Jerry John Rawlings
Jerry John Rawlings

Former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings urged Ghanaians to use celebration of Eid ul Adha on Aug. 11 to pray for peace, love and progress for the country.

“Our prayers and sacrifices to Allah as we mark the day should be full of a common desire to see to the good of our families, communities and especially the deprived,” said a statement issued by the office of the former president. “Let us remember to pray for peace, love, and progress in our country and commit ourselves to exorcise negative tendencies that do not benefit us or our society.”

Eid ul-Adha is an Islamic festival commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son, which is observed by Muslims around the world. In Ghana, it is a public holiday.

According to Wikipedia, Rawlings is “a former Ghanaian military leader and politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979. He led a military junta until 1992 and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.”

Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana “as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979 and, after initially handing power over to a civilian government, took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council.”

In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress and became the first president of the Fourth Republic. He was reelected in 1996 for four more years. After two terms in office —  the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution — Rawlings endorsed his vice president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000.

Rawlings currently serves as the African Union envoy to Somalia.

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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