It has been announced that former Ghana President Jerry John Rawlings has died at the age of 73.


A charismatic figure, in African and worldwide politics, he led two coups, first in 1979, before twice being elected president in multiparty polls.


Railing against corruption when he first seized power, he was responsible for executing several former heads of state for their alleged graft and mismanagement and was also seen as a champion of the poor, but came to be criticised for alleged human rights abuses.


The son of a Scottish farmer and a Ghanaian mother, he entered the Ghana Air Force, graduating in 1969 before becoming a senior officer in the air force.


He overthrew a military government, handing over power to a civilian leader.


In 1981, Rawlings led a second coup and was the head of a military junta until introducing multi-party elections in 1992, when he was first elected president. He stepped down in 2001 after serving two terms but continued to wield a strong influence in the country.


He began his time in power as a committed socialist, but later introduced free-market reforms. He ushered in a long period of political stability after a tumultuous series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s.


In later years, Rawlings campaigned for African nations to have their international debts written off.


He died in hospital in the capital, Accra, after a short illness.


Former Nigeria senate president, Abubakar Bukola Saraki and wife Toyin Saraki don also react to di death of Jerry Rawlings.


Oga Saraki say; "Jerry Rawlings always lead from di front and match im words wit actions." while im wife, Toyin pray for God to grant Rawlings eternal and restful peace.


The country’s main opposition presidential candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar say; "Jerry Rawlings na African giant and im tenure as leader of Ghana remains strong."


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari added: "the entire African continent will sorely miss the sterling qualities of the great leader".


"The passion, discipline and moral strength that the former Ghanaian leader employed to reposition his country over many years continue to reverberate across the continent and beyond."


African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said: "Africa has lost a stalwart of Pan-Africanism and a charismatic continental statesman".

While Liberian President George Weah said "Ghana, Liberia and Africa will miss a great leader.”


The former World Footballer of the Year added: "Liberia remembers his immense contribution to the attainment and sustainment of peace during our dark days of our own history."


Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo, announced seven days of national mourning. "A great tree has fallen, and Ghana is poorer for this loss," he said in a statement.