The remains of the first president of Ghana’s 4th Republic and father of its democratic State, Jerry John Rawlings, was laid to rest on Wednesday.
Rawlings was buried with full military honours, at the military cementary in Accra, after a funeral service at Ghana’s independence square.
Rawlings was the son of a Scottish farmer and a Ghanaian mother. He joined Ghana airforce in 1969. After a decade as a senior office, he carried out a coup against a millitary governor to hand over power to a civilian leader.
In 1981, he led a second coup,and was the head of a millitary junta. Under the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), Rawlings piloted the execution of “corrupt” military officers and politicians of the country.
Introducing multiplicity elections in 1992, he was elected as the first president, and stepped down in 2001, after serving two terms. Still, he continued to weird a strong influence in the country.
Obinwannem News had reported that Ghana’s Jerry Rawlings dies at 73 in November, 2020. It was said he died of COVID-19 complications. His funeral was delayed due to political squabbling.
President of Ghana Nana Akufo Addo described Rawlings as “charismatic, energetic, and fearless”.
“It is for good reason that this well-known, and often cited ideals of probity and accountability, in which he invested a great deal of his political life; are enshrined in the fourth Republican constitution,” said Akufo Addo.
He stated the monumental development experienced in the country, “under the government of Rawlings would linger in the hearts of many generations to come”.
Many Ghanaians headed to the square to pay Rawlings their last respect, despite government order to watch the ceremony on TV, in order to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Mourners who graced the funeral include Liberia’s president, Geaorge weah; Sierra Leone leader, Julius Maada Bio; and representative from UN and Africa union.
Ijeoma Njoku reporting, Obinwannem News