Today marks the 50th anniversary of the coup d’etat against the government of Prime Minister Kofi Abrefa Busia when the military under the leadership of Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong seized control of the government of Ghana for the second time On 13 January 1972.
On 13 January 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, then commanding
the First Infantry Brigade of the Ghana Armed Forces in an acting or temporary status,
led a bloodless coup d’etat against the democratically government of Prime minister Dr.
Kofi Abrefa Busia while he is in London for medical treatment.
This happened to be the second successful military coup by the Ghana Armed Forces in Ghana, despite the first coup d’état occuring just after six years.
In view of this, the first military coup d’état occurred on 24 February 1966 when Col E.K.
Kotoka and his Brigade Major, Maj A.A. Afrifa, overthrew the government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, leader of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP).
The Coup d’état
In spite of this, in London, where the Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia had arrived for
a medical treatment, there was dismay and confusion at the Ghanaian diplomatic mission.
At the end of the day there was a plainspoken statement from Dr Kofi Busia condemning the coup d’etat and declaring it might not succeed.
He said: “I believe the people of Ghana will resist this selfish and senseless coup d’etat,
and overthrow it. The people of Ghana know how sincerely we are trying to establish
democracy and human dignity, as well as coping with our grave economic problems in
order to raise our standard of living.”
Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia was accused of economic mismanagement and arbitrary arrest –
both characteristics of the former Nkrumah regime which was ousted by an army coup in 1966.
The Kotoka International airport was closed to incoming flights and telephone and telegram links with the rest of the world was cut.
After a successful coup led by Lieutenant Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, commander of Ghana’s first army brigade.
He therefore announced in a radio broadcast on On January 13, 1972, “Dr Kofi Busia had been dismissed and the army had taken power”.
Who is Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia?
Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia was a Ghanaian political leader and academic who was Prime Minister of Ghana from 1969 to 1972.
As a nationalist leader and Prime Minister, he helped to restore civilian government to the country following military rule.