academy at Teshie.
Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a Flight Lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force.
On 15th May, 1979, five(5) weeks prior to civilian election, Rawlings and six other soldiers staged a coup against the Government of General Fred Akuffo but failed and they were arrested by the military.
He was appointed the Head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council(AFRC) by the revolting junior military officers to run the country until the ongoing election was completed.
Rawlings handed power over to Dr. Hilla Limann in September, 1979 but again overthrew Limann on 31st December, 1981.
Rawlings resigned from the military, formed the National Democratic Congress and became the first President of the Fourth Republic in 1992 serving two terms under the NDC. Cumulatively, he ruled Ghana for twenty(20) years and he is the first President to rule the nation for a long time.
During his regime;
He instituted a transition from authoritarianism to multiparty democracy and drove Ghana through the difficult years of economic recovery.
He absorbed hundreds of thousands of Guamanians living in Nigeria who were expelled and housed them at El-Wak stadium in 1983 and moved them to their family homes.
He also returned Ghana to democratic rule we are currently enjoying.
The former President expanded electricity to northern parts of Ghana.
He passed the Ghana Educational Trust Fund ( GET-fund) that is today educating million Ghanaians.
Rawlings started the expansion project and renovation of 37 Military Hospital.
Constructed Kumasi- Sunyani asphalt road, Kintampo-Tamale- Bolgatanga-Paga-Foso asphalt road and the double surfacing bitumen, Bibiani-Awaso -Sefwi-Wiaso road.
The legend established the University for Development Studies and used Hunger Award Prize money to buy books for the university’s library and introduced the policy of allowing the establishment of private tertiary institutions and made sure every district had at least two secondary schools and also providing portable water to many communities.
His Excellency, the late former President Jerry John Rawlings was a visionary leader who stood firmly against bribery and corruption.
His contribution to the socio-economic development of the nation cannot be overlooked. The NDC and Ghana at large has lost a great leader.
Source: Opemsuo.com/News Desk