An eternal tragedy struck on the political terrain of Ghana as the country’s charismatic former President Jerry Rawlings died of complications from COVID-19, aged 73.
Specifically, the late Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947.
The ex-president reportedly died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana, on Thursday morning.
A military ruler, who later joined politics, Rawlings ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001.
He led a junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically-elected president of Ghana.
A flight lieutenant of the Ghanaian Air Force, Rawlings first staged a military coup as a young revolutionary on May 15, 1979.
That was five weeks before the scheduled elections to return the country to civilian rule.
When the coup failed, he was imprisoned, publicly court-martialed and sentenced to death.
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).
He then 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.