Ghana Deserves No Coup

The talk of the town now among the opposition and critics of the ruling government is a military coup d’état to mitigate the hard times in Ghana. And Amandla says it is a shortsighted and unwise perception for a country that has had more than a dozen forcible changes of government in its 65 years as a sovereign nation, none of which was necessary, beneficial or sensible. Collectively, the coups threw us into the clutches of those merciless institutions our civilian leaders had always wanted to run away from: the IMF and the World Bank and the international borrowing cartel who only grew fat on the toil of the poor of the world who sought their assistance.

The Akufo-Addo administration grew the economy by 8.5 percent in 2017 in spite of high inflation, huge foreign debts and fluctuations in foreign direct investment in the same year it assumed office. Until the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic – COVID-19- Ghana enjoyed the accolade of being one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A country whose economy was literally grinding to a halt a year earlier, Ghana was making a huge and fast progress unprecedented in the nation’s history. The ruling government set up ambitious programs, mostly pro-poor and interventions that sought to reduce poverty. Infrastructural programs sprang up. Notable among them include a fee-free high school – free SHS,- a necessary but expensive venture that must certainly have contributed to the current state of the economy. The 1 District 1 Factory policy is supposedly progressing but its impact is yet to be felt. Jobs are still scarce as schools and higher institutions continue to churn out graduates onto the job market. Food production improved considerably and cocoa for the first time in many years, hit the million ton mark. In many areas of the economy there were positive signs of improvement.

The Covid-19 pandemic hit the world in March 2019 and persists even now at a much lower ebb. Ghana is one of the few countries whose management of the pandemic prevented huge losses of life as happened in the developed countries in Europe and the Americas. Utility services were provided free to Ghanaians, while employees in the public services were retained and paid fully even when the pandemic was at its height. Notwithstanding the bold measures taken to mitigate hardships in Ghana at the time, critics of government and the opposition resort to calling for a coup as the only remedy to address the economy’s deterioration.

It is not strange that a few of those who have openly advocated for a military coup to address the dire economy happen to be in the opposition and that include a former executive secretary to former President John Mahama, Professor Atuguba. John Mahama, the former President of Ghana, in a meeting with the clergy did not condemn a military coup as an option either.  The position of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) party General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, however, is different. He believes that the 1992 Constitution was designed to make coups impossible. He does not state how but he concludes that the Rawlings administration ensured that no such event could happen. He added that the intention of the new constitution was that ‘should we succeed in electing a democratic government, it must last to prevent another coup.’

Ghanaians are all too familiar with coups d’état and their ramifications. Many institutions were scrapped because a military leader did not like them. Many good intentioned citizens and leaders are dead because they opposed a military regime. Property acquired legally and thriving businesses were acquisitioned and destroyed because a military government so wished. Scrapped constitutional guidelines created near anarchy situations. Citizens were abused physically for insignificant reasons. The official number of citizens arrested, incarcerated and lost during the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) military administration is estimated conservatively at a little over 300. And we ask why should those poor persons suffer their unfortunate fate? Under the same PNDC regime, failure to account for more than 50 cedis in one’s bank account constituted an economic crime. So did having more than one water closet toilet facility in one’s house. Those who promised probity and accountability ended up owning real estate in the best parts of town all over the country.

Such policies and measures created problems for incoming civilian administrations that had to right the wrongs, spending scarce resources in a depleted economy to appease those aggrieved. And worse is the re-engagement at times of the same public officials who in many cases suffer degradation and disgrace at the hands of the military to help repair the damages done.  Certainly, a coup d’état is not an answer to the current challenges in Ghana. Suffering citizens are further impoverished and the same problems that engendered the coup remain.

We do not have enough evidence to accuse the pro-coup faction as belonging to the opposition that is refusing to pass the e-levy in parliament.  But we believe both share similar sentiments and are driven by the same motives: to see the Akufo-Addo administration fail. Amandla believes that failure of the ruling government is a shared responsibility of the opposition in parliament as well. Refusing to pass the e-levy is tantamount to undermining the government and unpatriotic. The world is more or less in a recession caused mainly by Covid-19 but a repercussion of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, namely, the spike in prices of crude oil is exacerbating an already unbearable state of affairs. Should that also be a cause for a coup in Ghana where prices of petroleum continue to increase at alarming rates?

The relative peace Ghanaians have enjoyed since 1992 must not be broken for the pleasure of a few desperate politicians. Enough is enough.


Posted by on Mar 11 2022. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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