1 Year On: Remembrance to be held for Jerry John Rawlings today

Former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings passed on at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra a year ago today.

Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings

To mark this anniversary, his family has announced a remembrance mass in his honour at the Holy Spirit Cathedral at Adabraka in Accra.

Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings was a former military leader and subsequently became a politician who ruled Ghana from 1981 to 2001, and also for a brief period in 1979.

He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.

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.

A charismatic figure, he first seized power railing against corruption and was responsible for executing several former heads of state for their alleged graft and mismanagement.

He was also seen as a champion of the poor, but came to be criticised for alleged human rights abuses.

A week of national mourning was announced in Ghana for the country's longest-serving leader, who oversaw the transition to multiparty elections in what is now one of Africa's most stable democracies.

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