The leader of Ghana’s independence struggle, Kwame Nkrumah, was a skilled orator and visionary leader whose natural charisma was pretty substantial. To achieve what Nkrumah did in achieving Independence, against the dual opposition of the British and his less eager UGCC foes needed someone able to massively mobilise people just based on their presence.
Yet when looking at all the leaders Ghana has ever had, there’s one who would rival Nkrumah for charisma, and surpass him with flowery oratory – the one person who spent more time in office than any other as head of state of Ghana.
We speak, of course, of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings.
Rawlings ruled Ghana the longest, and having started out as a military ruler and later transitioning to a democratically elected one – finds himself the unique holder of several firsts in Ghana’s political history.
But the 19 years combined that he ruled this country was bathed in blood, so much blood – most stemming from his days as a military ruler. Not only did he order many atrocities himself, some occurred under his rule, perhaps without his direct knowledge but which were still enabled by the military coups he spearheaded and the policies he implemented.
In the following pages, you would find five of the worst atrocities committed either by or under the regime of Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings that live on in infamy in Ghana’s political history.