Coup Attempt On May 15
Even as President Kufuor continues to enjoy the affection of those who voted him in power to bring about positive change, others are planning to oust him, not through the ballot box in December 2004, but through the barrel of a gun as soon as possible, possibly even as early as May 15, 2001, the 22nd anniversary of the coup attempt that first brought ex-Flt. Lt. Rawlings to public notice.
The Accra Mail picked up the "hunuhunu" from sources close to the presidency, which means at least that the state security agencies are aware of any goings on and preparing to confront any destabilisation moves from any quarter.
In its own private investigations, The Accra Mail has picked up scents on a most surprising alliance in this diabolic plan. This time, it is disgruntled Northerners and Fantis who are grouping to inflict damage on the republic. The coup of 1966 had Kotoka, Harlley and Afrifa at the forefront an Ewe/Ashanti group; the coup of 1972 had Acheampong, Selormey, Agbo and others an Ashanti/Ewe group; that of June 4, 1979 was a melee and a potpourri of ethnic groups and the last coup, that of December 1981, had Rawlings, Akata Pore and Chris Atim as spokesman - an Ewe/ Northern group.
Fantis have not usually featured as ring leaders in Ghana's successful coups, though when the coups succeed, Fanti officers or technocrats have performed creditably in sustaining the governments that develop out of the coups. In the NLC government of the '66 coup, Major General Ocran, a Fanti was an influential figure. In the coup of 1972, Colonel Bernasko, a Fanti, at one stage was the most popular member of the NRC. The PNDC of the coup of '81 had one of the brightest Fanti scholars, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey to give meaning to its economic policies.
Only 100 days into the administration of a freshly elected government through free and fair elections, it is most disturbing indeed for any news of a coup d'etat to be doing the rounds, even if only in rumour form.
The oft-repeated proverb that "there is no smoke without fire" applies here and the Kufuor administration would have to employ all legitimate means to secure the stability of the realm. Many Ghanaians believe that the outcome of the 2000 elections had the hand of God himself, thereby giving the whole exercise a spiritual dimension - a dimension that works, but which politicians once in office, scoff at.
Meanwhile, the government has been receiving foreign military delegations with the Ghana Armed Forces undertaking joint exercises with Ghana's neighbours two weeks ago.
US support for the country's military has also continued to grow with the latest taking the form of yet another visit by a top ranking US Naval Officer. Rear Admiral Stanley W. Bryant, the deputy Commander-in-Chief of the US Naval Forces in Europe which covers Africa, called on Dr. Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence last Friday. The US Ambassador in Ghana, Kathryn Dee Robinson, accompanied him.
The Minister of Defence Dr. Addo-Kufuor, expressed delight at the level of cooperation between Ghana and the US. He enumerated some of the assistance the US has extended to Ghana over the years, which he said is helping build a cordial relationship between the civil population and the military.
The Minister announced that very soon he would lead a Ghanaian delegation to the US to take delivery of naval vessels for the Ghana Navy. The Minister of Defence has so far received six US military delegations since he took office - a development, which he said the government sees as a good sign of ensuring stability in Ghana.
The highlight of the Rear Admiral's visit was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between him and the Minister for a medical outreach programme to be conducted in Tamale in November. The programme will involve forty US personnel whom with the collaboration of the Ghana Armed Forces medical services will conduct three days of medical training in a variety of subjects as well as provide services to surrounding villages.
The Minister in an interaction with journalists after the signing event noted that the US as a world power has the resources to ensure stability in this part of the sub region. Ghana, he said, has won the heart of the US and this was buttressed by the Rear Admiral's response to the Minister's speech when he said his country sees Ghana as a very important ally.
Dr. Kufuor added that the importance of the subordination of the military to civilian authority is an established order in the US and this, Ghana's military should emulate.
The Minister emphasised that he is a servant of the people as are personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces. In a brief speech at the function the US Ambassador said she shared the position of the Minister as regards the subjugation of the military to civil authority and expressed delight at the high level of professionalism within the Ghana Armed Forces.
The US cherishes democratic values and so the recent interest it is showing in the affairs of Ghana can be attributed to the strides chalked by Ghanaians in that direction. Currently some American soldiers are training and being trained at Ghana's Jungle Warfare School at Achiase, which is considered as one of the best in the world.
Apart from the new democratic credentials of Ghana the country has earned for herself an enviable position in international peacekeeping duties and this the Americans have acknowledged. It would seem therefore that the US would not fold her arms if the stability of a success story in African democracy were threatened by any military adventurers and miscreants.