‘He Was A Soldier Of The Masses’: Atiku, Jonathan Pay Tribute To Jerry Rawlings

Emmanuel Egobiambu  
Updated November 12, 2020
A file photo of former Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings.


Tributes have continued to pour in for late Ghanaian President, Jerry Rawlings with Nigeria’s immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, joining the list. 

Jonathan in a series of tweets on his handle, Thursday, described the late Rawlings as a crusader for social justice, extending his condolences to the people of Ghana.

“As Ghana’s leader under different dispensations, he acquitted himself as a soldier of the masses and crusader for social justice,” the former Bayelsa State Governor, added.

“President Rawlings was a statesman & Pan-Africanist with strong views & drive for Africa’s renaissance & growth. He died at a time the continent needed his wisdom and experience to deal with challenging socio-political issues. May God Almighty grant his soul eternal rest.”

African Giant

The late Rawlings was an African giant and left at a time the continent needed him, Atiku noted in a condolence message.

“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,” he explained.

“He represented a generation of leaders who gave their all for the rebirth of his country and Africa at large. I pray for a pleasant repose of his soul and console with the people of Ghana; his contemporaries and current leaders in Africa on the loss of a worthy patriot.”


Rawlings is suspected to have died from COVID-19 complications at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra on Thursday.

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.