Adansi-Asokwa Member of Parliament, KT Hammond has alleged that the late former President of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, handed over a collapsed economy to his successor John Agyekum Kufuor in January 2001.
Hammond made the allegation on Accra-based Asempa FM while commenting on the recent ‘Ghana is rife for a coup’ sentiment shared by Dean of University of Ghana School of Law, Prof Raymond Atuguba.
The MP was rebutting Atuguba’s main premise that economic downturns have often been a trigger for coups according to studies and going by a wave in the subregion.
“When Rawlings was leaving the office for Kufuor to take over in 2001 January, you heard when Kufuor addressed Parliament for the first time, he spoke about mass shortages and challenges to the economy.
“We went to Nigeria, it was myself, KT Hammond, who led President Kufuor to Nigeria to beg Obasanjo for oil and other critical supplies. At the time that support came in, Ghana’s economy had collapsed totally, did anyone raise the issue of a coup?” he asked.
While pointing at the global effect of COVID on economies, he stated that economies were not static and that this government had done its level best and continued on the path of bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic.
“From Atta Mills, through to John Mahama and Akufo-Addo, have we heard anyone talk about a coup? Economies naturally experience challenges and government works to fix them every now and then.
“Since our birth, COVID is an unprecedented occurrence. Even the West suffered and is suffering the effects of the pandemic. If it wasn’t by grace that we had this man (Akufo-Addo) who guide this nation stressing how economies can be rebooted but how lives cannot be restored and he received applause globally.
“So, however it was, he did all things humanly possible including taking loans. Is this economy so tattered to the point that coups must now be brought in?” Hammond added.
Prof Atuguba, in a recent lecture, averred that Ghana may be rife for a coup considering the prevailing economic challenges.
He stated that certain conditions for a successful coup to be staged such as a broke economy were already in place. He advised the government to immediately begin addressing such eminent threats before it escalates.
“We do not want a coup in this country yet I fear that if we do not act quickly, we may have one on our hands very soon. A former colleague doctoral Ph.D. student wrote his dissertation also on Ghana.
“He now teaches at a War College in the US. Whiles my topic was on the Ghana Police, his topic was on the Ghana military.
“Naturally, our paths intersected and we have remained friends since. My friend’s Ph.D. thesis was on the topic ‘Why certain coups succeed and why others fail’. His case study was Ghana.
“My current assessment that Ghana may be ripe for a coup partly springs from the knowledge I gained from accompanying my friend through part of his doctoral research on this topic.”
Since his comment, there have been growing calls for his arrest.