Former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings has died of alleged COVID-19-related complications at the age of 73, according to a statement by President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo. Rawlings died less than a month after he buried his mother.
His death is also coming less than 24 hours after Nigeria lost an elder statesman and former Governor of Kaduna, Balarabe Musa.
Rawlings, who is one of the most respected African leaders, was a military leader in Ghana and later became a politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001. The former President initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.
The president, who announced the passing away of his predecessor in a statement said, “It is with greatest sadness that I announce to the nation that the first president of the 4th republic, His Excellency, Jerry John Rawlings, has joined his ancestors.
“This tragic event occurred at 10.10 am on Thursday, 12th November 2020 at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital where the former president was receiving treatment after a short illness.
While conveying the sympathies of the government and people of Ghana to his wife anf family, the president announced a 7-day mourning period from 13 – 20 November and ordered that flags be flown at half mast.
Meanwhile the former Kaduna government was buried few hours after his death on Wednesday at the Ungwan Sarki Cemetery some few minutes to 5:00 pm.
His burial was preceded by Islamic funeral prayers held for him at the Sultan Bello Mosque at Ungwan Sarki Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.