• Fri. Aug 5th, 2022

Ignatius Kuti Acheampong’s last meal before his execution in 1979

A daughter is said to have played her role by delivering her father one of his favorite delicacies the night before his execution while he was being kept in prison.

It was as if she was saying that before he left this world, she wanted him to enjoy one final taste of his favorite cuisine.

Colonel Ignatius Kutu Acheampong’s daughter prepared a final lunch of fufu for her father before his firing squad execution.

According to the New York Times, Ghana’s former president, Ignatius K. Acheampong, was murdered by firing squad on June 17, 1979.

The 47-year-old was found guilty of misusing public funds.

A revolutionary court was established up by a group of junior officers who seized control in a coup 12 days before the death of the previous army commander who ruled the country for more than six years.

Last dinner of Acheampong:

Elizabeth Acheampong, IK Acheampong’s 25-year-old daughter, sent him fufu the night before his death.

“Tell everyone I was a decent man and pray for me,” he told his daughter in his final words.

Ignatius Kutu Acheampong’s biography

Ignatius Kutu Acheampong was born to James Kwadwo Kutu Acheampong and Madam Akua Manu of Trabuom, Ashanti, in Kumasi, Ashanti. In the Central Region, he attended Trabuom Elementary School, St. Peter’s Catholic School in Kumasi, and Central College of Commerce in Swedru.

He graduated from high school with a Middle School Certificate, a GCE ‘O’ Level, and a Commerce Diploma. Acheampong worked as a stenographer/secretary in the Kumasi Timber Sawmill, taught at Kumasi Commercial College, and was Vice Principal at Agona-Swedru College of Commerce between 1945 and 1951.

In 1951, he joined the colonial army as a Private and attended a training camp in Aldershot, England. He was a member of a contingent assigned to the British Battalion in Germany. When he returned to Ghana, he was promoted to Second Lieutenant. From 1959 through 1966, Acheampong took multiple courses at the Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, including one in Personnel Administration.

While serving with the Ghana component of the UN Belgian Congo Peacekeeping Force, he became the Commanding Officer of the 5th and 6th battalions and was mentioned in dispatches.

He served as Chairman of the Western Regional Committee of Administration from 1966 to 1971, and as Commander of the First Infantry Brigade from 1971 to 1972.

In 1972, Acheampong took advantage of public outrage over Busia’s devaluation of the Cedi by 44% to stage a military coup that deposed Busia’s government and installed himself as Head of State, Chairman of the National Redemption Council and the Supreme Military Council, as well as Minister of Defense and Sports.

General Acheampong annulled the 1969 constitution, prohibited political activities, arrested over a thousand people, and established powerful military tribunals as Head of State.

On the phrase ‘yentua,’ he promised to redeem Ghana and earned popularity by repudiating part of Ghana’s foreign obligations (we wont pay). He championed self-sufficiency and created ‘Operation Feed Yourself,’ which aimed to make Ghana food self-sufficient. Ghana was unable to reach self-sufficiency due to corruption, smuggling, inflation, and food shortages. Economic woes sparked unrest, which he subdued by taking strong measures against strikes and the trade union movement.

Acheampong suggested a ‘Union Government,’ in which authority would be shared by civilians, politicians, and the armed forces, effectively eliminating partisan politics; this sparked violent student protests in January 1977, and the closure of Ghana’s universities. Despite the fact that a referendum in 1978 revealed that the majority of people backed the ‘Union Government,’ there was widespread belief that the poll was rigged. At least four individuals have been killed in Kumasi as a result of violent battles between pro and anti-UNIGOV factions.

By 1978, Acheampong’s military colleagues on the Supreme Military Council had voted him out and replaced him with General Akuffo (July 1978). He was accused of damaging the economy and was cashiered and imprisoned in his hometown in the Ashanti Region by Akuffo.

After a brief trial by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, which had seized power under the leadership of Flt. Lt Jerry John Rawlings, he was executed by firing squad in June 1979.

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