Jerry John Rawlings was a Ghanaian military officer and politician who led the country from 1981 to 2001. He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected president of Ghana. He died after a short illness in November 2020, aged 70.
About Jerry Rawlings in brief
Jerry John Rawlings was a Ghanaian military officer and politician who led the country from 1981 to 2001. He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected president of Ghana. Rawlings came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979. After 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. In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress, and became the first President of the Fourth Republic. He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years, and endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as a presidential candidate in 2000. He died after a short illness in November 2020, aged 70, and was buried in Accra, the capital of Ghana, on November 21, 2020. He had three daughters: Zanetor Rawlings, Yaa Asantewaa Rawlings and Amina Rawlings; and one son, Kimathi Rawlings. He also served as the African Union envoy to Somalia. He is survived by his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman, and a son, Ayo Rawlings-Agyeman. He has a daughter, Yaw, and two sons, Ayano and Kwasi, who were born in Ghana in the 1970s. He and his wife were married in 1998. He later died in a car crash in Ghana, in which he was hit by a stray bullet.
His son Ayo was killed in a road accident in 2007. He left Ghana in 2009. He wrote a biography of his father, a former Ghanaian president, and his daughter-in-law, a British journalist. He served as a member of the Free Africa Movement, an underground movement of military officers who wanted to unify Africa through a series of coups. In 1979, he staged a coup against the government of General Fred Akuffo, but failed and was arrested by the military. He became the Chairman of a 15-member Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), which ruled primarily of junior officers. The AFRC ruled for 112 days and executed eight military officers, including Generals Kotei, Joy Amedume, Roger Felli, and Utuka Utuka, as well as three former heads of state; Acheampong, Akuffleo, and Akrifa Afrifa. On September 24, 1979, Rawling was handed over to the civilian government by the President of Ghana; he was later executed by firing squad by a firing squad on September 24. After the coup, he later implemented a wider-house exercise involving the killings and abductions of over 300 Ghanaians. He grew discontented with Ignatius Kutu Acheampsong’s government, which had come to power through a coup in January 1972. He claimed that the government was corrupt beyond redemption and that new leadership was required for Ghana.