National Liberation Council

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The National Liberation Council (NLC) was the name of the Ghanaian government after the elected government of the Convention Peoples' Party led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown on February 24, 1966. This government was in place till they handed over to a democratically elected government on October 1, 1969.

This was the first coup d'état in Ghana and it was a bloody one. Several foreign governments appear to have had at least a year's notice of the coup.[1][dead link] Some sources believe that the CIA may even have helped the plotters.[2] There was very heavy fighting and some loss of life as well. The NLC immediately banned all political parties and suspended the constitution. They eventually handed over power to the Progress Party led by Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia.


The membership consisted of four soldiers and four police officers.[3]


The heads of ministries were designated as commissioners.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Joseph Arthur Ankrah
John Willie Kofi Harlley
1966 – 1967
1967 – 1968
Commissioner for Defence Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Kotoka
Lt. Gen. J. A. Ankrah
Maj. Gen. Albert Ocran
1966 – 1967
1967 – 1969
Commissioner for Interior Anthony K. Deku[4] Feb 1966 – Mar 1969
John Willie Kofi Harlley Mar 1966 – Aug 1969
Commissioner for Agriculture Jacob Ofori-Torto
Albert Adumakoh
1967 – 1968
1968 – 1969
Commissioner for Communications Matthew Poku Feb 1968 – Apr 1969
Commissioner for Social Affairs Susanna Al-Hassan 1967


  1. ^ "253. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/". FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES 1964-1968, Volume XXIV Africa. Department of State, USA. 1999. Retrieved 2007-03-19. The plotters are keeping us briefed," .... "and the State Department thinks we're more on the inside than the British. While we're not directly involved (I'm told), we and other Western countries (including France) have been helping to set up the situation by ignoring Nkrumah's pleas for economic aid. All in all, it looks good. 
  2. ^ Paul Lee (June 7, 2002). "Documents Expose U.S. Role in Nkrumah Overthrow". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  3. ^ "The National Liberation Council". Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-03-20. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Past Ministers". Official Website. Ministry of Interior, Ghana. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Nkrumah government (1957-1966)
(Convention Peoples' Party)
Government of Ghana
1966 – 1969
Succeeded by
Busia government (1966-1969)
(Progress Party)