The OmanbaPa Research Group
As part of our efforts to travel back to the memory lane, we shall randomly, be focusing on some of the past times of Ghanaian statesmen and women.…
JusticeGhana Military Personality today is General F.W.K. Akufo
General Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo was one of the Ghanaian military heads of state to be executed alongside with other senior military officers of the Supreme Military Council ((SMC I/II )) on 26 June 1979 at the Teshie Military Range. This was a quest of the members of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council ((AFRC) to cleanse Ghana of corruption.
Born on 21 March 1937 at Akuapem Akropong, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, the former Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and later army commander led a palace coup on 5 July 1978 to overthrow General I.K. Acheampongs’s SMCI regime which he was a member. His attempt to return Ghana to constitutional rule was thwarted on 4 June 1979 when the then Captain Boakyen Gyan led an uprising with the junior ranks and installed Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings as Chairman of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.
Young Akufo completed his secondary education at the Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary School in 1955 at Odumase krobo and later enlisted in the Ghana Army and trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK. He also attended the National Defence College in India in 1973. He became Army Commander in April 1974 and Chief of Defence Staff in April 1976.
Before entering Ghanaian politics, Fred served as Commanding Officer of the Airborne Training School at Tamale and later the 6th Battalion of Infantry of the Ghana army between 1969 and 1970. General F.W.K. Akuffo is remembered as an outstanding airborne officer.
F.W. Akufo rose to become the 2nd Brigade Commander and is said to have been one of the SMC top-brass who supervised the change over of traffic flow in Ghana from driving on the left to driving on the right as part of ‘Operation Keep Right’ that was effected on 4 August 1974. This change over, according to research, was successful and largely accident free.
Politically, critics argue that Akufo’s palace coup of 5 July 1978 to overthrow the then Head of State, Acheampong and their eventual collective doom, should have been avoided.