Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings has died in Accra Thursday morning, local media reports.
He is said to have passed on at the nation’s premier hospital, the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
Jerry Rawlings had been on admission at the hospital for about a week for an undisclosed ailment. There are rumors that he died from COVID-19 complications, but this has not been confirmed.
Local online news portal, Graphic Online reports that Mr. Rawlings felt sick after his mother’s burial about three weeks ago.
As a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician, Rawlings led a military junta from 1981 until 1992.
He then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana from January 1993 to January 2001.
The late former president initially came to power as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup in 1979.
Before this, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government in 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on December 31, 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and became the first President of the 4th Republic.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years. Rawlings was 73.