National Liberation Council
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The National Liberation Council (NLC) led the Ghanaian government from 24 February 1966 to 1 October 1969. The body emerged from a CIA-planned coup d'état (Ghana's first) against the civilian government led by Kwame Nkrumah. The Ghana Police Service and Ghana Armed Forces carried out the coup jointly, with collaboration from the Ghana Civil Service. It is alleged that the plotters were well connected with the governments of Britain (under PM Harold Wilson) and the United States (then under Lyndon B. Johnson), who some believe approved of the coup because Nkrumah challenged their political and economic ambitions in Africa.
The new government implemented structural adjustment policies recommended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. Money in the national budget shifted away from agriculture and industrialization towards the military. National enterprises, property, and capital were privatized or abandoned. Whereas Nkrumah had condemned the development projects of multinational corporations as signs of neocolonialism, the NLC allowed foreign conglomerates to operate on extremely favorable terms. The Ghanaian cedi was devalued by 30%. These economic changes did not succeed in reducing the country's debt or in increasing the ratio of exports to imports.
The National Liberation Council regime won support from powerful groups in Ghanaian society: local chiefs, intelligentsia, and business leaders, as well as the expanding military and police forces. However, its policies of economic austerity were not beloved of workers at large, who suffered from increasing unemployment and repression of strikes. In 1969 the regime underwent a carefully managed transition to civilian rule. Elections held on 29 August 1969 thus inaugurated a new government led by the NLC's chosen successor: the Progress Party of Kofi Abrefa Busia.
- 1 1966 coup
- 2 Early events
- 3 Military affairs
- 4 Political governance
- 5 Economics
- 6 Nkrumah in exile
- 7 Transition to civilian government
- 8 References
- 9 External links
From 1951–1966, Ghana was controlled by the Convention People's Party and its founder Kwame Nkrumah. During the 1950s, the CPP sponsored a variety of popular economic projects and in the process created a large foreign debt. In 1960 the CPP moved to nationalize the Ghanaian economy and heavily tightened its control in areas such as currency and taxation. By 1963 the public was suffering from shortages and price gouging. Fewer and fewer businesspeople benefited from party membership. Amidst growing unpopularity the Party increased its repression of political opponents. It used the Preventive Detention Act to jail its opponents without trial for up to five years. In 1964, Nkrumah won a heavily rigged referendum that made the CPP the sole legal party, with himself as president for life of both nation and party. Press freedom reached a low ebb, as evidenced in an October 1965 statement by the Ghanaian Times: "Our socialist society cannot, and would not, tolerate the publication of any newspaper in Ghana which departs from the ideology and loyalties demanded from the press in socialist and Nkrumaist Ghana." General Afrifa later commented, regarding Radio Ghana: "From early morning till late at night there poured forth a sickening stream of Stalinist adulation and abject flattery. News was so often distorted or suppressed that Ghanaians stopped believing what they heard."
The Party acted as a political monolith, with functional control over powerful civil organizations such as the Ghana Trades Union Congress and Ghana Muslim Council. Thus, the CPP had centralized political and economic power in order to pursue rapid industrialization under national control.
Behind the scenes was an elite group of economic planners which stood to advance its agenda under military rule. These technocrats within the government found common cause with the military and police in their disdain for the mass politics of the Convention People's Party. One such figure was B. A. Bentum, former Secretary-General of the Agricultural Workers Union and subsequently the Minister of Forestry under the CPP. Bentum disapproved of the country's socialist tendencies and collaborated with the plotters by supplying them with information (including details about secret Chinese training camps, being used to train revolutionaries from other African countries). Kojo Botsio, chairman of the State Planning Commission, was similarly disposed if not as closely involved.
Military and police dissatisfaction
Nkrumah faulted the police for allowing an attempted bombing against him in 1962. When on 2 January 1964, a police officer shot at Nkrumah and killed his bodyguard, the Police Force was reorganized from above, eight top officers were dismissed, and the rank and file were disarmed. Subsequently, in April 1965, the Police Service Act gave Nkrumah direct authority to hire and fire police. Nkrumah also removed the "Special Branch" intelligence service from the police force and brought it under civilian control.
Police Commissioner John Harlley and his second-in-command Anthony Deku had long aspired to take control of the government. Harlley had compiled a large dossier on corruption within the CPP and used these files to gain legitimacy for his cause. To take over the country, however, the Police Force had to work with the military—not only because they had been disarmed, but also because, as the primary executors of repression and brutality under the CPP, they did not enjoy a good reputation with the general public.
Coup planners from the military identified mistreatment of the armed forces, and preferential treatment of the President's Own Guard Regiment, as sources of their dissatisfaction. The salaries of soldiers and officers, set in 1957, had lost much of their value amidst general inflation, and the army did not have money for new uniforms and equipment.
Some key figures of the coup had come into personal conflict with Nkrumah. Otu, the Chief of Defense Staff, and Ankrah, the Deputy Chief, had been fired in August 1965 and replaced with officers considered more loyal. The generals later claimed that actions such as these represented an overreach of civilian power over the military. Afrifa was facing a court-martial for insubordination, to begin on 25 February 1966. Harlley and Deku, were accused of involvement in a newly exposed scheme to illicitly sell diamonds to a European dealer—according to rumour, Nkrumah would have arrested them upon return to the country.
Ethnic loyalties may also have influenced some of the coup planners. A significant number came from the Ewe group, which had been divided by the border with Togo and felt it had received unfair treatment under Nkrumah and the CPP. The Ewe officers, who formed the inner circle of the coup, all grew up in the same area, and Harlley and Kotoka (the most prominent members from each of the forces) both attended Anloga Presbyterian School.
The coup planners had all received training in Britain, either at Metropolitan Police College or at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and were widely perceived as "pro-Western". In general, the Ghanaian officer corps was deeply Anglophillic and saw British culture as an indicator of status. Thus, they already objected to Nkrumah's dismissal of British officers in 1961. Nor were they pleased about an ongoing realignment away from Britain to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for officer training. Air Marshal Otu would write in June 1968 that Ghana "had become a single party totalitarian dictatorship; it had also abregated personal liberties; it had thrown to the winds [the] sacred principle of the rule of law, reduced elections to a farce and much worse, spurned all its traditional ties with the West in favour of dubious advantages of association with strange friends from the east."
Accusations of Anglo-American involvement
In a footnote comment comparing the coup in Ghana to more recent operations in the Congo, Stockwell wrote:
This is the way the ouster of Nkrumah was handled in Ghana, 1966. The 40 Committee had met and rejected an agency proposal to oust Nkrumah. The Accra station was nevertheless encouraged by headquarters to maintain contact with dissidents of the Ghanaian army for the purpose of gathering intelligence on their activities. It was given a generous budget, and maintained intimate contact with the plotters as a coup was hatched. So close was the station's involvement that it was able to coordinate the recovery of some classified Soviet military equipment by the United States as the coup take place. The station even proposed to headquarters through back channels that a squad be on hand at the moment of the coup to storm the Chinese embassy, kill everyone inside, steal their secret records, and blow up the building to cover the fact. This proposal was quashed, but inside CIA headquarters the Accra station was given full, if unofficial credit for the eventual coup, in which eight Soviet advisors were killed. None of this was adequately reflected in the agency's written records.
Historian John Prados has written that it has not been verified that the CIA had any role in directing the coup, though they were aware of the tensions which were rising between the Ghana military and the Nkrumah government. CIA operative Howard Bane even claimed in February 1966 that a string of coups which had occurred in other African nations were also motivating the Ghana military to topple Nkrumah.
Memoranda released in 2001 suggest that the United States and United Kingdom discussed a plan "to induce a chain reaction eventually leading to Nkrumah's downfall." Relevant files from the British intelligence service, MI6, remain (as of 2009) classified.
Britain and the United States began discussions of regime change in Ghana in 1961. Details of plans from this time are mostly unknown, since declassified documents from this period remain censored. One such plot involved Finance Minister K.A. Gbedemah, who secured CIA and State Department support for a plan to overthrow Nkrumah—but was detected by the national intelligence service.
Central Intelligence Agency interest in Ghana increased again in 1964, when Director of Central Intelligence John A. McCone began participating in high level meetings to discuss future relations with the country. On February 6, 1964, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk asked McCone to study the possibility of a government takeover led by J.A. Ankrah. McCone indicated on February 11 that such a policy might be pursued in cooperation with the British. On February 26, 1964, Nkrumah wrote to U.S. President Lyndon Johnson criticizing "two conflicting establishments" operating in Ghana.
There is the United States Embassy as a diplomatic institution doing formal diplomatic business with us; there is also the C.I.A. organisation which functions presumably within or outside this recognised body. This latter organisation, that is, the C.I.A., seems to devote all its attention to fomenting ill-will, misunderstanding and even clandestine and subversive activities among our people, to the impairment of the good relations which exist between our two Governments.— Kwame Nkrumah, Letter to President Johnson, February 26, 1964
When in early 1965 Nkrumah requested financial assistance from the United States, the State Department turned him down and suggested he ask the IMF. Nevertheless, US President Lyndon Johnson did agree to lend him financial aid for the Volta river projects. The U.S. was reluctant to negotiate with Nkrumah partly because they foresaw a coup d'état led by Otu, Ankrah, and Harlley. In April, the U.S. Embassy in Accra submitted a report to the State Department titled "Proposed United States Aid Posture toward a Successor Government to Nkrumah's."
FYI, we may have a pro-Western coup in Ghana soon. Certain key military and police figures have been planning one for some time, and Ghana’s deteriorating economic condition may provide the spark.
The plotters are keeping us briefed, and State 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. The new OCAM (Francophone) group’s refusal to attend any OAU meeting in Accra (because of Nkrumah’s plotting) will further isolate him. All in all, looks good.
RWK— Robert W. Komer, Memorandum to McGeorge Bundy, May 27, 1965
Nkrumah himself feared for his life and felt great distress during this time. Diplomatic relations with the West seemed to deteriorate, with Nkrumah's publication of Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism and his criticism of Britain's response to the secession of White Rhodesia. Nkrumah also resisted economic policies proposed in May 1965 by the International Monetary Fund and reasserted by the World Bank in September 1965.
Nkrumah left the country on February 21, 1966 for a diplomatic meeting with Ho Chi Minh. He traveled first to China. The United States encouraged him to go on this diplomatic mission and indeed promised to halt the bombing of North Vietnam in order to ensure his safety.
A group of 600 soldiers stationed in the northern part of the country were ordered to start moving south to Accra, a distance of 435 miles. They were told at first that they were mobilizing to respond to the situation in Rhodesia. The coup leaders told the soldiers, when they reached Accra, that Nkrumah was meeting with Ho Chi Minh in preparation for a deployment of Ghanaian soldiers to the Vietnam War. Furthermore, the soldiers were told, they were going to be deployed in Rhodesia to fight against the White government of Ian Smith.
The soldiers were divided up and led to capture various key government buildings. With the Chief of Defense Staff being at an OAU meeting, the ranking officer was General Charles Barwah, reportedly shot to death when he refused to cooperate with the coup. The State Broadcasting House and international communications buildings were captured quickly. The heaviest fighting broke out at The Flagstaff House, the presidential residence, where the military overthrowers met resistance from the Presidential Guard.
Fellow citizens of Ghana, I have come to inform you that the military, in cooperation with the Ghana Police, have taken over the government of Ghana today. The myth surrounding Nkrumah has been broken. Parliament is dissolved and Kwame Nkrumah is dismissed from office. All ministers are also dismissed. The Convention People's Party is disbanded with effect from now. It will be illegal for any person to belong to it.
The soldiers proceeded to arrest CPP ministers as fighting with the Presidential Guard continued. When Colonel Kokota threatened to bomb the presidential residence if resistance continued after 12PM, Nkrumah's wife Fathia Nkrumah advised the Guards to surrender and they did.
A CIA telegram informed Washington of the coup, and said, "The coup leaders appear to be implementing the plans they were reported earlier to have agreed on for the immediate post-coup period." According to the military, 20 members of the presidential guard had been killed and 25 wounded. Others suggest a death toll of 1,600. Quoth Nkrumah biographer June Milne, "whatever the death toll, it was far from the 'bloodless coup' reported in the British press."
Formation of Council
Francis Kwashie, part of the core planning group for the takeover, later commented that he and his comrades lacked "the faintest idea" of how to proceed upon gaining power. Several participants seemed to believe that the victorious officers would simply handpick acceptable civilian administrators and put them in charge. Marginalizing Nkrumah and other radicals would allow a sort of merger between the Convention People's Party and the opposition United Party, and the work of government could go on. The group decided that an interim government was necessary and went about determining its membership. Kokota and Harlley, the most obvious candidates for nominal leadership, turned the position down, preferring instead to retain command over their respective forces. Thus, on February 21 (the day Nkrumah left the country; three days before the coup) the group selected J. A. Ankrah, a popular general who suffered involuntary retirement in August 1965.
The decision to form a ruling council was made on the morning of the coup, at a meeting which included Harlley, Kokota, and Ankrah (but excluded a number of the original group) as well as Emmanuel Noi Omaboe, head of the Central Bureau of Statistics, Supreme Court Justice Fred Kwasi Apaloo, Director of Public Prosecutions Austin N. E. Amissah, and security officer D. S. Quacoopome. The name of the military government "National Liberation Council" was reportedly proposed by General Kotoka as an alternative to "National Revolutionary Council"—to indicate that the new leaders sought to liberate the country from Nkrumah and the CPP rather than to transform society.
The council consisted of four soldiers and four police officers.
- Lt. Gen. J. A. Ankrah - Chairman of the NLC and Head of State (February 24, 1966 – April 3, 1969)
- Mr. J.W.K. Harlley (Inspector General of Police) - Vice Chairman of the NLC
- Brigadier Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa Chairman of the NLC and Head of State (April 3, 1969 – October 1, 1969)
- Lt. Gen. Emmanuel K. Kotoka (February 24, 1966 – April 17, 1967)
- Mr. B. A. Yakubu (Deputy Commissioner of Police)
- Major General Albert Kwesi Ocran
- Mr. Anthony K. Deku (Commissioner of Police, CID)
- Mr. J.E.O. Nunoo (Commissioner of Police, Administration)
With this membership, the Council displayed more ethnic diversity than did the core group of coup planners. Two members, Nunoo and Yakubu, had no advance knowledge of the coup at all.
Immediate political changes and continuities
Three committees—the Economic Committee, the Administrative Committee, and the Publicity Committee—manifested on the day of the coup as organs of government. The Economic Committee, in particular, was composed of high-ranking members of the pre-existing civil service and played the lead role in creating the policies of the new government. The coup leaders and the "technocrats" of the civil service shared the view that politics and politicians needed to be set aside in order to set up a more effective government apparatus. The military and police, lacking knowledge of economics and governance, relied on the civil service to concoct and engineer the necessary changes.
The first Proclamation of the new government, issued two days after the coup, suspended Ghana's 1960 Constitution, dismissed Nkrumah, dissolved the National Assembly and the Convention Peoples' Party, and named Ankrah as chairman and Harlley as deputy chairman. Next, the Council declared its intention to restore civilian government "as soon as possible" and its plan for separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The Council decreed that the judicial system would continue along the same model, but judges were asked to take new oaths in which they agreed to abide by government decrees. (In practice, military commissions would take authority over judicial functions of political importance.)
The new government made membership in the Convention People's Party illegal and took hundreds of people into "protective custody". These included former members of parliament and district commissioners, as well as 446 people affiliated directly with Nkrumah—including his financial advsior and his driver. Leaders of the Ghana Muslim Council were dismissed on the grounds of their party loyalties. Formation of new political parties was banned. Commissioners were established to investigate corruption in the previous regime and to organize the continued suppression of the CPP.
The NLC disbanded and confiscated the assets of eight Nkrumaist organizations, including the United Ghana Farmers' Co-operative Council, the National Council of Ghana Women and the Ghana Youth Pioneers. Boy Scouts and Girl Guides groups were introduced to replace the latter.
Once the CPP was no longer seen as a political threat, the new government indicated that it would not retaliate excessively against officials from the old regime. All but twenty of the hundreds of imprisoned Nkrumaists were free by 1968. And although the system of ministries was re-arranged, the membership and hierarchy of the civil service remained mostly intact, and in fact gained power after the coup.
B. A. Bentum (verily a CPP minister himself) was appointed Secretary-General of the Trades Union Congress and authorized to cull its old CPP leadership. Bentum dissociated the Trades Union Congress from the All-African Trade Union Federation, began a "Productivity Drive" to raise output, helped the government with public relations abroad, and created a mechanism for supplying civilian workers to assist the armed forces.
Public demonstrations were held in support of the new government, especially by public organizations in Accra. Nkrumah, in China, claimed that the military had orchestrated these demonstrations. In part because Nigeria's military had accomplished a coup of its own in January 1966, regime change in Ghana did not come as a complete shock. Under new leadership, groups like the Trades Union Congress and the Ghana Young Pioneers (shortly before they were disbanded) celebrated the coup and renounced Nkrumaist socialism. On March 4, top Nkrumah aide Emmanuel Ayeh-Kumi publicly accused the former President of corruption. Other party leaders followed suit. The government released more than 800 prisoners from the previous regime.
By June 1966, spokesmen for the new government began to qualify their statements on the restoration of civilian government, saying more time was needed "to establish an effective machinery of government" and for people "to readjust to the new situation". Rule by the National Liberation Council was sustained by strong support from the intelligentsia, in the civil service and at university, as well as by the military and police forces themselves.
Diplomatic relations with Russia, China, and Cuba were ceased, their embassies closed, and their technicians ejected. Ghana withdrew its embassies from these countries, from Hanoi in North Vietnam, and from five countries in Eastern Europe.
From the West, the coup was immediately rewarded by food aid and a relaxation of the policies designed to isolate Ghana. World cocoa prices began to increase. Relations with Britain, which had been suspended over the Rhodesia issue, were restored.
Robert Komer of the National Security Council wrote to Lyndon Johnson,
The coup in Ghana is another example of a fortuitous windfall. Nkrumah was doing more to undermine our interests than any other black African. In reaction to his strongly pro-Communist leanings, the new military regime is almost pathetically pro-Western. The point of this memo is that we ought to follow through skillfully and consolidate such successes. A few thousand tons of surplus wheat or rice, given now when the new regimes are quite uncertain as to their future relations with us, could have a psychological significance out of all proportion to the cost of the gesture. I am not arguing for lavish gifts to these regimes—indeed, giving them a little only whets their appetites, and enables us to use the prospect of more as leverage.— Robert W. Komer, Memorandum to President Johnson, March 12, 1966
Leaders in the new regime, as well as observers in business and the press, declared Ghana open for business with Western multinationals. Representatives from the IMF and the World Bank arrived in Accra in March 1966, quickly establishing a plan for "very close collaboration".
One declaration in March 1966 exempted members of the military from paying taxes, restored their pension plan, and entitled them to various public amenities. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police personnel received cash bonuses of undisclosed size.
Between 1966 and 1969, military spending doubled, from NȻ 25.5 million to NȻ54.2 million.
The military borrowed techniques from the British to upgrade the social status of the armed forces; for example, they used publicity in magazines to create an image of the soldier as a powerful, humane, elite member of society. These policies dramatically increased Ghanaians' interest in military careers.
The coup plotters from within the armed forces all promoted themselves to higher ranks and eventually all had become some sort of General. The preferred philosopher of this group was Plato, whose Republic offers the slogan: "The punishment which the wise suffer who refuse to take part in the Government is to live under the Government of worse men."
Britain turned down the new government's request for military uniforms, but the United States was willing to supply some, and thus U.S. Army uniforms were worn by the Ghanaian Army.
Junior officers attempted an unsuccessful coup on April 17, 1967. The three leaders of this counter-coup were young officers from the Akan ethnic group. With a force of 120 men, they succeeded in capturing the State Broadcasting House and the former president's house, into which General Kokota had moved. General Kokota died in the fighting, and Lt.-Gen Ankrah escaped by climbing over a wall and jumping into the ocean. The rebel officers laid siege to the military headquarters and announced themselves over state radio. However, the plotters were outmaneuvered at a conference held to determine plans for the new government, and subsequently captured.
The counter-coup was widely believed to be motivated by divisions between the southwestern (Akan, Ashanti, Fanti) ethnic groups and the southeastern (Ga, Ewe) ethnic groups—so much so that the military issued an official statement denying it.
Three hundred soldiers and six hundred civilians were jailed in retaliation. On May 26, 1967, two officers convicted of treason became the subjects of Ghana's first public execution. Fearing future actions from within the military, the NLC decommissioned eight senior officers and reappointed some of its own members to command positions. Air Marshal Michael Otu was accused of subversion in November 1968.
The Council established many commissions and advisory committees to make policies and engage with civil society. Various committees were assigned to areas such as the economy, public relations, foreign relations, law, farming, and the structure of government itself (which did indeed undergo frequent reorganization). Regional and local commissioners were replaced by "management committees"; administrative districts were consolidated from 168 to 47. The management committees were constituted mostly by civil servants as well as one private citizen nominated by the police. Many personnel from the old councils participated in the new committees. Subsequent involvement of military officials in the local management committees did not functionally challenge the political dominance of the civil service. The power of the civil service proved a source of resentment from other groups within the constituency of the 1966 coup.
The heads of ministries were designated as commissioners.
|Commissioner 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||Feb 1966 – Mar 1969|
|John Willie Kofi Harlley||Mar 1966 – Aug 1969|
|Attorney General of Ghana||Victor Owusu||1 October 1966 – 13 April 1969|
|Commissioner for Agriculture||Jacob Ofori-Torto
|1967 – 1968|
1968 – 1969
|Commissioner for Communications||Matthew Poku||Feb 1968 – Apr 1969|
|Commissioner for Social Affairs||Susanna Al-Hassan||1967|
Whereas the Convention People's Party had claimed legitimacy from its status as a mass party, the new regime increased the role of intermediate groups to interact with the public at large. Many of these groups, including religious, legal, and economic organizations established before the CPP, had opposed the one-party system and found they could work effectively with the military government.
Chiefs such as the powerful Asantehene approved of the regime change, which they saw as restoring their power after years of African socialism. The NLC "destooled" at least 176 chiefs appointed during the Nkrumah era. To the dismay of tenant farmers, the NLC granted the chiefs' collective request for more favorable economic policies such as an end to the cap on land rent.
In November 1968 the government established a Constituent Assembly, which contained representatives from 91 organizations such as the House of Chiefs, the Ghana Midwives' Association, and the National Catholic Secretariat.
The NLC integrated government intelligence gathering with military and police forces, thereby increasing the effectiveness of both.
Austerity and unemployment led to unrest and crime, which the government met with repression by police and military forces. In January 1967, the NLC authorized the use of military tribunals for civilians accused of subversion.
The country's two largest daily papers, the Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian Times, remained state-owned. These newspapers readily changed their allegiance from the Nkrumah government to the National Liberation Council. Other newspapers, such as the Legon Observer published at the University of Ghana, were more critical of the regime.
In general, the press was allowed limited criticism of government policies, but were sufficiently intimidated that they did not question the legitimacy of the government itself, nor advocate for an alternative regime. Early words about "freedom of the press" were somewhat undermined by caveats and retaliatory actions. The "Prohibition of Rumour Decree" issued in October 1966 authorized 28 days of detention and up to three years in prison for journalists who might "cause alarm and despondency", "disturb the public peace", or "cause disaffection against the N.L.C." Criticism of the 1967 arrangement between the American firm Abbott Laboratories with the State Pharmaceutical Corporation led the NLC to fire four editors from the nation's three leading newspapers.
Books including Nkrumah's Dark Days in Ghana were allowed into the country.
Complaints about immigration and foreign business activity led to a rule published in 1968 which starting on July 1, 1968, barred non-Ghanaians from operating retail and small wholesale businesses, driving taxis, or running other small businesses with fewer than 30 workers. Another decree restricted where non-Ghanaians could live.
The new government empowered the International Monetary Fund to supervise the country's economy. Under IMF influence, the government cut spending, limited wage increases, and allowed foreign companies to conduct businesses operations on their own terms. The overall result was a shift away from the CPP's efforts at national industrialization, towards resource extraction and limited manufacturing for short-term profits—most of which were gleaned by foreign companies and elites within government including the military. The National Liberation Council did not receive the debt relief it expected in exchange for cooperation with outside financial institutions, and indeed Ghana's debt increased by Ȼ89.7 million under agreements made in 1966 and 1968.
The Economic Committee, headed by E. N. Omaboe, was responsible for economic policy and played an influential role in the overall government. The organization of this committee predated the formation of the National Liberation Council itself, and Omaboe was involved in the planning meeting to create the NLC on February 24, 1966. R. S. Amegashie, Director of the Business School at Achimota, was another influential member.
Privatization and multinational business
The NLC promised "structural changes" of state corporations, some of which were fully privatized. The Ghana Industrial Holding Corporation, created in September 1967, became owner of 19 such corporations. Control over large production sectors was granted to foreign multinational corporations such as Norway Cement Export and Abbott Laboratories. These ventures held extremely low risk for the foreign companies, since they relied on capital already within Ghana, enjoyed various economic privileges, and had outside backing to prevent expropriation.
Under guidance of the International Monetary Fund, the government in 1967 devalued the Ghanaian Cedi (formerly the Ghanaian pound) by 30% relative to the United States dollar. The rationale for this policy was that if other countries could buy Ghanaian goods at lower prices, exports would increase, and conversely imports would decrease. In fact, the opposite results occurred. Exports of all commodities except wood and diamonds decreased. Imports increased by a larger factor.
Various state-run development projects were abandoned, including some which were nearly complete. These included manufacturing and refining operations under state control which would have competed with foreign business interests. A plan to stockpile cocoa (the top export at the time) in order to take improve Ghana's position in the world market, was canceled; the nearly-built silos, intended to accomplish this goal, allowed to fall into disrepar. Agricultural projects were privatized or canceled and newly purchased equipment left in fields to rust. Overall spending on agriculture decreased by 35%. A fleet of fishing boats were grounded to lie idle and deteriorating—leading the country to begin importing foreign fish. Much of the capital and property obtained by the state from 1957–1966 now fell into the hands of the private sector.
Labour and quality of life
Under the National Liberation Council, inflation decreased, production went up, and wages rose. The minimum wage increased from 0.65 cedi to 0.70 cedi in 1967 and 0.75 cedi in 1968. However, fewer people had jobs—and even for those who did, higher costs of living offset some of the wage increases. Food prices increased dramatically due to the collapse of state-run agriculture and withdrawal of credit to independent farmers. In the public sector, minimum wage rose from Ȼ0.70 to Ȼ0.75, with future increases capped at 5%, while top wages increased by much more. Judges, high-ranking civil servants, and university professors received job benefits and raises.
Most of the profits from higher productivity went to business owners and foreign investors, and society became more economically stratified.
The new regime made some initial concessions to workers, such as an increase in the threshold of taxable income, and a decrease in taxes (and thus prices) of some basic goods. The goodwill generated by these initial policies faded when 38,000 people lost their jobs in July–October 1966 and requests for a NȻ1/day basic wage were soundly rejected. Strikes were illegal and in February 1967 incitement to general strike became a crime punishable by 25+ years in prison, or by death. The Trades Union Congress, under the leadership of B. A. Bentum (the chief civilian collaborator in the 1966 coup), made efforts to prevent these strikes from happening, and was therefore widely distrusted by workers.
Workers in Ghana went on strike 58 times from 1966–1967, 38 times in 1968, and 51 times in 1969. Strikers were fired and sometimes fired upon. The latter happened at a gold mine in Obuasi in March 1969. By August 1968, 66,000 workers (representing 10% of the national workforce and 36% of the Accra workforce) had lost their jobs.
Nkrumah in exile
Nkrumah left China and traveled to Guinea, arriving in Conakry on March 2, 1966. Guinean President Sékou Touré named Nkrumah as co-president, supplying him with a place to live, a staff, food, office supplies, etc. He occupied himself with reading, writing, and political discussion; he reportedly sometimes listened to vinyl recordings of black nationalist Americans Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael. He turned away Western reporters seeking interviews. He was loosely involved in various intrigues to dethrone the military regime in Ghana.
Nkrumah remained an intellectual leader of the Pan-Africanist movement and continued to articulate visions of African Revolution. In his 1968 book Dark Days in Ghana, Nkrumah placed the struggles of Ghana in the context of 15 military coups which took place in Africa between 1962 and 1967. The same year, he published Handbook of Revolutionary Warfare, addressing revolutionary warriors in Angola, Mozambique, South Africa, and Rhodesia and expanding his analysis to Southeast Asia and Latin America. His ideology became more overtly communist, and in 1969 he wrote, in Class Struggle in Africa, that Pan-African socialism would "advance the triumph of the international socialist revolution, and the onward progress towards world communism, under which, every society is ordered on the principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."
The government declared a campaign to eliminate the "myth of Nkrumah", which involved pulling down Nkrumah's statue, renaming various streets and institutions, and "re-educating" the public through other channels. Thus a public relations campaign was launched to "destroy the image of Nkrumah"—and thus legitimize the coup—among people in rural areas. The Ministry of Information deployed 37 vans for 12 weeks to visit 700 villages promoting the new government.
Transition to civilian government
Plans were made to transfer the government to civilian rule, headed by K. A. Busia, the leader of a former opposition party outlawed by Nkrumah. In May 1968, General Ankrah announced plans for the transition to take place on September 30, 1969. In the interim, a Constituent Assembly would draft a new constitution, and political parties would be legalized starting May 1, 1969. Busia had obviously been selected to lead the new government.
To ensure that the transition in power would not create a transition in policy, the NLC passed various regulations to limit the scope of political change. For example, it banned high-level CPP members from serving in government (creating exceptions to this rule for some of the latter it had already appointed).
The National Liberation Council underwent some internal turmoil during this period. Ethnic tension intesified after the 1967 counter-coup, which resulted in the death of Kotoka, an important Ewe General. General Otu and an aide were arrested on November 20, 1968, accused of plotting in London to restore Nkrumah to power. Ankrah, the Head of State, was forced to resign on April 2, 1969, admist accusations that he was planning to form a political party and run for president. Afrifa was appointed his successor. Otu and Ankrah were both members of the Ga ethnic group, and when Assistant Police Commissioner John E. O. Nunoo, himself Ga, suggested that ethnicity might have motivated the aforementioned actions, he himself was fired.
A new constitution, passed on August 15, 1969, provided for a judiciary, a unicameral legislature, a prime minister, and a president.
Five political parties went into action for the August 29 elections. Of these, the largest were the Progress Party, led by longtime opposition politician K.A. Busia, and the National Alliance of Liberals, led by former Finance Minister and coup plotter K. A. Gbedemah. Gbedemah, a Ewe, was supported by Ewe elements within the NLC, to oppose Busia, an Ashanti. Members of the two groups voted markedly along these lines, but in the nationwide results Busia and the Progress Party won the sizeable majority of seats: 105 of 140. Before handing over power, the NLC passed an ambiguous constitutional amendment which empowered them to expel Gbedemah from parliament.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 34–37. "At both the local and national level, tight groups or party favorites commanded access to market stalls, publicly financed housing, GNTC supplies and Government contracts. The effect of this was the encouragement of massive corruption in which the President and top party men participated. Both ordinary party businessmen and non-party businessmen could secure needed resources only at a price. This transition of the CPP from an open politico-economic machine, dispensing economic favours in return for support, to the instrument of an avaricious elite concerned only with maximizing its privileges and defending at all cost its monopoloy of power, was particularly responsible for alienating the rank and file of the party who had associated with CPP with their modest economic demands."
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 84.
- Last, "Ghana's Mass Media" (1980), p. 202.
- Last, "Ghana's Mass Media" (1980), p. 203.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 17.
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 17.
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), pp. 16–17. "Thus, while 'socialism' was anti-imperialist, non-capitalist and populist, the welfare state was pro-imperialist, capitalist in orientation and frankly anti-mass. Nevertheless both 'socialism' and 'welfare state' had their antecedents in the CPP. Officially 'welfare state' ideology had been transcended in faovr of 'socialism'; in reality it was alive and well in the state planning organs and important sectors of the CPP. By and large the planners who were the architects of the 'Seven-Year Development Plan' were also the draughtsmen of the 'Economic Policy' of the military government. The immediate genesis of the coup would thus appear to be the policy differences within the party leadership itself"
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 96–97. "Like the intelligentsia, the political prospectives of the officers are pervaded by a dislike of political parties, professional politicians, and 'mass' politics. This is particularly apparent in the officers' analysis of the struggle for independence, which transferred power from the British not to the intelligensia politicians as contemplated but to the CPP."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 131.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 95.
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 82.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 119–121. "These two police officers had conceived a coup against the CPP as far back as 1963. Their position as officers in charge of the Special Branch, the country's largest and most reputable security agency, could permit them to achieve swiftly and in absolute secrecy two vital targets of the conspiracy: information about the regime, and linkage with actual or potential sympathizers."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 126.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 121–122. "Police had been used to arrest prominent members of the United Party and politicians opposed to Nkrumah, who were subsequently detained without trail, and they had been employed by the notorious District Commissioners for the arbitrary arrests of local opposition figures. The security activities of the Special Branch and the C.I.D. were regarded with considerable dread. […] Such was the dislike and contempt for the Police that there was never any doubt that a coup by the Police would fail to win popular support. Secondly, following the attempted assassination of President Nkrumah in January 1964 by a police constable, the entire Police Force in the country was disarmed."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 1–2. "Writing a book on the coup d'état some months after it had occurred, General Afrifa, one of its principal architects, devoted a chapter to the plight of the Ghanaian soldier, in which he described the better pay and equipment enjoyed by the President's Own Guard Regiment in comparison with the regular army, and the way in which Major General Otu, the most senior officer, was often by-passed by his subordinates in advising the president. The dismissal of Generals Ankrah and Otu was said to be a 'major reason' for the coup."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 2. [Quoting from General Ocran's memoirs] "The commanders were hard put to it. They had known and been accustomed to a high standard of turnout and cleanliness. What, then, could they do to soldiers who turned out on parade in torn uniforms, with the underwear showing underneath their shorts or trousters? Soldiers with no polish or shine on their boots or with their toes showing through their canvas shoes? By late 1965, the going was getting tough for most senior officers. The salaries introduced in 1957 meant little in 1965. They were worth only a third of their value."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 90–91.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 145. " Afrifa was to be court-marshaled for in-subordination after he had ordered troops under him to return to barracks when they were to be used in a special operation ordered by the Head of military Intelligence Brigadier Hassan to arrest certain civilians in the second largest city Kumasi. This refusal to obey military orders on the part of Afrifa was reported to the Deputy Chief of Defense Staff General Barwah and on February 25, 1966 Afrifa was to be court-marshaled."
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 82. "Adding to this deep-seated disenchantment with Nkrumah, in December 1965 the president had ordered an enquiry into diamond smuggling operations involving a European diamond delaer and a number of Ghanaians. Both Harlley and Deku were implicated in the scandal. It was rumoured—days before the coup—that on Nkrumah's return from Vietnam, he would have arrested his police chiefs for complicity in the scandal. The execution of the coup enabled Harlley and Deku to evade exposure and possible incarceration."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 144–145.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 99–102. "The possibility that the five officers shared these grievances cannot be discounted. After 1966 these officers were accused of attempting to promote the interests of Ewes against those of other ethnic groups. There is some (admittedly tenuous) evidence that this solicitude for Ewe tribal interests preceded the coup."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 124–125.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 143–144.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 4, 46. "Seven of the eight members of the military Government had attended mission schools, and all had received military or police training in Britain. They had thus been exposed to the sort of Western values which many of the civilian politicians they had ousted despised."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 82–87. "British references, training procedures, and pastimes have been woven into the fabric of military professionalism in Ghana. […] Hence, years after the army has passed from British to Ghanaian control, officers cadets are still taught horse-riding, boating, and mountaineering. Officers are required to wear dinner jackets to messes in which abound dart boards, billitard tables, and artifacts of British military history. The conversation of officers is usually sprinkled with British expletives and references. Such Anglophilia has often seemed remarkable even in an intelligentsia weighted down with British and colonial status symbols. What may be relevant here is less the commitment of the officer corps to British standards and ways of life than to a certain vision of the status to which it aspires."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 92."
- Hettne, "Soldiers and Politics" (1980), p. 178.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 89–90."
- M. A. Otu in Ghana Armed Forces Magazine, June 1968, quoted in "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 116."
- "CIA helped depose Nkrumah, says ex-agent", Irish Times, 10 May 1978.
- Seymour Hersh, "CIA Aid In Ghana Plot Told", Atlanta Constitution, 9 May 1978.
- John Stockwell, In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story; New York: W. W. Norton, 1978; p. 201.
- John Prados, Safe For Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006), p. 329.
- Prados, Safe For Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (2006), p. 330.
- Biney, "Nkrumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 84. "In 2001, newly released American government files revealed that the USA, Britain and France were complicit in the overthrow. According to journalist Paul Lee, 'formerly classified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Council (NSC) and State Department documents confirm long-held suspicions of US involvement in the coup d’état that overthrew Nkrumah's government on 24 February 1966'.20 The memoranda reveal that the plans between the three Western countries went back to February 1964 when the US State Department proposed to their British counterpart a plan 'to induce a chain reaction eventually leading to Nkrumah's downfall'."
- Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), pp. 208–210.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 164–165. "Richard D. Mahoney (1983:172) who is the son of William P. Mahoney, Jr. (former U.S. ambassador to Ghana in the 1960s) details Gbedemah's contact with the CIA during Nkrumah's absence thus: 'Despite the virtual paralysis of his country, Nkrumah elected to remain in Russia. Former Finance Minister Gbedemah (then serving on the three-man presidential commission ruling in Nkrumah's absence) saw his chance to seize power. Gbedemah had no problem in obtaining CIA backing for his conspiracy, but he wanted an official assurance of American support. He approached Russel on September 6 and told him of his plans. Would the U.S. support him? Washington gave an unequivocal yes.' Gbedmah however was unlucky in his plans to overthrow Nkrumah but rather lost his job as Finance Minister after Ghanaian intelligence picked up his conversations on a transatlantic line detailing his plans for the coup."
- Rooney, Kwame Nkrumah (2007), p. 333.
- Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), pp. 214–215.
- Paul Lee (June 7, 2002). "Documents Expose U.S. Role in Nkrumah Overthrow". SeeingBlack.com. Archived from the original on 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
- Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), p. 216.
- Cited in Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), pp. 216–217.
- Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), p. 216. "During a meeting with Mahoney, Nkrumah pleaded through his own tears that the Ambassador try and appreciate the strain he had been under. He maintained his belief that the CIA was attempting to assassinate him."
- Rooney, Kwame Nkrumah (2007), p. 336.
- Osei Boateng, "How Nkrumah was lured to his end", New African, December 1999.
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 15. "This outline provides some understanding of the significance of policy measures proposed to the Nkrumah Government by the IMF in May 1965, and supported by the World Bank mission of September... The basic issue was the very direction of economic policy in Ghana. In the view of the World Bank, the fundamental problem was Ghana's 'voluntary exclusion from accepted approaches to economic development'. According to the Bank this had proved 'detrimental to growth'. Ghana's development programme was thus not only to be reduced but 'reoriented' Here lies the basic incompatibility between Nkrumah and the Fund/Bank missions that set the stage for the coup. While Nkrumah emphasized the leading role of the state 'socialist' sector, the Bank espoused the primacy of foreign capital in development, and saw as its 'first priority' in Ghana the task of 'confirming a positive environment for private investment'. While Nkrumah stressed equity and structural transformation, the World Bank saw the issue entirely in terms of 'growth'."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 136
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 138.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 7.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 140.
- "Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), p. 220.
- "Montgomery, "Eyes of the World" (2004), p. 221.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 132.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 133–135. "There were no discussions as to which CPP or UP politicians would actually be brought into the new government, nor was there any mention of which specific wings of the CPP would be purged. However, the officers' antipathy to socialism, and their contacts with ministers in the anti-socialist faction in the CPP made it obvious they had in mind the radical socialists within the Party. The purge of the socialists would facilitate the merger of the conservative wings of the CPP with the conservative United Party."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 134–136.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 141.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 7. "The name 'National Revolutionary Council' was suggested, but General Kotoka wanted to make it clear that the aim was to liberate the nation from Nkrumah, not to change the structure of society, and he persuaded his colleagues to adopt the title 'National Liberation Council'."
- "The National Liberation Council". Ghana Home Page. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-03-20.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 142–143.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 200–201.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 210–211. "In the view of both the NLC and the civil service the solution after the coup was therefore to banish, if temporarily, politicians and 'politics', and to create structures that would permit only competetent and skilled technicians to tackle problems. Thus following the coup civil servants were assured that the NLC would rely 'solely on the advice of qualified professional men' in seeking solutions to the country's problems. In a classic statement, one NLC member argued that Ghana's problems after the coup were in any event 'not political at all, but administrative.'"
- Burnett, "Post-Nkrumah Ghana" (1966), p. 1097.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 3. "Only three days after the coup, the new rulers proclaimed their anxiety to hand over power to a duly-constituted representative civilian government 'as soon as possible', and announced their intention to appoint a constitutional commission to prepare a constitution in which 'the sovereign power of the state would be fairly and judiciously shared between the executive, legislature, and judiciary, and which would make the concentration of power in the hands of a single individual impossible."
- Burnett, "Post-Nkrumah Ghana" (1966), p. 1099. "The Proclamation provided that, despite the suspension of the Constitution, the courts should continue to function with the same powers as before. Judges and all others holding posts in the judicial service were continued upon the pre-coup terms and conditions of service. The judges were required to take a new oath, however, swearing to act not only in accordance with the 'laws and usage,' but also in accordance with the 'decrees' of Ghana."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 179–180.
- Burnett, "Post-Nkrumah Ghana" (1966), p. 1103–1104. "Even before repeal, however, the Council had laid the legal foundation for its own detention powers under the euphemism of 'protective custody.' The protective custody net has been sweeping. Many persons have been held as part of a class, e.g., all members of the dissolved Parliament or all district commissioners. Subsequent decrees have authorized protective custody for 446 named individuals. Descriptions of the detained persons rarely suggest the basis for their detention; they range from 'Financial Advisor to the Presidency' to 'Lorry Driver' and 'C.P.P. Activist'.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 43–44.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 146–147. "In an effort to further legitimize their rule, win public approval for their actions, and to discredit the overthrown regime, the NLC set up several judicial commissions headed mostly by former opposition members whom the military felt were sympathetic to their course to investigate and unearth possible corrupt practices of the old regime."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 198.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 209.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 38.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 199–200. "Nevertheless the military government depended directly upon the civil service, and the regime relied directly for its day to day operation on the advice and co-operation of senior civil servants. The immediate vacuum that resulted from the post-coup dissolution of Parliament, the banning of the CPP, and the arrest of government ministers, regional and district commissioners and local councillors was filled largely by the civil service; politically, the civil service replaced the CPP."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 194.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 7–8.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 50. "Very few civil servants had been let into the secret plans of the army and police officers who were to topple Dr Nkrumah, but the unpopularity of the Nkrumah Government as a result of economic hardship and what was felt to be a loss of personal freedom, and the ease with which the army had taken power in Nigeria a few weeks previously, meant that the coup of February 1966 was not unexpected, and the transition from a civilian government to a military one was remarkably smooth."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 137.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 137–138. "On March 4th, Ayeh-Kumi, long-time intimate, tribesman, and economic adviser to the deposed president, held a press conference to allege that Nkrumah had been corrupt and had grown wealthy through illicit financial dealings, particularly with foreign business concerns. This was followed by a number of similar press conferences at which important party leaders hastened to denounce Nkrumah and applaud the coup."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 49.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 139–140.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 155–158. "What made the establishment of military rule feasible, however, was the wide support generated by the coup among the urban civilian professional elite and the civil service. The response of the University of Ghana typified the reaction of this professional elite to the coup. A memorandum sent to the NLC by the university administration soon after the coup expressed the full support of the 'entire University body' for the NLC and offered to place the 'talents and skills' of 'various experts' in the university at the service of the NLC."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 146
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 148–149.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 148. "On the international scene, the military government got some immediate help from its 'Western friends'. Foreign aid which the West had denied the old democratic regime started pouring in. The British government sent in a huge shipment of food aid and medicine. The United States which had earlier refused the Nkrumah regime food aid lifted that sanction within days of the February 24, 1996 coup, and by March shipments of American yellow corn, powdered milk and other food items started arriving. The former West Germany provided loans on generous terms and so did the IMF and World Bank (First, 1970). On the world market the price of cocoa (Ghana's main foreign exchange earner) which had dropped to its lowest ever in 1965 by no accident started rising again."
- Cited in: Osei Boateng, "Nkrumah surely must be turning in his grave", New African 404, February 2002, p. 25.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 149–150. "At a press conference held shortly after the coup, Major-General Spears of Ashanti Gold Mines, urging assistance for the NLC, remarked (in what West Africa called 'the understatement of the year') that there were 'indications' that the West would 'find the new regime much more satisfactory to deal with than the old'."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 150–151.
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 24. "According to directives issued by General Kotoka, the leader of the coup, to the National Economic Committee in March 1966 all military officers and ranks were to be granted total exemption from income tax, payment of quartering charges, electricity, water and conservancy, in addition to the restoration of pension rights and special maintenance and transfer grants abolished by Nkrumah's Government. Faced with this proposed plunder of the state treasury, the Ministry of Finance quaked and vacillated, finally concluded that 'a loss of Ȼ4.8 million is undoubtedly not too high a price to pay for the true freedom that has been brought to the Nation by the Armed Forces and Police'."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 157. "For instance, rent for officers was abolished by the NLC, "outstation" allowances was re-instated, free water and electricity was introduced. Other benefits such as allowances for uniforms, car maintenance, training, car mileage were all re-introduced into the military."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 181. "Almost immediately after the coup, in flagrant disregard for the economic situation of the country, a bonus payment of unspecified amound was made to all officers and ranks of the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Police, presumably in reward for their part in the coup."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 181–182.
- Eboe Hutchful, "The Development of the Army Officer Corps in Ghana, 1956-1966"; Journal of African Studies 12.3, Fall 1985; pp. 172–173.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 150.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 115.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 115. "One of the first acts of the military regime was to request Britain (which turned it down) and the United States for military uniforms. Soon the officers and men of the Ghana Army were parading through Accra in the green uniforms and baseball caps of the U.S. Army.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 151–155. "Still hoping that other officers might join his cause, Lieutenant Arthur accepted a call from a number of other officers for a meeting at Military Headquarters in Burma Camp, and as Ruth First (1970:400) explains Arthur 'found himself tricked or talked out of his bid for control at a strange conference of the coup-makers and the Accra commander. Only then did troops arrive to arrest the mutineers.'"
- Hettne, "Soldiers and Politics" (1980), p. 180. "In April 1967 the key figure in the coup, E. K. Kotoka, was killed by army insurrectionists and the NLC made the remarkable annonuncement that the abortive coup had not been planned by Ashanti and Fanti against Ga and Ewe (Dowse 1975, p. 26). Obviously this was what everyone believed. The ethnic composition of the NLC now changed in disfavour of the Ewes, and since the most influential Ewe after Kotoka was Harlley, the police chief, a cleavage emerged between the army and the police."
- Adinkrah, "Political Coercion" (1988), p. 44.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 39.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 37.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 21–22. "At the regional level, regional commissioners appointed from the ranks of Mps were replaced by regional committees of administration made up of soldiers, policemen and civil servants. At the local level, the number of administrative districts was reduced from 168 to 47, with nominally elected councillors replaced by management committees, including originally a majority of central and local government officials, but later a larger number of nominated politicians. The main innovations by the NLC were the creation of a network of advisory committees and the appointment of numerous commissioners and committees of inquiry, many of which contained representatives of pressure groups and so provided a means by which groups could convey their demands. Immediately after the coup the NLC appointed standing committees to cover administration, economics, external affairs and publicity. Committees on law, tenders, agriculture and logistics were added later. A Political Committee was established in July 1966 'to make proposals to the NLC on modifications to enactments, decisions and policy to serve the public interest'."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 203–204.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 205–209.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 213– 214. "The monopolisation of power in the regime by officers and civil servants circumscribed the influence and power of the politicians, chiefs, and professional men in the new regime."
- "Past Ministers". Official Website. Ministry of Interior, Ghana. Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 19. "Several factors made the relationship between the Government and pressure groups different after the coup. The most obvious ones were due to the new Government's different claims to legitimacy, its different ideology and its greater ignorance and inexperience at the time of assuming power. The NLC could not pretend to reflect a 'general will' by presiding over a mass party Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ghana) with 'integral wings', and it destroyed most of the nominally democratic machinery by suspending the Republican Constitution. This left only pressure groups as a means of contact with the public. Ideologically, the speeches made by NLC members contrasted with those of their predecessors. General Ankrah, speaking of the functions of regional committees of administration, mentioned the need for them to advise the Government on public reactions to its policies, and to inform it of the needs of the people."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 23. "The different situation in Ghana can be attributed at least in part to the relationship between leaders of the army and police, and leaders of other institutions such as the bar, business, the churches and the chieftaincy, many of whom had provided the core of traditional and middle-class opposition to Nkrumah. All these institutions antedated the CPP, and many of their members preferred a political system in which they, as members of the 'élite', could negotiate directly with the Government, without the encumbrance of a mass party."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 25. "The chiefs wasted no time in showing their attitude to the coup. The Asantehene, generally considered to be one of the most influential chiefs on account of his age and experience and the size of his chiefdom, welcomed the opportunity for chiefs to reign in peace now that Nkrumah had gone, and the general reaction was that a usurper had got his just deserts. Demands were soon made for the restoration of various powers taken away by Nkrumah, and the granting of a few others, and for the restoration of chiefs 'improperly' deposed by Nkrumah. By January 1967 the Chieftaincy Secretariat reported that petitions over stool disputes were still 'pouring in'. (The 'stool' is the chiefly equivalent of a royal throne.)"
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 26–27.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 184–190.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 11–13.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 47. "Armed force was made more effective by the intelligence systems which the army and police controlled. Previously, Nkrumah had his own intelligence system, largely independent of the army and police. The fact that they were able to overthrow him, and that John Harlley, his own appointee at the head of the police, played a major part in this, is a measure of the ineffectiveness of that system."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 23. "Mass unemployment and economic hardship bred crime and social unrest: 'Towns and villages [in the Central Region and Ashanti]. . . are being subjected to a wave of terrorism and dacoity unparalleled in the history of this country', complained the Ghanaian Times in February 1967. To deal with this situation the NLC turned increasingly to legal repression and military force."
- Last, "Ghana's Mass Media" (1980), p. 211. "And, the press did accommodate quickly. On February 22, 1966, the Daily Graphic was filled with praise for Nkrumah's peace-seeking mission to Hanoi. Three days later its front page was devoted to the coup with photographs of NLC officers. It endorsed the takeover, praised the NLC for releasing the detainees, and urged everyone to cooperate with the new leaders."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 45. "Opinions that hardly appeared at all in print included those that advocated the return of Nkrumah or the CPP, those suggesting the use of undue violence in the coup, and those that questioned the NLC's legitimacy or suggested corruption in the NLC. Asked what would happen if someone wrote to his paper praising Nkrumah, one journalist replied: 'Nobody knows what would happen. That's why they don't do it.' Unsure how far they could go, most people with unorthodox views played for safety."
- Last, "Ghana's Mass Media" (1980), pp. 214–215 .
- Last, "Ghana's Mass Media" (1980), p. 218.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 43. "No restriction was placed on the importation of books critical of the NLC, and both Bing's Reap the Whirlwind and Nkrumah's Dark Days in Ghana were readily available, but no one living in Ghana felt it prudent to write anything as critical as these authors."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 31–32 .
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 19. Finally, the NLC was to reorganize state enterprises and terminate state subsidies to them, and cut expenditures on diplomatic representation, administration, and the national airline. The IMF was also granted wide powers of supervision over the Ghana economy. Ghana was obliged to 'remain in close consultation with the fund, and to keep the Fund informed of developments in the exchange, trade, monetary, credit and fiscal situation.' Budget-balancing, rather than the transformation of Ghana's economy, became the main objective of NLC economic policy."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), pp. 34–35. "It is worth stating again that the main problem posed by state industries was not that of simple profitability but of transformation of the neocolonial economy. The requirements for transformation are not necessarily the same as those for profitability a(and vice versa), particularly for multinational companies, for whom maximum profitability often requires that the local economy be maintained in its dependent and disarticulated mould."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 38.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 147. "It is interesting to observe that Omaboe was present at the meeting at the Police Headquarters at which the NLC was formed, and was most probably the person who drafted the new regime's first statement on the causes of the coup. Amegashie, who was out of the country when the coup occurred, was telephoned by Harlley to return immediately to Ghana. Both civilians were appointed to the Economic Committee, with Omaboe as Chairman. We may recall that the Economic Committee was the only institution of the military government to have been formed before the coup, Omaboe having compiled the names of most of the civilians on the Committee for Harlley's approval."
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 29.
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), pp. 29–30. "During 1966 and early 1967 a sub-committee of the National Economic Committee, the economic advisory organ of the NLC, negotiated with a number of foreign companies for participation (in reality, virtual takeover) in selected state enterprises. During the negotiations the companies demanded and obtained wider-ranging management and policy control over the enterprises as well as extensive tax and other concessions."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 32. "Much of the finance required for the acquisition of the assets by Abbott and Norcem would then have been derived from profits generated from operating these assets, with minimum investment of their own capital. At any rate, whatever capital was advanced by the foreign companies could hardly be described as risk capital. Both the original capital and return on it were guaranteed by extensive economic and political concessions: token rent, generous capital allowances, tax exemptions, remission of import duties, monopolistic conditions of production and pricing, etc., as well as state and USAID guarantees against expropriation. Risk was further reduced by heavy undervaluation of the original assets."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), pp. 25–26. "In 1969 the Economic Survey complained that 'in spite of the devaluation, the quantum of exports, instead of increasing, rather decreased. . . for all commodities except timber and diamonds, while the quantum of imports increased, contrary to expectations'."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 20. "From the beginning 'stabilization' was used as an excuse for large-scale destruction of socialist projects. With the expulsion of their techbnical personnel in March 1966 all the Eastern projects were brought to an abrupt halt. The subsequent fate of some of these projects was instructive. The reinforced concrete panel factory, which at the time of the coup had been completed at a cost of NȻ2.3 million in civil works and required only working capital to commence operations, was abandoned. It was not until 1973 and two governments later that an effort was made to put the factory into operation on the basis of a partnership between the government, the National Investment Bank, and a West German construction company. The Tarkwa gold refinery, 90% completed at the time of the coup, was abandoned altogether. According to the World Bank, it was 'understood that the ore could be refined more cheaply abroad'. In fact this project, designed to make Ghana self-sufficient in the processing of gold ores, had been opposed by the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation and other foreign gold interests."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), pp. 20–21. "Although not an 'Eastern project' the cocoa storage silos were also abandoned, thus effectively ending Nkrumah's world cocoa market strategy. […] Instead the World Bank, which had consistently opposed the project, recommended that the silos be converted into general storage for the Tema Harbour, and conveyor belts built to connect them to the docks some two miles away. Since none of Ghana's subsequent rulers found this advice palatable, the massive shells of the semi-completed silos have continued to stand to this day, stark and decaying against the Tema skyline."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 21. "An Agricultural Committee established by the NLC to advise on agricultural policy had recommended the abolition of the corporation and the disposal of its 125 farms (see document 20). Between 1966 and the end of 1968 state farms and agricultural projects transferred or abandoned amounted to Ȼ6.6 million in net book value. In spite of the substantial value of the assets there were no controls or proper documentation of the transfers. Much of the farm machinery was simply abandoned where it lay, and by late 1966 various parts of the Ghanaian countryside were littered with rusting Soviet and Eastern machinery, some still uncrated."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 24. "The committee advised that the minimum wage be raised by 5 pesewas (to Ȼ0.75), and that negotiated wage increases be restricted to 5%. Nevertheless the committee recommended salary increases for top civil servants that would have raised the differential between the highest and lowest paid public servants upwards to 1.39. Even before the salary committee sat substantial salary increases had been granted to state lawyers, doctors, and university lecturers. Salary increases of up to 106% were also granted to the managing directors of state banks and corporations."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), pp. 21–22. "Twenty-eight fishing vessels belonging to the State Fishing Corporation (SFC) and private Ghanain fishing companies were laid up at Tema Harbour when their 350 Soviet crew and technicians were expelled in March 1966. The timing of the expulsion coincided with the withdrawal from service of the remaining (Japanese and Norwegian) vessels of the Fishing Corporation, either for maintenance or to await the arrival of fresh crews from abroad. The result was that 'within a few months after the coup, almost the whole of the deep-sea fishing operations of the SFC had come to a halt. Efforts were initially made to get the uAC to arrange replacement crew but nothing came of this. The resulting fish shortages had to be met by imports of frozen fish and landings from foreign vessels in foreign exchange."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 190–193. "Property acquired from the co-operatives without compensation at the establishment of the monopoly in 1961 were returned, and Ghanaian co-operatives and private firms allowed to purchase the cocao crop. The price paid to cocoa producers was raised three times in the three years. The operations of the State Construction Corporation and the Ghana National Trading Corporation, both state-owned enterprises, were scaled down, and much of their public and private business, import licenses and credit facilities transferred to private Ghanaian businessmen."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 23. "The share of labour in total value-added in the large-scale manufacturing sector (where most of the gains were said to have been realized) fell from 30.4% in 1962 to 20.6% in 1970, meaning that capital had increased its profits at the expense of labour. In a study of the manufacturing sector the World Bank admitted that 'the industrial workers did not benefit from the growth of productivity which took place during this period . . . Recipients of non-wage incomes [i.e. capital] have gained most from the industrial expansion that has occurred.' This was not unexpected, given the extensive concessions to big business and foreign investors by the NLC. Stabilization policies thus had the effect of intensifying existing income differentials in Ghanaian society, both between labour and capital and within the various strata of the working classes."
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 27. "Both state investment in agriculture and commercial bank credit to the sector fell substantially throughout the stabilization period (Table 2) Shortfalls in local food production were met by increasing resort to commodity imports from the Western countries, thus further eroding the capacity of the agricultural sector for self-sufficiency. Although an unusually favourable harvest briefly brought down food prices in 1967, the local food price index continued to climb, from 167 in 1967 to 200 in 1969 and a record 236 in 1971."
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), p. 183.
- Hutchful, "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarization" (1973), pp. 193–195.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), pp. 34–35.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 158.
- Hutchful, The IMF and Ghana (1987), p. 22. "Between the coup and August 1968, over 66,000 workers, constituting almost 10% of the total wage-labour force, were dismissed from their jobs, 36% of these in the Accra capital district alone. Unskilled and semi-skilled labour in the construction industry took the brunt, with 26,000 jobs. Employment in the private commercial sector also fell by almost 50%."
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), pp. 85–86.
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 87.
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 89.
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), p. 91.
- Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), pp. 82–83. "He contextualized the coup within what he considered as the disturbing emergence of 15 armed mutinies and military takeovers that had taken place on the African continent between 1962 and March 1967. He saw the coup d’état in Ghana as the product of an alliance between neo-colonial forces in the army and the police force, in collusion with imperialist interests."
- Kwame Nkrumah, Class Struggle in Africa, p. 88; quoted in Biney, "Nrkumah's Political Thought in Exile" (2009), pp. 94.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 10.
- Pinkney, Ghana Under Military Rule (1972), p. 11.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 149.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 159.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 159–160. "For the ordinary Ghanaian, it was however very clear to all and sundry that the military were going to hand-over power to the man of their choice — Dr K.A. Busia the leader of the former opposition to Nkrumah who was poised to be the next Head of State. Dr Busia by now was the head of the military appointed National Advisory Committee and at the same time heading the Center for Civic Education that was formed in June of 1967 with a mandate to educate Ghanaians about their civic duty. These two jobs allowed Dr Busia to travel throughout the state at government expense thus providing him with an excellent platform to expose himself to the Ghanaian electorate to the huge disadvantage of those who wished to challenge him for the job of Head of State in the coming elections despite the ban on political activity which was yet to be lifted on May 1, 1969."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 163–164.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 160.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 160–161.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 161–162. "Nunoo also made it clear in his public condemnation that the whole dismissal of General Ankrah and the earlier arrest and exoneration of the Chief of Defense Staff General Otu was a plot against the Ga ethnic group (Nunno, Otu and Ankrah are from this group). He further openly accused the State Attorney General Victor Owusu (an Ashanti) as the one behind the conspiracy to undermine the Ga people."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 167.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 165–166, 168. "Apaloo, Harley and Deku (all Ewe) wanted a Ewe candidate in the coming general elections to challenge the Ashanti candidate Dr K.A. Busia who was the overall preferred candidate of the military specially with absolute support from Brigadier Afrifa."
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), pp. 168–169.
- Al-Hassan, "Politicized Soldiers" (2004), p. 170. "In order to oust Gbedemah from parliament and to prevent him from ever heading the new opposition in the second Republic (Nkrumah's government was the first Republic), the inserted clause in the Constitution that effectively banned certain individuals from holding any government job if a State Commission of Inquiry had made any 'adverse findings' against them was invoked. Gbedemah was now firmly caught in this Constitutional net and there was no escape this time despite his friendship with Police Commissioners Harley and Deku. He was denied his seat and forced out of parliament."
- Adinkrah, Mensah. "Political Coercion in Military-Dominated Regimes: A Subcultural Interpretation." Dissertation accepted at Washington University, November 1988.
- Al-Hassan, Osman. Politicized Soldiers: Military Intervention in the Politics of Ghana, 1966–1993. Dissertation accepted at Washington State University, May 2004.
- Ama Biney, "The Development of Kwame Nkrumah's Political Thought in Exile, 1966–1972", Journal of African History 50, 2009.
- Harvey, William Burnett. "Post-Nkrumah Ghana: The Legal Profiel of a Coup". Wisconsin Law Review, 1966.
- Hettne, Björn. "Soldiers and Politics: The Case of Ghana." Journal of Peace Research 17.2, 1980.
- Hutchful, Eboe. The IMF and Ghana: The Confidential Record. London & New Jersey: Zed Books Ltd (Institute for African Alternatives), 1987.
- Hutchful, Eboe. "Military Rule and the Politics of Demilitarisation in Ghana, 1966–1969." Dissertation accepted at University of Toronto, 15 June 1973.
- Last, Deborah R. "An Interpretative History of Ghana's Mass Media". Dissertation accepted at University of Southern California, June 1980.
- Montgomery, Mary E. "The Eyes of the World Were Watching: Ghana, Great Britain, and the United States, 1957–1966." Dissertation accepted at University of Maryland, 8 January 2004.
- Pinkney, Robert. Ghana Under Military Rule 1966–1969. London: Methuen & Co Ltd, 1972. SBN 41675080X
- Rooney, David. Kwame Nkrumah : Vision and Tragedy. Accra: Sub-Saharan Publishers, 2007. ISBN 9789988647605
- Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Volume XXIV, Africa: Ghana. Ed. Nina Davis Howland & David S. Patterson U.S. Government Printing Office, 1995. Provides an annotated and chronologically ordered set of declassified documents related to U.S. foreign policy in Ghana.
- Ghana-pedia webpage – Operation Cold Chop: The Fall Of Kwame Nkrumah[permanent dead link]
- Ghanaweb – Picture of the NLC
Nkrumah government (1957-1966)
(Convention Peoples' Party)
| Government of Ghana
1966 – 1969
Busia government (1969-1972)