President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Akufo has directed that the Ghana national flag is hoisted at half-mast from today November 13 to November 20 in honour of the memory of the late former President Jerry John Rawlings.
The former President died on Thursday, November 12 at 10:10 am at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, where he was receiving treatment after a short illness.
In a statement announcing his death, President Akufo-Addo also declared seven days of national mourning. Akufo-Addo further stated that he and Vice President Bawumia had suspended their re-election campaign for the same period.
The statement noted, “Government will work closely with the family of President Rawlings on the arrangements for a fitting state funeral for the late President…”
President Akufo-Addo described the death of the first President of the fourth republic as “a great tree” that has fallen, “and Ghana is poorer for this loss”.
Jerry John Rawlings was born on 22 June 1947. As a military and later a civilian leader, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings (Rtd.) ruled the country from 31 December 1981 to 7 January 2001; he was a leader of the ruling Armed Forces Revolutionary Council for a few months in 1979.
Rawlings led the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) junta from 1981 until 1993.
He then served a second civilian term from 7 January 1997 until 7 January 2001.
After the two-term constitutional limit, Rawlings endorsed for the 2000 presidential election, then Vice-President Professor John Atta Mills as his preferred presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
But Atta-Mills lost to J.A. Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Rawlings will be remembered across Africa as the African Union envoy to Somalia during heavy fighting in the horn of Africa.
The former president also sent Ghanaian peacekeeping soldiers to Liberia during the civil war of the 1990s and settled Liberian refugees in Ghana. In the 1980s, he sent a ship to bring home Ghanaians who were being sacked from Nigeria.
J.J. Rawlings left behind his wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings; three daughters, Zanetor, Yaa Asantewaa and Amina; and a son Kimathi.
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