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Book Review: A Short History of the Third Republic.

Book Review: A Short History of the Third Republic.

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 Source: Abdulai, Napoleon

Hilla Limann: Scholar Diplomat Statesman, Ivan Addae-Mensah, Africa Biographies Consult, Accra; 2015, pp551. Price 200 Ghana Cedis.

Long Read.

President Hilla Limann had a complex job from 24th September 1979 to 31st December 1981. He had to fulfil the constitutional mandate of governing Ghana which had gone through a popular but violent uprising led by junior officers and non-commissioned soldiers on June 4 1979 in which several senior military officers were executed by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) that resulted from insurrection. Limann needed all the skills of diplomacy to deal with the contending forces in his party, the disciplinary issues in the armed forces and the worsening economy whilst respectinghuman rights.

Two Ghanaian civilian presidents Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and Dr. Hilla Limann and a prime minister, Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia were overthrown by the Ghana Armed Forces and the Ghana Police Services using propaganda, lies, distortions, envy and foreign support. Nkrumah, a man of thought and action countered the vile lies in several radio broadcast from Conakry, Guinea and in several books, including the famous 'Dark Days in Ghana', subtle and prodigiously researched where he exposed the lies of the 'army cum police traitors'. Busia and Limann unfortunately did not document their overthrow and betrayal. .

The book, Hilla Limann, Scholar, Diplomat, Statesman sets out to fill the deep vacuum created by the inability of Limann to write about the illegal removal of the People's National Party and himself as president just 27 months in office by Flt Lt (rtd) John Jerry Rawlings and a few elements of the June 4 Movement, the police, army and an allegation of external power support that provided $20 Million into an account in London for the coup plotters. Prime Minister Busia was also removed after 27months in office by Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.

This book will no doubt provide valuable lessons in political education for decades to come as it teaches us to be patient and wary of resident terrorists, intra party struggles and double agents.

The book is informative, well researched, an intense, mesmerising. It is divided into three parts, namely, The Journey Begins; The Twenty-Seven Months of the People's National Party (PNP) administration which deals with critical matters including security challenges, energy and the 31st December 1981 coup; and the post presidential years where Chairman of the Providional National Defence Council (PNDC) Rawlings imposed poverty on the Limann family as a mechanism to breaking down Limann. It also provides good appendices including the most famous, principled letter of resignation from government in the post colonial state by Chris Atim dated 3rd December 1982, in which Atim, the soft spoken political strategist exposes Rawlings as captured in his statement ".....Where Limann allowed others to do his dirty work for him, you are PERSONALLY carrying out the arrest and torture of these brave young men, Bokassa style, forcing them to confess to things that they have not done, assisted by Captain Tsikata and Mr. . B. D. Asamoah in the Castle". The book begins with Limann, childhood born between 1932 and 1935 and raised in the 'walled city' of Gwollu, near Tumu in the present Sissala district of the Upper West region. Limann's parent were direct descendants of the Gwollu Royal Family. Limann's mother died when he was four and Limann had to grow up faster in the huge compound house by helping his father on his farm. Attending school in those days in Northern Territories was a privilege. At seven, Limann was taken to Lawra and enrolled in the Native Authority Primary School in 1941. To settle on his date of birth, was the task of the head teacher since when the conventional method of maturity used at the time when applied to the diminutive Limann failed. This age verification was for every child of school going age to put the right arm across the top of the head and touch the left ear with the fingers. If your fingers could not reach your ears, you were deemed to be too young to start school. But, Limann was noted to be matured and intelligent from the way he answered a lot of questions put to him by the head teacher. Limann, was therefore admitted and his date of birth fix for him for 1934.

Limann was a brilliant student and therefore spent five years instead of the normal six years at primary and moved to Tamale Boarding School, the only middle school in the Northern Territories. There, Limann, who became the senior Prefect met some of his closest friends such as R.K. Gbadamosi and A. bin Salih, who died a few weeks ago. It was Bin Salih who had to look for the bail money when Chairman Rawlings decided to release Limann to house arrest in 1986. In 1949 Limann took the Standard Seven Certificate Examination. After passing the exam, he became a pupil teacher for two years. During this period Limann embarked on 'an adventure' into practical politics by acting as an interpreter to no less a person than Kwame Nkrumah during the Convention People's Party's (CPP) rally in his village.

It is said that Nkrumah was so impressed that after the rally he suggested Limann organise the local CPP. Limann, politely declined telling the future prime minister he had plans to study abroad. Nkrumah understood, since he himself had gone through a similar path. But, by 1954, Limann decided to contest the Tumu constituency for the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) on the ticket of the CPP. He won the primaries with massive support from the youth. However, the Central Committee of the CPP decided Limann was 'too young' and requested that Limann cede his position to a more experienced politician, Imoru Egala, who was Limann's mentor and teacher. Egala was educated at Achimota Secondary School and College. The decision threw the CPP in Tumu into confusion, eventually the CPP leadership decided that all CPP members who wanted to contest do so as independent candidates. The Northern People's Party (NPP) also decided not to field a candidate. Limann (2185) came a close second to Egala (3599). Indeed, the CPP adopted this strategy in a few constituencies including Wassa South, now Takwah-Nsuaem.

Soon, Limann left for further studies after passing his 'A' levels by distance learning and was admitted to the London School of Economics where he obtained his B.Sc degree in Economics in 1960. By 1962, he obtained his High Diploma in French at the Sorbonne University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science and Constitutional Law in 1965. In Paris he met his life time friend, Paul Archibald Vianney Ansah, who was to play a great role in fighting the PNDC military dictatorship through The Ghanaian Chronicle. Limann, while studying for Ph.d also studied for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History at the London School of Economics and passed in 1964. Limann returned to Ghana in 1965, a few months before the CIA financed coup of 24th February 1966 to join the Foreign Service at the age of 31. Several experienced foreign service officials especially officers of the Research Department were dismissed by the military cum police dictators known as the National Liberation Council (1966-1969). Limann had just joined and was spared.

Family and Children.

The CPP regime had sent hundreds of young Ghanaians to study in the Soviet Union, among the students was a senior brother of Miss Dora Fulera Yaro, who would later become the wife of Dr. Limann, Moro Yaro. He returned to Ghana following the February 1966 coup when the military rulers withdrew scholarships of Ghanaian students in the Soviet Union. At the Annual New Year School of the Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana, Hilla Limann met Fulera Yaro who had written to Limann earlier on seeking help for her brother to return to Soviet Union to continue his studies. Regrettably, Limann could not help. But one letter led to another and finally they got married in 1968 and moved to Lome, Togo. Limann's first diplomatic posting. Limann had three daughters and two boys.

Subsequently, Limann served in Switzerland where he worked with several UN agencies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the International Labour Office (ILO) and the International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) based in Vienna, Austria.

Entry into National Politics

In 1968, when the NLC began preparing the country for it's controlled return to parliamentary democracy Limann was made a member of the Constitution Drafting Commission under the chairmanship of Justice Edward Akufo-Addo, the father of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo. When the ban on party politics was lifted in 1979, Limann resigned from the Foreign Service to enter politics as a People's National Party (PNP) prospective parliamentary candidate for Tumu. Colonel Roger Felli, the long serving, Commissioner of foreign affairs under the NRC/SMC military regimes had also resigned and joined the PNP and even attended its rally in Tamale before his arrest and later execution by the AFRC. These days, civil servants and others openly flaunt the rules by not resigning to enter politics, leaving very senior public servants and their bosses looking on. A move that is destroying the independency of several state institutions. This is part of the growing impunity in Ghana.

From Prospective Parliamentary Candidate to President.

One of the harsh political decisions that the NLC took was to ban the CPP and many of its leaders from taking an active part in electoral politics. This act was to disqualify Alhaji Imoru Egala as the presidential candidate of the PNP. Limann and the Addae-Mensah (author) were members of the Research and Evaluation Committee of the PNP and worked to draft the PNP manifesto. This collaboration was to lead to a lasting friendship and this book under review. The hidden hand that has contributed greatly to the destruction of the once powerful CPP from 1966 was at hand when the Supreme Military Council 11 led by General Fred Akuffo lifted the ban on party politics. 17 political parties were formed with two the Popular Front Party (PFP) and the United National Convention (UNC) claiming their origin from the old United Party (UP) tradition. Two parties Colonel Frank Bernasco's Action Congress Party (ACP) and John Bilson's Third Force Party could be regarded as fresh parties. The rest were offshoots of the CPP. The same situation prevails today thus making the CPP less attractive to voters.

Imoru Egala, who with others formed the PNP in January 1979 worked to unify the pro-Nkrumah parties with great challenges. Some, who had insulted Nkrumah publicly after the 1966 coup were back parading themselves as the natural successors to Nkrumah. It was time consuming. Still time consuming today. In March 1979 sixteen political parties were given their registration certificates by the Electoral Commission. By April 1979, the number of parties had whittled down to six. Many had merged with the PNP including Johnny F. Hansen's People's Revolutionary Party (PRP). The PNP had described itself as 'The Doyen of all Parties'.

As the battle for the presidential slot of the PNP rage on, many old associates of Nkrumah thought they were more qualified than Imoru Egala. The PNP had planned to have its national congress in Kumasi in March 1979 to endorse the candidature of Egala. Addae-Mensah writes 'Even though it was generally acclaimed that Imoru Egala had played a yeoman's role in keeping the spirit of the CPP alive since 1966, and could in fact be regarded as the founder of the People's National Party as the success to the CPP, there were other people in the party who strongly felt that could not be good enough reason to assume that he automatically become the Party's presidential candidate'. Several names were being bandied around. Most prominent among these was Dr. R.P. Baffour, the first Ghanaian Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of .science and Technology. Some of the people who had attempted to found their own political parties, including Mr Kwaku Boateng, the former higher education Minister in Nkrumah's government who betrayed his mentor after the 1966 coup by accusing Nkrumah of turning all his ministers into 'gaping sycophants', Mr John Tettegah the former Secretary General of the Trade Union Congress during Nkrumah's regime and Mr Kojo Botsio, had eventually joined the PNP. But there were indications that they still did not wish to see Egala as the new leader...'

There were different efforts or machinations to derail the Egala nomination at the proposed Kumasi Congress. Limann's plan was to drive to Tumu to see to his parliamentary campaign after the Kumasi Congress. Then came the bombshell. The High Court had up held the injunction filed against Egala arguing 'that even though his properties seized by the National Liberation Council (NLC) in 1966 had been returned to him after General Kutu Acheampong's 1972 coup, he should have gone to court to seek a court order to quash the findings of the Commission of Enquiry whose findings had the force of a High Court judgement'. Hence the PNP Kumasi Congress was aborted and a Central Committee meeting arranged to find a solution to the problem.

The party's Research Committee and intelligence officers had come to a conclusion that the country was in a mood for a president from Northern Ghana and a presidential candidate from there would be advantageous. Three names namely Dr Andan, a prince of Dagbon, physician and director of the Police hospital; Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, a minister under Nkrumah and Dr Hilla Limann. Bawumia was the favourite of the older generation who worked with Nkrumah. Interestingly, 13 years after the 1966 coup, Bawumia's case was still under investigations! Hence he was in the same situation like Egala. Dr Andan declined on the grounds that as a prince of Dagbon, it might affect the PNP votes. Dr. John Sebiyam Nabila was ineligible as he was under 40years. Dr Baffour 's campaign had ran out of momentum because he could not gather enough support from influential members of the Central Committee such as Mr Kofi Batsa.

Under the circumstances, Hilla Limann, the prospective parliamentary candidate for Tumu was chosen as the presidential candidate for the PNP at the Central Committee meeting. Limann was asked to present his thoughts and 'vision' to the meeting. Addae-Mensah writes that the performance was not 'presidential' to say the least. However, Krobo Edusei, Kwasi Armah, A. S. A. Abban, B.K. Senkyire all ministers under Nkrumah and the all powerful Ayeh Kumi, the financial backbone of the CPP supported the candidature of Limann. As the meeting got more interested in Limann's candidature, Kofi Batsa spoke after Kojo Botsio, a foreign minister under Nkrumah pleaded for Kofi Batsa to air his opinion. Batsa, speaking for 40 minutes noted that Limann was not an experienced politician and used 'pretty harsh words' that threw the Central Committee meeting into confusion. A vote by show of hands was taken 17 (seventeen) in favour 1 (one) against. The sole dissenting voice was that of Kofi Batsa. The veteran journalist and successful businessman Batsa was also a courageous, independent minded person. He, immediately after the vote spoke again in what Addae-Mensah describes as 'really fantastic'. Kofi Batsa stated that he would 'give everything -physical, mental, material, and all - to ensure that Limann was elected the President of Ghana.' Very rare politicians of such caliber exist today. Limann was subsequently introduce at the party's rally in Okaikwei constituency. On that day the socialist politician Johnny F. Hansen announced the merger of the People's Revolutionary Party (PRP) with the PNP.

The Central Committee meeting decided to let the PNP congress select the vice presidential candidate with the following contesting. Johnny F. Hansen, Dr M. M. Owusu-Ansah of the Institute of Adult Education, University of Ghana, Mrs Stella Dontoh, a lawyer and banker, Dr. Kojo Hansen, Dr. Isaac S. Ephson and Fred Segbefia, a lawyer (whose son is current the minister of health Alex Segbefia). Professor J.W.S de-Grafy Johnson won.

The PNP had a better organisational base despite the 13 years of the ban on the CPP. The old guards threw their weight into the campaign with vigour. The youth and women wings with good publicity materials produced by Kofi Batsa soon became the attention of voters. Limann, visited villages and towns that had never seen a national leader since the 1966 coup. This strategy was later used by John Agyekum Kufour in his campaigns. Addae-Mensah writes '...... In the Western Region, Limann's entourage was scheduled to visit a village in the Aowin-Asankragua District considered to be crucial swing polling centre. About 5 kilometres to the village the team came across a stream that had burst its banks with the bridge across it swept away by heavy rains. We were informed by people in the preceding village that our main opponent had come to the same spot the previous day, and had considered it too dangerous to cross the stream, and had therefore turned back, to the utter disappointment of the people who were waiting for him in the next village. After abit of debate as to whether to cross or not, Mr Duncan Williams, a former District Commissioner in Nkrumah's government, (father of Arcbishop Duncan Williams of Action Church), who later became Limann's Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, decided to sacrifice himself by wading through the flooded river up to a point, just to determine how deep it was.' Duncan Williams concluded that it was not so deep thus Limann and company crossed over to the next village and had a successful rally to the admiration of the villagers.

Whilst the campaign intensified, some of the Old guards such as Kojo Botsio and K.A Gbedemah and Kwaku Boateng had talent for engaging in counter productive activities. Gbedemah, a man with exceptional organisational ability and credited for Nkrumah's winning the Accra Central constituency in the 1951 elections against the free man Emmanuel Odarkwei Obetsebi-Lamptey (father of former NPP Chairman, Jake Obetsebe-Lamptey). Gbedemah did not conceal his contempt for Limann, campaigned for Victor Owusu, the candidate of the Popular Front Party (PFP) through full page advertisements in major newspapers in Ghana with a picture of Gbedemah meeting Dr Kofi Busia in Zurich in 1962. As the campaign got more interesting without personal attacks from the United National Convention (UNC) and PNP, the PFP launched one disparate attack in an advertisement. 'It is going to take more than the ability to dance, speak French or play the organ to rescue Ghana. Compare what Victor Owusu has to offer to any other presidential candidate.'

The campaign for the elections was a difficult process as on 13 May 1979 Flt Lt. John Jerry Rawlings attempted a coup and was disarmed by Major Abubakar Suleimana and his boys. A serious error on judgement by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) allowed an open court session thereby courting the sympathy of the junior ranks and the vast majority of the poor to seek the release of Rawlings and his boys. By June 4 1979, the more educated junior officers led by Captain Boakye Djan, Lt Baah Achamfour, Lt. Bio, and others had devised a military plan to release Rawlings from Guard room. Unfortunately, the well educated junior officers prove too slow, and Rawlings was taken to the Ghana Broadcasting House (GBC) to make the coup announcement. This was the beginning of the most serious challenge to Limann, the PNP and civil society leading to the 31 December 1981 coup.

The election was won by the PNP with 71 seats out of the 140. Limann also won the majority of votes (73 constituencies) followed by Victor Owusu (40 seats). Limann was the only candidate who won seats in all the nine regions. Towards the second round of the presidential election, Gbedemah continued with his hostility towards Limann. Despite that, the PNP candidate Hilla Limann won with over 62% and Victor Owusu about 38%. 'Li Who' as some Ghanaians referred to Liman was the next president and on 24th September 1979 Rawlings, the Head of State Rawlings was forced to hand over power by Major Boakye -Djan, Major Mensah Poku, Captain Baah Achamfour and Ben Forjio, a well known and respected national security expert. A Yoruba proverb says that one season goes and another comes. (No one can dominate forever).

Limann and the economy

Even thought Limann's government did not have enough time to fulfill the promises in its manifesto, a dispassionate examination of the 27 months in power and consideration of the PNDC, NDC and the NPP governments shows that given time the Limann's administration would have achieved better results for the country. Three examples. Energy. The energy policy of the Limann government was focused on two fronts, namely enhancement of renewable energy potential via hydro-electric resources and the exploration of the potential oil-bearing geological formations for crude oil deposits. After the construction of the Akosombo dam in 1965, and with the coup of 1966, the military government under the matching orders of Western governments, namely the British described the construction of the Akosombo, and the future Bui and Kpong dams as 'crazy prestige projects'.

Addae-Mensah explains that by 1965 when the Akosombo dam was built the entire electric power requirement was less than 250 Megawatts yet Nkrumah had built a 1000 Megawatts Dam with plans to build another dam downstream at Kpong and upstream at Bui. Busia's regime went back to Nkrumah's planned construction. Kpong was eventually started by the Acheampong regime in 1977 and completed by the Limann administration at a cost of C650 million. Interesting Environmental Planning Associates Ltd, a consultancy group that belonged to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi presented the model of the proposed Bui Township to the Volta River Authority in November 1979, demonstrating confidence in the ability of Ghanaians to undertake such projects. By November 1981, the Chief .Executive Officer of the VRA Louis Casely-Hayford announced that contracts were being awarded and the project contracting was end in March 1981. Indeed, it was in search for financial support to construct the Bui dam that Imoru Egala died on the KLM plane at the Accra International airport on his way to Saudi Arabia with the Vice President Professor Johnson.

It took twenty years for another civilian president John Agyekum Kufour to construct the dam. It is Ghana that lost. The author provides detailed information on all aspects of the economy that Limann's government began to tackle. Interesting the PNDC was to return to the IMF for much worse conditional support in 1983.

Corruption, Rawlings and Limann

One of the lies perfected by Rawlings and the PNDC is that Limann's government was corrupt.

Despite the accusations of corruption by Rawlings and his new team, non of the Limann cabinet ministers were ever convicted of corruption. Under Limann, his minister for Transport and Communications Harry Sawyer bluntly asked the British delegation sent to negotiate the purchase of new planes ; "so what is in it for me?" After the initial shock of the delegation, having arrived in Ghana under the impression that the Minister they were coming to negotiate with was incorruptible and honest, the delegation offered 10 percent of the negotiated price as personal to Mr Sawyer. "I will think about it. Let us meet again tomorrow morning". Sawyer stated. Next morning the minister asked the British delegation to up their offer to 15 percent. After due consultations with London, they agreed to the 15 percent. Minister Sawyer then took a piece of paper, calculated the amount, and responded to them:

If you can give me personally 15 percent of the cost of the planes as personal gift, it means you can sell the planes at less than 15 percent of the quotation ...and still make profit. We are therefore going to pay you your quoted price less 15 percent. Personally, I take absolutely nothing".

This was the level of integrity that existed in Limann's cabinet.

Security, 11 attempted coups and Back to the Dark Days.

There were 11 attempted coups during the 27months of the Limann presidency. One was led by Captain Nkrabea-Effah Dartey, a Lt at the 5th battalion at Burma Camp who simply wanted to stage the coup to become the youngest head of state in Africa, an ambition he admitted to the military intelligence he had since his secondary school days and he had joined the Ghana Armed Forces ostensibly to fulfil his burning ambition.

Rawlings and his groups' were engage in coup plotting at several levels including teaming up with elements in the PNP who thought they were fighting for internal democracy within the party. One such element was Addae-Amoako. Addai-Mensah reveals that: When the K.N. Ofori/Addae Amoako faction started to subvert the party and government from within for their own selfish end, Tettegah saw this as a golden opportunity and offered to help Addae-Amoako with the excuse that Limann was not Nkrumahist enought and that the party was being led down the path of capitalism and conservatism. Addae-Amoako in his naivety swallowed Tettegah's offer and started working with him. Little did he know that Tettegah was in league with Kojo Tsikata who was in league with Rawlings. John Tettegah later took over the coordination of the Addae-Amoako campaign and channelled funds for the legal actions initiated by Addae-Amoako.

On 31st December 1981 Addae-Amoako took to the streets trying to organise opposition to the Rawlings' coup. He called John Tettegah to find out what he was doing to oppose the coup. To his shock, Tettegah told him that '....he Addae-Amoako should have realised by then that what was happening was what the whole cooperation they had mutually exercising was all about...therefore stop making trouble and cooperate with them. Addae-Amoako bluntly refused to cooperate with the coup makers and subsequently fled into exile in north London.

Rawlings was miles ahead when plotting to overthrow the Limann government. Rawlings had several fronts to test Limann's government. The mistake of the leading members of the June 4 Movement to make Rawlings chair of the Movement following his retirement by the Limann government provided the best opportunity to stage a coup. Rawlings now had a political platform nationwide. The existence of hundreds of disgruntled soldiers and junior officers was a fertile ground for a coup; and the radicalised national situation with populist groups including sections of the Trade Unions supporting Rawlings and Limann's gentleness directly or indirectly led to the coup. The state, particularly national security must be defended at all times. Rawlings was to perfect this to save his regime from numerous attempted coups.

There were signs to show the making of a coup. This important sign was 'dream' (in which Limann was not hurt, but the government was in trouble or overthrown) in which specific individuals including Alexander Appianing-Kramo (who was involved in the 1980 arms, ammunition case with Rawlings and Paul Victor Obeng), T.N.Ward Brew (a former NUGS leader) and Sergeant Alolga Akatapore (a student of the University of Cape Coast and an agent of the Limann administration, Rawlings and the Movement on National Affairs of Major Boakye Djan). The question is whether Appianing-Kramo, Ward Brew and Akatapore had really had these dreams or whether the dreams were some means adopted by these persons for supplying information to the security agencies without being accused of being double agents? Those that Limann and the presidency trusted were instrumental in the coup.

With a few soldiers, Rawlings out mastered the Armed Forces and Police and that set the country for what some still call 'a revolution' and it's subsequent 'betrayal'. But in reality it was nothing less than a coup, a continuation of the 1966 coup agenda, the deindustrialisation of Ghana.

Rawlings treated Limann in the most inhumane manner. Denying him of his foreign service pension, presidential retirement, insults and absolute disrespect to the extent that the diplomatic Limann had to fight back with a powerful press statement. Limann was released from detention on 21 September 1983. The bail surety was one million, and all attempts to get Limann's friends to help fail. Finally, His old school mate Alhjai A. bin Salih raised the amount after Dr. Andan, who refused to contest the PNP presidential selection negotiated it down to 50,000. Out of power, no one wanted to be associated with Limann for fear of the 'resident terrorist.' It is necessary to right historical wrongs.

Limann with some friends later joined the race for power in 1992 and formed the People's National Convention (PNC) after failing to bring the various Nkrumahist factions together. The invincible hands that divided the front in the third Republic was to play a key role in marginalising the Nkrumahist groups towards and in the Fourth Republic.

Limann died sadly on 23rd January 1998. A fine gentleman. He was not corrupt. Limann could have sanctioned the extermination of the coup plotters, but stay dignity despite the provocations by sections of armed forces and some progressive movements. Limann had only one house at Teshie Nungua estate and one car that he procured as a foreign service officer.

There are some errors such as the great Babatu (slave raider) died in Zoyhe in Yendi and is buried there, not in Sandema as Addae-Mendah writes. Lt. General Arnold Quainoo was the first commander of the Economic Community Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and not the United Nations Peace Keeping Force. The UN took over from Ecomog in 2004 following the removal of President Charles Taylor. Limann got his Ph.d from Sabornne University in Paris and not in London. That the section on the 31st December 1981 coup is written in a diplomatic language.

Addae-Mensah's biography of Liman is a great contribution to our understanding of the Third Republic, the transition between populist radicalism and it's effect on multi-party democracy. It demands a sober national reflection on politics and the economy. The details are both devastating and dispiriting.

Ghanaians, particularly the greedy and non greedy politicians and the youth need to read this book as the nation tries to consolidate multi-party democracy with its teething challenges including massive corruption and intra- party battles, and the low human security challenges. To conclude, Addae-Mensah quotes Dr.John S. Nabila (minister Presidential Affairs and Special Services) "If the information is from (Sergeant Daniel Alolga) Akatapore, there is no cause for alarm, and that everything is under control". Within a few days, there was the 31st December coup marking the end of the short history of the Third Republic.

Napoleon Abdulai.

Columnist: Abdulai, Napoleon