A former president of Ghana is being hailed by many for doing the unexpected – directing vehicular traffic.
Jerry John Rawlings, a former military leader and first president of Ghana’s fourth republic, was captured on Sunday evening intervening in a traffic situation on a busy street in Prampram, a coastal town in the country’s Greater Accra region
Local media report that drivers often create four lanes on a single-lane road, causing severe traffic and leaving commuters stranded.
The former head of state, who had often noticed the indiscipline on that stretch of road, decided to step out of his car to control traffic flow when he bumped into a similar scene this weekend.
According to a close associate, Rawlings, who was not satisfied with the conduct of the drivers, decided to “step out and direct traffic and bring a sense of orderliness”.
His act drew the attention of passersby and hawkers who were heard praising him for his efforts in a viral video that had been shared on social media.
The former leader has since made a passionate appeal for joint police and military operation to be posted to the area to manage traffic and ensure discipline, reports local media 3News.
Rawlings, a former Ghanaian military leader and politician, ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a short period in 1979. He led a military junta until 1992 and served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.
Currently focused on writing his memoirs, Rawlings is globally admired for his patriotism, charisma, and his anti-corruption ideals. He remains politically active both locally and internationally.
Not too long after leaving office in 2001, Rawlings volunteered time and was committed as an Eminent Person for the United Nations International Year of Volunteers 2001.
He engaged himself in the fight to contain HIV/AIDS in various African countries including Botswana, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Swaziland and Tanzania.
In October 2010, the African Union appointed Jerry John Rawlings as the AU High Representative to Somalia to “mobilize the continent and the rest of the international community to fully assume its responsibilities and contribute more actively to the quest for peace, security and reconciliation in Somalia.”
The 71-year-old is still instrumental in Ghana’s social justice, political and socio-economic development.
African leaders ordinarily do not get on the grounds to do dirty jobs, but Rawlings was, during his tenure, spotted cleaning gutters and sweeping streets in the 1990s.
Other African leaders have since followed suit, especially when canvassing for votes.