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All Ghana’s Leaderspdf print preview print preview
05/03/2007Page 1 of 1


Monday, March 5, 2007.

All Ghana’s Leaders

·       From Nkrumah to Kufuor


DR. Kwame Nkrumah was the Prime Minister from 1957 to 1960.  He became President when the country became a Republic in 1960. Prior to attaining these positions, he was the Leader of Government Business from 1951 to 1921.

Nkrumah was born in Nkroful in the Western Region on September 21, 1909.

In 1927, Nkrumah enrolled at the Government Training College Accra, which became part of Achimota College and obtained the Teacher’s Certificate from Achimota Training College in 1931.  He became a teacher and was later promoted to a head-teacher at the Catholic School, Axim.

Nkrumah enrolled at the Lincoln University USA in 1935 and obtained BA (Arts in 1939.  In 1942 he graduated as head of class from the seminary of Lincoln with a Bachelor of Theology degree.

Nkrumah pursued further academic ambitions and in 1942 he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.  In February 1943 he received a Master of Philosophy Degree from the same university.  Two years later, he started writing a pamphlet titled “Towards Colonial Freedom” and was honoured with a doctorate degree in law at Lincoln University and the most outstanding professor of the year by the Lincolonian.

After achieving his academic ambitions Nkrumah set his eyes on his political, ambitions and at the fledgling UGCC provided the nurturing ground.  On the recommendation of Ako Adjei and the invitation of Dr. J.B. Danquah he assumed the position of General Secretary of the UGCC in 1948.  However, he was soon to develop a frosty relationship with other executives of the UGCC after the 1948 disturbances that led to his detainment together with other executives of the UGCC who would later be known as the ‘Big Six’.

In 1949, he resigned and formed the Convention People’s Party spurring the masses to join in a nation-wide crusade with the theme, ‘Self Government Now’! a slogan that was not exactly in June with the UGCC’s call for ‘self-government within the shortest possible time’.

In a famously radical move, Nkrumah declared a nation wide ‘positive action’ and that led to a general strike all over the country.  As a result of that action, he was arrested, tried and imprisoned.  From the prison Nkrumah performed wonders, winning his seat in Accra Central overwhelmingly.  The CPP won the election and there were call for Nkrumah’s release and these were heeded by the Governor Sir Charles Arden Clarke, who then ordered him to form a government.

In April 1952, he was made Prime Minister of the Gold Coast and after another general election in 1954, which the CPP won, he was asked to form another government.

These events led to the March 6, 1957 declaration of Independence that marked the demise of the Gold Coast and the birth of Ghana.  In 1958, Nkrumah got married to Helena Ritz Fathia an Egyptian and understandably it was a move that was aimed at symbolishing the need to bring Africans together as one people.

In 1960, the CPP won a referendum which made Ghana a Republic and Nkrumah, the President.  In 1964, he won another referendum which made Ghana a one Party State.  Although, hailed as the founder of the country, this move and others like the Preventive Detention Act appeared to have irked his political opponents and subsequently contributed to his overthrow on February 24, 1966, albeit with some western influence.

Kwame Nkrumah died in Conakry, Guinea on April 27, 1972 where he had been in political exile after his overthrown.

On July 7, 1972 his body was brought down to the country, and buried first in Nkroful, his hometown before it was later exhumed and buried at the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum in Accra.


General Ankrah came at the heels of a great African leader and violently so in a coup that is believed to have been ably orchestrated by the CIA.  Born on August 18, 1915 in Accra, J.A. Ankrah enrolled at the Wesleyan Methodist School in Accra and obtained the Cambridge School Certificate in 1937.

In 1939, he joined the West African Frontier Force during the outbreak of World War II and underwent training at the Officer Cadet Training Unit, UK after the war.  In 1947 he was commissioned lieutenant and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 14 years.

In 1961, he was awarded the Military Cross for act of unsurpassed gallantry in Congo and after the 1966 coup he became Head of State and chairman of National Liberation Council (NLC).

General Ankrah was forced to resign as the Head of State and Chairman of the NLC over a bribery scandal in April 1969.  He passed away on November 25, 1992.


Born on April 24, 1936 at Mampong – Ashanti Region, General Afrifa attended the Presbyterian Boys Boarding School at Mampong in the Ashanti Region.  From 1952 to 1965 he was at the Adisadel College, Cape Coast in the Central Region.

Afrifa later attended the Regular Officer’s Training School and subsequently went to the Mons Officers Cadet School, Sanhurst, UK.  He also pursued further military Academy, Sandhurst, UK and in 1961, attended the School of Infantry, Hythe, in the UK.

General Afrifa served as the General Staff Officer from 1962 to 1964.  In 1964 her worked at the Defence College at Teshie, Accra and was appointed a member of the national Liberation Council (NLC) and the Commissioner for Finance.  In 1969, he was appointed chairman of the NLC and the head of communication.

He served as the Chairman of the Presidential Commission from October 1969 to August 1970.  On January 15, 1972 Gen. Afrifa was arrested until December 1972.  In 1978 he led the Popular Movement for Freedom and Justice to protest against UNIGOV and demanded constitutional rule.  He was executed by firing squad by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council led by the Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings on June 16, 1979.

EDWARD AKUFFO ADDO (Ceremonial President), AUGUST 1970 TO JANUARY 1972

Edward Akuffo Addo was born on June 26, 1906 at Dodowa.  He attended the Presbyterian Primary and Middle Schools at Dodowa and later proceeded to the Achimota College.  He won a scholarship to St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, UK where he studied Mathematics, Politics, Economics and Philosophy.

He was called to the bar at Middle Temple, London in 1940 and returned to Ghana, then the Gold Coast in 1941 to start his private legal practice and also pursue a political career.

He was a founding member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) and one of the Big Six detained after the 1948 disturbances.

Other positions he held were; member, Gold Coast Legislative Council in 1949 and member, Coussey Constitutional Commission in 1950.  In 1962 to 1964 he was appointed to the Supreme Court as a judge.  Subsequently, he was appointed as Chief Justice in the National Liberation Council regime.  Between 1966 to 1968 he served as Chairman of the NLC Political Commission as well as Chairman of the Constitutional Commission from 1968 – 1969.

Edward Akuffo Addo was the Ceremonial President from August 1970, to January 1972 and died in 1979.  He was buried the same year.


Dr. K.A. Busia was born in Wenchi, in the Brong Ahafo Region on July 11, 1913.  He attended the Methodist School in Wenchi and then Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast.  He enrolled at Wesley College in 1931 and left Wesley for Achimota in 1935.  A year later he started a teaching career at the Achimota College and obtained a first degree with (Hons) in Medieval and History from the University of London.  Later he obtained a BA (Hons.) (Oxon) Politics Philosophy and Economics, MA (Oxon) PHD Social Anthology.

K.A. Busia was appointed District Commissioner in 1942 and served for seven years after which he worked as a lecturer in African Studies for five years.  In 1951, he was elected by the Ashanti Confederacy to the legislative Council and became leader of the Ghana Congress Party in 1952.

He later became Senior Member of the St. Anthony’s College, University of Oxford form 1961 to 1966 he was appointed Chairman of the National Advisory Committee of the NLC.

Busia was appointed Chairman of the Centre for Civic Education in 1967 and served for two years.  In 1969, when the progress Party won the Parliamentary elections, he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the Second Republic and served as such until the coup in 1972.  Busia later passed away on August 28, 1978.


Born at Tradoum in the Ashanti Region on September 23, 1931 Gen. Acheampong attended Traboum Elementary School, St. Peter’s Catholic School and obtained the Middle School Leaving Certificate, G.C.E. ‘O’ Level and a diploma in Commerce.

From 1945 to 1951 he was a Stenographer Secretary, Timber Sawmill, Kumasi and also tutor, Kumasi Commercial College.  During the same period he was appointed Principal of the Agona Swedru College of Commerce.  In 1951 he enlisted as a private in the Ghana Army and underwent a Cadet Training Course in Mons, Aldershot eight years later.

Between 1959 to 1966, he pursued various courses including personnel administration various courses including personnel administration at the Staff College, USA.  He later rose to become the Commanding Officer Fifth and Sixth Battalion.

General Acheampong served as the Chairman of the Western Region Committee of Administration.  From 1971 to 1972 he was the commander of the First Infantry Brigade.  In Jan 1972 he led a group of other military officers to seize power.  However, his colleagues on the SMC accused him of economic sabotage and as a result he was forced to relinquish power, with his second in command, Lt. Gen. Fred Akuffo, taking his position.  General Acheampong was executed by firing squad by the AFRC in 1979 during the June 4 uprising.


General Frederick William Akwasi Akuffo was born in Akropong Akwapim in the Eastern Region on March 21, 1937.  He attended the Presbyterian Secondary School at Odumase Krobo in the Eastern Region from 1952 to 1955 and enlisted as an officer cadet in the Ghana Army in 1957.  From 1959 to 1960 he was at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK and subsequently underwent parachute training in the UK.  Enrolled at the Staff College, United Kingdom and the National Defence College in India.

From 1965 to 1966 he was the Commanding Officer, Airborne Training School, Tamale.  He also served as Commanding Officer of the Sixth Battalion from 1969 to 1970.  In 1970 he was appointed Director General, operations and planning at the Ministry of Defence.

He was Second Brigadier Commander in 1972 and Army Commander in 1974.  Later he became a member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC).  He became Chief of Defence Staff in 1976 and replaced Gen. Acheampong after Acheampong was forced to resign by the Military Leaders of SMC.

The government of the SMC was overthrown in 1979 by the AFRC in the June 4 uprising and later in the year he was executed by firing squad.


Born and named Babini, he assumed the surname of his uncle, Heli Limann who brought him up, on entering primary school.  Young Limann had his elementary education at Lawra Confederacy Native Authority Primary Boarding School from 1941 to 1945 and the Tamale Middle Boarding School from 1946 to 1949.  After Standard Seven, he taught for one year as a public teacher at Tumu.  He enrolled at the Government Teacher Training College at Tamale passing out with Teachers, Certificate B.  He was at the London School of Economics from 1956 – 1960 where he read Political Science and pursued a PhD in Political Science and Political Law at the Anniversary of Paris from 1960 – 1962.

Hilla Limann was the District Councilor, Tumu District Council from 1956 – 1960.  Prior to that he had contested and lost a parliamentary seat in 1954.  From 1965 – 1968 he was the Head, European Desk.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Limann was appointed Head of Chancery / Official Secretary Ghana Mission, Lome Togo in 1968 and served till 1971.

In 1979 he was elected President of the country having contested on the ticket of the People’s National Party (PNP), beating Mr. Victor Owusu of the Popular Front Party (PFP) to it in an election that went into a second round.

However, Dr. Limann was overthrow by a group of military officers led by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings on December 31, 1981.  When ht ban on political activities was lifted, he formed the people’s National Convention (PNC) to formed the People’s National Convention (PNC) to contest the 1992 election but came a distant third.

Dr. Limann passed away on January 23, 1998 at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and was buried the same year at Gwollu, his hometown.

FLT. LT. JERRY JOHN RAWLINGS, 1979, 1981 – 1992, 1993 – 2000

Born to a Ghanaian mother from Dzelukope in the Volta Region and a Scottish father, in Accra on June 22, 1947, Rawlings has been the longest serving Head of State of the country, having ruled for 19 years.

After his secondary education at Achimota School in 1966, Rawlings was selected for Officer Cadet Training at the Techie Military Academy in Accra in 1967.  He later pursued a Military Training course at Takoradi in 1968.

In January 1969, he was commissioned as a Pilot and was promoted Flt. Lieutenant in April 1969.   On May 15, 1978 Rawlings embarked on a Military Coup with some of his colleagues but it was unsuccessful and he was rounded up with six of his men and put before a court martial in Accra on May 28, 1979.

Luck smiled at him when on June 4, 1979 he was rescued form custody to lead a revolt by Junior Officers of the Ghana Armed Forces and some civilians to oust the SMC regime.  The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) led by Rawlings assumed the political leadership of the country.

After handing over power to the democratically elected government of Dr. Limann that same year, Rawlings performed a dramatic political acrobatic on December 31, 1981 when he ousted the PNP government headed by Dr. Limann in another coup that was hailed as the 31st December Revolution.

In 1992, when the Fourth Republic was ushered, he won the presidential election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to complete a transformation from a military leader to a civilian general election and in 2000 handed over power to President Kufuor after serving the maximum two terms allowed under the 1992 constitution.


Popularly, referred to as the ‘Gentle Giant’ John Agyekum Kufuor, restored the prominence of the Danquah/Busia tradition in the body politic of the country when he led the New Patriotic Party to electoral victory in 2000.

Kufuor who hails from the Ashanti Region, was born on December 8, 1938 at Dabaah, near Kumasi, in the Ashanti Region (A/R).

Between 1945 and 1953, he attended the Government Boys Primary and Middle School in Kumasi and the Prempeh College also in Kumasi in 1954.  From 1959 – 1961, he pursued a Law Degree and was called to bar at Lincoln Inn – L.L.B.

John Kufuor enrolled for further studies in Law at the Exeter College, University of Oxford from 1961 – 1964.

After his law studies, Kufuor entered private law practice in Kumasi for three years and later was appointed the Chief Legal Officer and Town Clerk (City Manager of Kumasi).  He was a member of the 1968 – 1969 and the 79 Constituent Assemblies that drafted the constitutions of the Second and Third Republics respectively.  John Agyekum Kufuor was also a founding member of the Progress Party (PP) in 1969, the Popular Front Party (PFP) in 1979 and is a founding member of the New Patriotic Party.  In both the Second the Third Republics, he was elected as a Member of Parliament.

He was Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Busia regime that was during the Second Republic.  In the Third Republic, he was Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Deputy Opposition Leader of the Popular Front Party (PFP) parliamentary group.

In 1992, he lost the NPP presidential primary to Professor Albert Adu Boahene and although he won the party presidential slot four years later, he was beaten to second position by Jerry John Rawlings in the 1996 election.


Daily Graphic               -    Monday, March 5, 2007                 Pages:   19 & 47


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