President Nana Akufo Addo has ordered a one-week mourning period as the country comes to terms with the death of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings. Many Ghanaians view Rawlings as the “father of democracy.”
In the streets of the capital, Accra, people spoke of their shock upon hearing the news of Rawlings’ death. “It’s unbelievable, I can’t even talk, I just saw the news,” Thomas Mensah, a resident in Accra, told DW.
“He was a father to us,” Priscilla Akoto, another resident, said. “It is sad.”
From junta to civilian rule
Before the elections in 1992, Rawlings established the National Commission on Democracy (NCD) and employed it to survey civilian opinion to facilitate a democratic transition. The NCD released a report recommending an executive president, establishing a national assembly and creating a prime minister post. This report paved the way for democracy in Ghana.
DW’s Eddy Micah Jr., a Ghanaian who was 12 years old when Ghana returned to civilian rule, said people respect Rawlings for ending the political chaos in Ghana and instilling discipline within the military.