Former President Jerry Rawlings of Ghana has died of coronavirus-related complications at the age of 73, according to multiple reports from Ghanaian media.
The development comes less than a month after he buried his mother.
Rawlings, who is one of the most respected African leaders, was a military leader in Ghana and later became a politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001, The Punch reports.
The former President initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979.
Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on 15 May 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place.
He was until his death, the African Union envoy to Somalia.
Rawlings as leader of Ghana launched a massive anti-corruption campaign that purged the nation of corrupt political elements.
A former Nigerian Presidential candidate and media mogul, Dele Momodu, who has close links to the Ghanaian Presidency, confirmed the development on Twitter.
“The saddest news of this year. My God. Former President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana has passed on. I’m completely devastated. Good night, an African hero.”