Ghana Politics

How fear of a coup made Kufuor appoint his younger brother as Defence Minister

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor says competence was the major factor in his decision to select his brother, Addo Kufuor, as Defence Minister in his first term.

Speaking on Accra-based Neat FM, Kufuor explained that owing to the country’s record with coup d’état’s, he needed someone whose competence and loyal he could trust.

Kufuor revealed that with his brother already in the public space as Member of Parliament for Manhyia, he was convinced that handing him the position was going to be in the interest of his government and the country.

He diffused claims that the appointment of Addo Kufuor was meant to carry out a vendetta against Rawlings and members of his regime.

“What people forgot is that from independence till the time I became president any civilian president was ousted via [a] coup. Nkrumah, Busia and Liman were all victims of coups.

“I was the fourth civilian president and my prayer was that my government wasn’t going to be toppled by [a] coup. I was looking for a very competent person and had resolve; so that I entrust the Ministry of Defence to him and my brother worked excellently at the Ministry of Defence. So how can someone sit on the radio and malign me and seek to destroy my family?” he said.

John Agyekum Kufuor said that he had confidence in his brother to help thwart any coup plot that was going to be hatched.

“I don’t want people to think that I had issues with my brother. I wanted someone whom I could trust to be competent and not plan to overthrow my government. When God gave me the chance to be president, I vowed not to give the defence ministerial role to anyone.

“I wanted someone who wouldn’t sleep on the job so that in the event that anyone plans coups, he will alert us early so that we deal with it. That’s why I appointed my brother because I know him more than anyone. We have the same parents and I’m just a year and a half older than him. We grew up together and I know his competence and how he thinks,” he thinks.

Kufuor defended that the appointment of his brother does not equate to running a ‘family and friends’ government as Addo Kufuor was already holding public office.

I did not practice family and friends. He was an MP even before I became an MP. I wanted someone who could help take [care] of the Defence Ministry and give us the peace to execute our plans.



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