Former Ghanaian leader, J.J Rawlings dies at 73

J.J Rawlings: Dead

Former military president of Ghana, John Jerry Rawlings, is dead.

The 73-year -old former President succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday morning at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana, according to reports.

Popularly known as J.J, Rawlings was born on 22 June, 1947.

His death came less than a month to the 2020 presidential election of Ghana.

The former President was supporting former President John Mahama against the incumbent  Nana Akufo Addo in the election.

Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.

Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on 15 May 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.

After initially 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 (PNDC).

In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the Fourth Republic.

He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.

 After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice- president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000.

He served as the African Union envoy to Somalia.