A former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, has died, Ghanaian media reported on Thursday.
Rawlings is suspected to have died from COVID-19 complications at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
He was a former Ghanaian military leader and, later, civilian President between 1981 to 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military and became the first President of Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
“Jerry Rawlings was an African giant,” former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar said in a tribute shared on Twitter. “His tenure as leader of Ghana remains emblematic with the restoration of that country. Even after office, he stood tall for African unity and renaissance.”
Ex-Senate President, Bukola Saraki described the late Rawlings as a pan-Africanist.
“From his early days as a young revolutionary, to his later years as a renowned statesman and pan-Africanist, Jerry Rawlings always led from the front and matched his words with his actions,” Saraki said via Twitter.