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Ignatius Kutu Acheampong


Ignatius Kutu Acheampong was a former military head of state of Ghana. He ruled from 13 January 1972 to July 5, 1978, when he was deposed in a palace coup. He was later executed by firing squad.

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Created: 21st Jul 2008
Modified: 21st Jul 2008
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Acheampong led a coup d'├ętat to overthrow the democratically elected government of the Progress Party and its leader Dr. Kofi Busia on 13 January 1972. He became Head of State and Chairman of the National Redemption Council (NRC), which was later transformed into the Supreme Military Council on October 9, 1975, with Colonel Acheampong (promoted to General) as its chairman.

Notable historical changes and events introduced or implemented in Ghana during the period under Acheampong include: the change from the imperial to the metric system of measurement, change from driving on the left to right-hand drive in "Operation Keep Right", "Operation Feed Yourself" (a programme aimed at developing self-reliance in agriculture), "National Reconstruction" (aimed at promoting employment and skill for workers), face-lift projects in cities, and the reconstruction/upgrading of stadia to meet international standards.

There were, however, widespread accusations of both the encouragement and endorsement of corruption in the country under his rule.

Acheampong sought to perpetuate the military in government by introducing a model called "Union Government" or "Unigov" for short. This became a very contentious national issue which was vehemently opposed by many. A referendum held on 30 March 1978 to accept or reject this concept was widely believed to be rigged, though the official results were 60.11% for and 39.89% against. The electoral commissioner at the time, Justice Isaac Kobina Abban (who later became Chief Justice), went into hiding from the government for fear of his life after coming under pressure to manipulate results.

Acheampong was deposed in a palace coup on 5 July 1978 and succeeded by the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. General Fred Akuffo. He remained under virtual house arrest at Trabuom in the Ashanti Region until the advent of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

Acheampong, together with two other former Heads of State (Gen. Afrifa and Gen. Akuffo) and five other senior military officers (Amedume, Boakye, Felli, Kotei and Utuka), were executed by firing squad in June 1979, after the June 4 revolution that brought Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings and the AFRC to power.
Biographical Information
Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
(At a Glance)
Date of Birth: Sep/23/1931
Gender: male
Interests: Politic, Art, Culture
Place of Origin: Ghana
Acheampong was married to Mrs. Faustina Acheampong. His grandson is American football player Charlie Peprah. A native of Plano, Texas, Peprah played four seasons at the University of Alabama and was picked in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He currently plays for the Green Bay Packers. (source wikipedia)

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