Jerry Rawlings: From ‘khaki to kente’ – How Rawlings escape firing squad, stage two coup d’états and win two elections for Ghana in 20 years – BBC News

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  • BBC News Pidgin, Ghana

After six year romance between Victoria Agbotui den James R. John a Scotish man, dem born Rawlings on 22nd June, 1947 for Adabraka.

As a child he attend Mercy Sam school where he develop interest in arts as a child.

Years later Rawlings go Achimota School where he secure en General Certificate of Education ‘O’ Level in 1966.

During en days for Achimota School, he encounter de likes of Kwame Nkrumah who at de time be Prime Minister of Ghana.

After Achimota School Jerry John Rawlings join de Ghana Armed Forces to become a pilot.

In 1969, he graduate as commissioned Pilot Officer wey he win de highest “Speed Bird Trophy” as best airforce cadet for de flying training school wey by 1978 he rise to de rank of Flight-Lieutenant.

Rawlings marry en wife Nana Konadu on 29th January, 1977 after dem date each other for almost a decade.

On May 28, 1979, Flt.-Lt. Rawlings den other six military officers appear before court after failed coup attempt.

He justify de coup as en idea wey he cite corruption and headship as en reason for de coup.

Rawlings appear before court wey during de court proceedings he talk de judge say make dem hold am guilty and free an colleagues sake of he be de man behind de failed coup.

De court sentence Rawlings to death by firing squad on June 7, 1979.

But a group of junior army officers help J.J Rawlings escape from prison after which he successfully remove de ruling govment of Supreme Military Council.

Shortly after he stage successful overthrow of de Supreme Military Council (SMC) govment who he led the group in a coup to oust the Akuffo Government and Supreme Military Council.

He form de Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) wey dem take over power.

During de 112 days of de AFRC leadership, Rawlings order de execution of eight military officer by firing squad.

Dem dey include Generals Kotei, Joy Amedume, Roger Felli, and Utuka, den also three former heads of state including Afrifa, Acheampong den Akuffo.

He hand over power to civilian government led by Dr Hilla Limann.

Two years after de handover he stage second coup d’etat in 31st December 1981 which he blame on poor economic management den tins.

At de time foreign debt be high wey inflation dey around 140%, Ghanaians make very unhappy wey dis spill over in public unrest.

Dis time around he take over govment den form de Peoples National Defence Council (PNDC).

Rawlings under de PNDC take over Ghana in 1982 as military regime which he model after Marxist den Soviet systems.

Between 1983 and 1987, Rawlings survived five coup attempts.

But de country go through serious economic challenges which make he start dey seek help from IMF den tins.

IMF help am introduce austerity measures den economic recovery plan for Ghana.

Finally, dem push am to move Ghana from military regime to democracy.

In 1992 he put together commission wey put together de 1992 Constitution of Ghana which usher Ghana into de Fourth Republic.

Rawlings form new party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) which win de 1992 elections.

Rawlings win de 1992 and 1996 elections under a multi-party democratic system.

After de revolutionary days, Rawlings drop de khaki military uniform wey he pick up de wearing of batakari and kente as en new outfit.

In 1995, he meet plus musician Michael Jackson who present sword give am as symbol of en commitment to building de economy of Africa.

Wetin we call dis foto,

Rawlings wit Michael Jackson

Rawlings under democratic rule become very open to de rest of de world.

Unlike before where he just dey engage plus military leaders like Muamar Ghaddafi, other world leaders start dey recognise am.

In 1998 US President Bill Clinton visit Ghana under de leadership of Rawlings.

On March 23, 1998, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton arrived in Accra, Ghana, to begin en six-country, 12-day visit to Africa.

He meet J.J Rawlings first for Ghana as part of de plans by US to push for “de beginning of a new African renaissance.”

In 1999 Rawlings get Queen Elizabeth, visit Ghana for de second time, en first visit be.

Wetin we call dis foto,

Jerry Rawlings wit Queen Elizabeth

In year 2000, political observers across de world watch closely how events go unfold for Ghana.

As to whether J.J Rawlings to leave power peacefully after servicing two terms in office under de 1992 Constitution or he go hold on to power.

Surprisingly, he hand over power peacefully to de opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) after John Agyekum Kufuor win de 2000 elections.

Jerry John Rawlings after de handing over power in year 2000 leave de political space quietly plus en wife Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.

Towards de end of en life, Rawlings reduce en activities to delivery powerful speeches on corruption, probity den accountability.

He keep Ghana leaders on dema toes to ensure say dem go push for economic development give de citizens.

Rawlings be one extraordinary African leader who break all odds to become one of de biggest political figures in Africa.

He survive firing squad, stage two successful coup d’états, win two democratic elections within 20 years of en life as leader of Ghana.

On November 12, 2020 he die after short illness for Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra.

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Jerry Rawlings: From ‘khaki to kente’ – How Rawlings escape firing squad, stage two coup d’états and win two elections for Ghana in 20 years – BBC News

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