THE RAWLINGS REVOLUTION
Ghana under the Provisional National Defence Council - PNDC, 1981 - 92
At about 11 am on the coup day the voice of Rawlings came on air calling for ’nothing less than a revolution - something that will transform the social and economic order of this country’. On the night of Saturday, January 2, 1982, he made a second broadcast on radio and TV in which he accused the Limann administration of deliberately reneging on the pledge to continue the ’house-cleaning’ exercise. Rawlings described the immediate past administration as ’the most disgraceful government in the history of this country.’ He continued: ’It is only in recent times that criminals and such like have become respectable in our society... They have turned our hospitals into graveyards and our clinics into death transit camps where men, women and children die daily because of lack of drugs and basic equipment’.
He went on to announce the suspension of the 1979 Third Republican Constitution, the dismissal of all members of the government, the dissolution of Parliament and the banning of political parties. Rawlings proclaimed the establishment of the Provisional National Defence Council - PNDC, the members of whom would be announced later, as the supreme political authority in Ghana. By the PNDC establishment proclamation - January 11, 1982, provision was made for an eleven member council. However, only seven were named initially. They were; Flight-Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings as Chairman, Brigadier Joseph Nunoo-Mensah, the Rev. Dr. Vincent Kwabena Damuah, Warrant Officer Class 1 Joseph Adjei Boadi. Sergeant Daniel Alolga Akata-Pore, Joachim Amartey Quaye and Chris Bukari Atim. By the close of 1982, only Rawlings and Adjei Boadi remained.1 Mrs. Aanaa Enin, Nandom Na, Naa Polkuu Konkuu Chiiri were added to the Council by mid-1984. After the death of Naa Polkuu Konkuu Chiiri on August 25, 1984 (at the age of 51) his place was taken by the appointment of Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu.
In July 1984 additional members were appointed in the persons of Mrs. Susan Alhassan and Justice D. K Annan. The Council was again expanded in July 1985 when two new members were appointed - Captain (Rtd) Kojo Tsikata, who had previously been the Special Adviser to the PNDC, was now PNDC member responsible for Foreign Affairs and National Security, and P.V. Obeng PNDC Co-ordinating Secretary and Chairman of the Committee of PNDC Secretaries. Getting to the end of 1985 two further members were added. Major-General Arnold Quainoo, (the Force Commander) and Brigadier Mensah-Wood (Commander of the Military Academy and Training School).
Plots and Attempted Coups
It must be noted that the PNDC faced stiff opposition culminating in a series of plots, the most significant being the events of October/November 1982 and of June 19, 1983. In what could be described as a coup d’etat by press conference on October 29, 1982, at a meeting of the Accra and Tema Workers Defence Committees - WDCs, some leaders of the June Fourth Movement - JFM, and the People’s Revolutionary League of Ghana - PRLG, announced that Sergeant Akata-Fore, a ieader of the JFM, Secretary of the Armed Forces Defence Committees and an ’original’ member of the PNDC, had replaced Rawlings as Chairman of the PNDC. Confusion reigned in Accra until Rawlings was notified whereupon he called a press conference (November 12, 1982) at which the principal instigators were present and informed the press that though there was misunderstanding it had been resolved.
Then on November 23, 1982 armed men succeeded in capturing for a while, part of Gondar Barracks, Burma Camp. When the situation was returned to normal several arrests were made: they included Sergeant Akata-Pore, Tata Ofosu - editor of the JFM’s paper The Workers’ Banner and Kwame Pianim.4 The suspects were put on trial but some managed to escape from prison custody on June 19, 1983 as part of that day’s attempted coup d’etat. The June 19, 1983 attempted coup d’etat which came closest to overthrowing the PNDC was led by Sergeant Abdul Malik and Corporal Carlos Halidu Giwa who announced himself over GBC radio as the rebel ’Operational Commissioner’. After some resistance, the rebels were over-powered by the combined force of loyal soldiers led by Warrant Officer Adjei Boadi and Captain Courage Kwashigah. Captain Kwashigah announced that the PNDC was back in control.
Apart form these plots the PNDC was opposed by groups formed by Ghanaian residents abroad. The groups were the Campaign for Democracy in Ghana and the Ghana Democratic Movement both based in London but who had members and well-wishers around Europe, notably in the former West Germany and North America. They also had active branches in Lome, Togo, and Lagos, Nigeria. Another source of opposition was Elizabeth Ohene’s magazine, the Talking Drum which launched constant attacks on the regime, and the Movement on National Affairs - MONAS.
Organs of Popular Power
To give meaning to its caii for the masses to be part of the decision¬making process the regime established institutions that would promote this. The institutions created were: the Peoples Defence Committees - PDCs, the Workers Defence Committees - WDCs and the National Defence Committees - NDCs, which were set up at community, workplace, district, regional and national ieveis. The NDC co-ordinated the PDCs. In December 1984 the defence committees were renamed and re-structured as CDRs - Committee for the Defence of the Revolution. The NDC was disbanded. Instead the CDRs of each region were made responsible to the PNDC Regionai Secretary. Anouier organisation which was to mobilise support for the regime was the 31st December Women’s Movement founded in 1982 by the wife of the Head of State, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings.
Organs of Popular Justice
As part of the process of ensuring social justice and for dealing with persons whose activities ran contrary to what the PNDC stood for, a number of institutions were established. They were the National Investigations Committee -NIC, the Citizens Vetting Committee - CVC, and the Public Tribunals. The National Investigations Committee was established by the National Investigations Committee Law 1982 (PNDCL 2). It was to investigate cases of corruption. Initially, any person whose bank account had a credit of tf 50,000.00 (about US $16,000.00 at the time) or more was obliged to explain the source of the income and justify its genuineness or forfeit the amount to the state. Its stated purpose was to discourage corruption and mop up excess liquidity in the system. The CVC was established in 1982 by. PNDC Law 1. The CVC investigated anyone whose lifestyle, compared to the supposed income, gave cause for suspicion. It concerned itself with tax evasion in particular, as well as over-invoicing, fraudulent bank loans, offenses relating to customs and excise, currency trafficking etc. The Citizens Vetting Committee (Amendment) Law 1982 (PNDCL 18) created a new Section 7 which enhanced the Committee’s powers to include the forfeiture to the State of any property and recommendation to the appropriate authority, the dismissal, removal or retirement of persons from the public service on the grounds of misconduct or negligence in performance of duty.
The net of the CVC was so wide that almost every professional or businessman or woman could be made to appear before it in Accra or its regional offices. Later, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners - ORC took over matters relating to taxation. Public Tribunals were set up under PNDCL 78 to translate into reality, the ideals of popular justice. They were to respond to three main problems in the system of the administration of justice: its slowness and cumbersome procedures; its inflexibility and intimidating character particularly to the people of the lower classes, that is, its alienating class character, and wide-spread corruption. Rightly or wrongly, it was widely believed by the masses that the courts did not dispense justice fairly, more especially when the case involved a ’big shot’ and an ordinary person. Therefore, the Public Tribunals were places where ’real’ justice could be found. Apart from the presiding judge who should have some professional knowledge in law, the rest of the panel should not necessarily be lawyers. Its jurisdiction was unlimited and could sit on any case including trying people in absentia. Nobody supervised it or reviewed its decisions except the Head of State who had the power to reduce and not increase sentences. Initially, there was no appeal to its judgment, but, after several representations the PNDC Law 78 was amended to allow retrials and appeals for other reasons.
The PNDC decentralized political power and the decision-making process. The regime promulgated its Blue Book on the Creation of District Authority and Modalities for District Level Elections on July 1, 1987. Based largely on the reports of the Kuffour Committee (1982) the Sowu Committee (1982) and the Public Administration Review and Decentralization Implementation Committee (PARDIC) established in 1983, the programme of decentralization was to ensure development at the grass roots and popular participation in decision-making. It was also to reduce ’rural-urban drift of the youth, rural unemployment and resource generation for development’. As a follow-up, the PNDC established District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies. The number of local government units thus increased from 65 to 110.
The Assemblies were composed of members, two-thirds of which were elected by universal adult suffrage on a non-partisan basis, while the PNDC nominated one-third of the membership, acting in consultation with traditional authorities and organised productive economic groupings in the district. Subject to the Constitution, the Assemblies were not only the basic political authority, but also the established deliberative, legislative and consultative body which had to ensure the development of the area under their control. They were also to maintain security and public safety in the district or municipality in cooperation with the right national and local security agencies. They were also to ensure ready access to the courts for the promotion of justice.
Regional Co-ordinating Councils were also established to serve as a link between the DAs/MAs and the central government. Composed of between 17 and 45 individuals of varying background, the RCC also had the duty of allocating to the districts, funds approved by government and reviewing and co¬ordinating public services in the region. With the assistance of the World Bank, the PNDC, under the Urban I and II project strengthened the management and revenife mobilization capacities of DAs (eg. Sekondi/Takoradi, Kumasi, Tema and Tamale) and also improved lorry parks, rehabilitated markets, schools and in certain instances ’modern’ places of convenience were provided. Defence Committees - People’s Defence Committee (PDC), later renamed the Committee for Defence Organisation (CDO) and the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) and Workers’ Defence Committee (WDC) were set up as organs of peoples’ power and partners in the decision-making process. For instance, the WDCs at the work places acted as equal partners in the running of their organisations, institutions and factories. The PDCs which operated down to the village level sought to ensure fair deals within their communities. As Hansen puts it, the Defence Committees "... became the main channel for the articulation of demands by that social group which has been persistently left out of the political decision-making process by the class coalition which has ruled the country since independence".
The PNDC’s response to the economic crisis was the launching in April 1983 of the Economic Recovery Programme (ERP). Officially divided into two phases - ERP 1 (1983-86) and ERP II (1987-89) designated the Structural Adjustment and Development Phase, its objectives included arresting the decline in production in all sectors of the economy, particularly agriculture, including cocoa, and control factors that have been causing hyper-inflation. It was also to sustain economic growth at between 5 and 5.5% a year over the medium term, increase domestic savings from about 7% at the end of ERP I to about 15% by the end of the decade and increase the level of public investment from about 10% of national income to about 15% by the end of the decade.
Capital inflow for ERP was tremendous. In 1983 over US$571 million was made available by different Western-controlled foreign capital sources. The IMF provided US$ 255 miiiion standby credits and US$ 26.75 miiiion under the Fund’s Compensating Financing Facility (CFF). The World Bank loaned to Ghana US$90 million for the revival of the foreign-currency-generating export of cocoa, gold and timber. The IMF’s International Development Association provided a short-term bridging ’soft’ loan of US$40miIlion for the importation of materials and spare parts needed for the rehabilitation of the agriculture and transportation sectors of the economy. In 1984 grants amounted to US$148 million and loans to US$172 million, from multilateral institutions as well as from bilateral sources were disbursed.8 Thus, in the first two years of the ERP. the PNDC gained access to US$891 million.
Under the ERP real GNP has grown steadily at around 5% per annum. Per capita GNP has also grown.10 Domestic savings as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product - GDP increased from 4% in 1983 to about 7% in 1988." The rate of inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CIP) also witnessed a systematic downward trend as it declined from 122% in 1983 to 40% in 1984, then to 10% in 1985. It increased to 25% in 1986, to 40% in 1987, was about 35% in 1988 and 25% in 1989.12 Comparing the situation at the beginning of the ERP, there is little doubt that success was achieved in controlling the fires of inflation. As a result of incentives to exporters generated by foreign exchange depreciations (for instance the cedi depreciated from £2.75 to U$ 1.00 in April 1983, to 090.00 to US $ 1.00 in January 198613 and finally £289.00 to US$1.00 in October 198914) foreign exchange earnings from the export of goods and services increased from US$ 460 million in 1983 to US$ 912 million 1989. Again, Ghana experienced a modest success in the area of non-traditional exports which increased from US$ 5.5 million in 1983 to US$42.4 million in 1988, including US$ 15.2 million from processed arid semi-processed products.
To alleviate the plight of the people, the PNDC introduced the Structural Adjustment Programme SAP I and II and the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD). Under this programme, to which donors had pledged US$85 million,16 the government was to provide community self-help projects and other local services in education, health, potable water and electricity. The government through the NIC, CVC and the Public Tribunals attempted to uproot corruption and other evils by exposing corrupt deals and practices and punishing the culprits through heavy tines, imprisonment, confiscation of assets and dismissals. For instance the National Public Tribunal sitting in Accra on 25 July 1986 and basing its decision on the Gepi Atee Committee of Enquiry into malpractices in insurance claims and related matters jailed 3 lawyers, Dan Nii Oku, O.K. Okrah and Joseph Musah tor detrauding the State insurance Corporation of over £186,000 in respect of non-existent insurance claimants. Nii Oku had 5 years, Okrah 2 years and a fine of £50,000.00, while Musah was found guilty but insane and ordered to be detained as a criminal lunatic.17 Owusu Boateng, managing director of Face to Face Clearing Agency, a customs house clearing agent at Tema was ordered by the Tema District Investigations Committee to pay £8,444,807.98 to the state within one week as penalty for short payments and evasion of customs duties on 380 drums of ethanol alcohol which his company cleared. And in August 1983, 69 officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (among whom were 16 Principal and Principal Assistant Secretaries) were dismissed for offenses which ranged from financial irregularities, misuse of diplomatic bag, gross inefficiency and indiscipline to desertion of posts.
Tourism was one area that the PNDC administration gave serious attention to. Under PNDCL 116, tourism was declared as one of the four priority sectors of the economy having been identified in 1985 as a key sector in the country’s development under the ERP. With a steady improvement in tourist sites and programmes such as the Pan-African Theatre and Arts Festival (PANAFEST) - the first of which was held in 1992, tourist arrivals have been on the ascendancy. For instance, in 1985 there were 85,332 arrivals with receipts of US $20 million, 1987 - 103,440 arrivals and US $26.49 million as receipt, 1989 - 125,162 arrivals and 1992 - 213, 316 arrivals with US$72.09 million and US $166.90 million respectively as receipts. By 1992, the sector had emerged as the fourth largest foreign exchange earner after cocoa, gold and timber. And to build upon this laudable achievement, the PNDC established the Ministry of Tourism to develop and formulate policies for the development of five areas of the sector, namely: heritage, culture, beaches, convention and ecology/ecotourism.
The government launched an Education Reform Programme which sought to make the educational system relevant to Ghana’s development needs. The new system, which was an inheritance from the Busia and Acheampong governments’ Continuation School system, set up a 6-year primary, 3-year junior secondary and 3-year senior secondary system. This was to be followed by a 4-year tertiary education for those who qualified and secured places for advanced or professional studies. Though a laudable system by way of a reduction in the number of years one has to spend in school, an assessment showed that the implementation was done with insufficient trained staff, inadequate supplies of equipment, textbooks and other aids, and without suitable infrastructure, such as classrooms. The reforms therefore went through years of avoidable problems such as mass failures in final examinations and JSS graduates who could hardly construct one correct simple sentence in English.
The PNDC rule saw the use of law as an instrument to effect social change. To a considerable extent, women have been the beneficiaries of some of this legislation. The Head of Family (Accountability) Law, the Intestate Succession Law 1985 (PNDCL 111) and the Customary Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Law 1985 (PNDCL 112) were a further step to regulate family relationships and obligations and to protect the weak against injustice and wanton dissipation of family property. The laws aimed at protecting women (especially widows) and children in particular. Under Ghanaian customary law the courts had been unable to hold family heads accountable to ordinary members of the family who might be cheated of their due proportion of family property or proceeds. The Head of Family Accountability Law made accountability by heads of family mandatory and enforceable by any interested or aggrieved family member. The Intestate Succession Law basically dealt with the self-acquired property of the deceased. It determined by law how a deceased’s property could be distributed among the surviving spouse and child(ren) and the family. The Customary Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Law required the registration of all customary marriages in Ghana. The registration gave the wife, husband or the child(ren) certain legal rights in case of divorce or death.
Under the leadership of Mrs. Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, the 31st December Women’s Movement - DWM, (launched on May 15, 1982 by Fit Lt. Rawlings) has raised the consciousness of the Ghanaian women about national affairs and encouraged them to engage in activities beyond buying and selling.. By 1990, the movement claimed to have set up about 272 day-care centres in cities, towns and villages in Ghana. It also had agricultural projects such as palm oil extraction, gari processing, cassava, maize and vegetable farms, soap-making ventures, kenkey factories, bakeries, straw and cloth weaving enterprises. In 1990, it concluded a US$350,000 agreement with the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNPFA) to propagate family lite education for women. The movement received US$173,000 from the Sasakawa Peace Foundation of Japan for the first phase of an agricultural project to improve acreage and to buy machines to limit post-harvest losses, set up a revolving credit fund, introduce improved marketing facilities and channels and provide social services for women.
The PNDC did not only gag the press, but cultivated what became known as the ’culture of silence’24 which the chairman of the PNDC himself had cause to talk about in a speech in Sunyani in April 1987. By PNDCL 211 and other powers available to it, the government silenced all independent newspapers which had been on the newstands on the eve of the 31 December coup d’ etat which included the Free Press, Catholic Standard, Pioneer, Palaver, Punch, Echo, Direction and Workers Banner. A gradual but intense attack was launched on the newspapers by schemes such as direct assaults, an example being in 1983 when cadres of the revolution invaded the offices of the Echo, assaulted the staff, destroyed equipment and set the premises on fire. Viciims of anacks on journaiisis inciuded Kabral Blay Amihere, editor of the Independent and Kwesi Pratt. In due course, the Catholic Standard was banned. Through the Castle Information Bureau (C1B) headed by Mrs. Valerie Sackey, the government strengthened its hold over the state-owned press and information flow within and outside of the country. Through the Bureau, propaganda-laced information was fed to the Ghanaian public through the print and electronic media. Editorials were ’ghost’ written from the Castle and articles published under pseudonyms or ’special correspondents’.
One area which the PNDC’s record was far from satisfactory was the area of human rights abuses which could pass as the worst in Ghana’s political history. By laws such as The Preventive Custody Law (PNDCL 4), The Habeas Corpus Amendment Law (PNDCL 91), the Newspaper Licensing Law (PNDCL 211), and sections of the Public Tribunal Law (PNDCL 78) the government dealt with political offenses, imposed the death penalty and denied the superior courts’ supervisory role over the Public Tribunals. By proscribing the writs of Habeas Corpus, Certiorari, Prohibition, Mandamus and Quo Warranto - through Which the individual’s rights and liberty were protected by the High Court, using its inherent and supervisory powers - the liberty of the Ghanaian was, to say the least severely limited. The PNDCL 4 extended the government’s power to ’authorize the arrest and detention of any person in respect of whom they are’satisfied that it is in the interest of the national security’ to do so. PNDC Law 91, Section 2(2) was more repressive. Under this law , it was deemed sufficient to state in the report to any court the provisions (grounds) stated in the executive instrument by which the detention of the detainee was authorized. Therefore ’the High Court or the judge thereof shall have no power to enquire such grounds’. Consequently, no citizen, even if wrongfully detained, could bring a case of Hebeas Corpus before any court to secure his freedom as it was sufficient to refer to the section stated in the PNDC’s executive instrument authorizing such action.
Like Nkrumah’s PDA, these laws became weapons for suppressing opposition to the PNDC. Between 1982 and 1984, the PNDCL 4 had been used to imprison over 1,000 people and to put on perpetual hold, opposition both within and outside the machinery of government.w For example, in 1982 six (6) members of MONAS were arrested and detained. Again four (4) members of the United Front (UF) were arrested while one person - Kwame Adjima, was killed.30 Sam Okudjeto, President of the ARPB suffered a number of detentions and had his passport seized on several occasions under the same laws. In July 1989, the GBA and the Bench decided to have a memorial service in honour of the judges and army officer murdered in 1982 (which would be discussed in the next two paragraphs), however, the PNDC caused the arrest and detention of the President of the GBA, Peter Ala-Adjetey, the General Secretary, Nutifafa Kuenyehia and Justice JNK Taylor, a Supreme Court judge and banned the proposed service.
Torture was used as part of the PNDC’s control mechanisms as well as to extract confessions of crimes of which sometimes the person undergoing torture had no idea. Methods employed included solitary confinement, detention in a brightly-lit room in a manner where the victim lost his sense of time and of night and day, cigarette bums applied to male organs, mock executions and severe assault and battery. The abduction and murder of the three high court judges - Justices F. P. Sarkodee, K. A. Agyepong and Cecilia Koranteng Addow (who was then a nursing mother) and Major (Rtd) Sam Acquah, Director of Personnel at GIHOC,on the night of June 30, 1982, at the Bundase Military Range was a big minus to the PNDC. Though it was not clear’as to the motive of those who carried out the crime, it was known that the three judges had overturned some rulings of the AFRC of which Rawlings was the Chairman and Major (Rtd) Acquah as Director of Personnel at GIHOC, had a role in the dismissal of some GIHOC workers34 among whom was Amartey Kwei - one of the conspirators, in June 1980. Until his resignation in August 1982, Amartey Kwei was a member of the PNDC.
A Special Investigations Board (SIB) set up on July 15, 1982 to investigate the murder managed to unravel the sordid details of the plot and Amartey Kwei, L/Cpl. S. K. Amedeka, L/Cpl. Michael Senya, Johnny Dzandu and Tony Tekpor were charged for murder and sentenced accordingly. Really, the revelation during the investigations that the keys to the ’operational vehicle’ - a cream Fiat Compagnola Jeep, which was packed on the compound of Mrs. Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, was picked up from her dining table cm the night of the operation, made people to feel that further investigations should have been carried out to unravel the circumstances under which the keys were picked up from the house of the wife of the PNDC Chairman. Moreover, the accused persons’ statements to the investigators and address to the Public Tribunal suggest that the plot was hatched from ’within’. For instance, Amartey Kwei said on July 2, 1982, he had told the Chainnan of the PNDC that "Corporal Amedeka had told me that he had dealt with the victims." ITiis was two days before the July 4, 1982 radio and TV address by the Chairman of the PNDC in which he claimed complete ignorance of those who hatched the crime. Amartey Kwei further claimed that he had been sacrificed " in favour of whoever gave the order of 30 June 1982" and that he was " a victim of a master plan.
The fifth accused, Tony Tekpor, also reminded the nation that "there is no smoke without fire so there should be a brain behind the killing" indicating that he was a "poor innocent .guy" who was deceived into the plot and urged the Attorney-General to "try and work hard and find the master brain himself, whom he described as "2nd Hitler in Ghana". Johnny Dzandu, the fourth accused, described himself as a "young person who has been used in the most wicked manner".37 Clearly; many questions are yet to be satisfactorily answered about this matter. The independence of organised labour was also threatened. Using some members of the regime who had sympathies within the Ghanaian labour unions, such as Amartey Kwei, Chris Atim and Yao Graham of the National Defense Committee (NDC), the PNDC undermined the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its leadership. On January 8, 1982 for instance, the then Secretary General of the TUC A^M. Iss.fu was heckled and manhandled and chased away from the podium when he made an attempt to address a massive workers’ rally organised under the TUC by the Workers’ Solidarity Council at Tema.38 The attack on the labour front did not abate as on April 24, 1982, the Workers Defence Committee and the interim Coordinating Committee - WDC/ICC and the NDC, parading as Association of Local Unions stormed the Hall of the Trades Union and announced the dismissal of the leadership of the TUC replacing it with an Mtfim Management Committee (IMC) for the Congress (then headed by E.K. Aboagye) and the national unions.
The PNDC used the state-controlled media to marginalise, undermine and repress labour. Anti-labour official pronouncements, editorial comments, letters by "experts" and so called ’humble citizens" were given prominence in the state-owned media, while TUC demands and press statements were treated with the utmost contempt. Persistent protests by the leadership of the TUC against this press bias were ignored. The co-optation of union leaders was another means by which the PNDC undermined organised labour. For instance, the TUC Secretary-General was made a member of the National Commission for Democracy, contrary to the TUC’s official stance on the district level elections organised by the Commission. Joe Kwarteng, the National Chairman of General Agricultural Workers Union, and W. A. Adinkrah, National Vice Chairman of TEW U, were co-opted as PNDC District Secretaries, even though they did not give up their union positions immediately, llie General Secretary of TEWU, Ahiable and Yankey of the 1CUM serve as government-appointed assemblymen in Accra. Moreover, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation Workers Union was deunionised with the reason that it was located in a class one security zone. The GTP union also ceased to exist after the factory had re-opened under a new management.
The regime did not hesitate to use force to break workers’ strikes. During the strikes of workers at Assere Manufacturing Company and the Ghana Boardcasting Corporation in 1986 and 1988 respectively, heavily armed security personnel were deployed against the workers and suspected ring leaders were arrested and detained. The ERP/SAP in the short term at least had a negative impact on the Ghanaian worker. By 1989, a bar of Guandian soap (a basic, unfancy toilet soap) cost 045 which was one-fourth of the minimum daily wage. A bottle of beer retailed at 0250, about 30 percent above the minimum wage and a 60-page exercise book priced at 052, about a fourth of the daily wage. The income situation of the Ghanaian worker was summed up by Ewusi thus: "For many employees, the real remuneration of formal sector work could not support the food requirements of one single adult, let alone those of his family, phis clothing, education, health and housing requirements.
Under the guise of a ’redeployment’ programme, the PNDC, beginning 1986 laid off several thousand workers. According to figures provided by the Economic and Research Division of the TUC, TEWU lost 5,000 of its members in the first phase of the redeployment programme, ICWU lost 3,000 from the Cocoa Board (former Cocoa Marketing Board), Post and Telecommunication Workers’ Union (PTWU) had 300 of the workforce dismissed, the General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) lost 16,000 of the membership in the retrenchment at the Cocoa Board, 7,000 in the State Farms Corporation, 1,500 in the Food Production Corporation and the Construction and Building Workers’ Union (BCWU) suffered 1,400 lay-offs. Between 1987-1989 about 38,000 workers of the Civil Service and the Ghana Education Service lost their jobs.40 lire social and economic consequences of this development, to say the least, was unimaginable.
The PNDC infringed on the individual’s rights of worship. By the Religious Bodies (Registration) Law, 1989 (PNDCL 221) all religious bodies were obliged to apply for official approval in order to operate. The National Commission on Culture was established as the final authority in this regard. Section 3 of the law required that ’every religious body in Ghana shall be registered under this law and no religious body in existence in Ghana shall after three months from the commencement of the law operate as such unless it is registered under the Law’. Section 20 detined a religious body as ’any association of persons or body or organisation which professes adherence to or belief in any system of faith or worship; or which is established in pursuance of a religious objective’. Such bodies were required to register within a prescribed period, at first fixed at October 19, 1989 and extended later for a further three months. The information to be provided on application included name, constitution, objectives, rules and regulations, particulars of trustees and principal officers and their emoluments, location, numerical strength, places of worship and financial statements. They were also required to pay a registration fee of 50,000 (about US $ 150). The law gave the Religious Affairs Committee set up by the government, the authority to supervise the implementation of the law and grant or refuse certificates to religious bodies.
As expected, the law provoked a reaction from religious bodies, especially those under the Christian Council of Churches and the Conference of Catholic Bishops who described the law as an affront to religious freedom and "uncalled for". The PNDC however insisted that it was designed to give protection to the interest of all sections of the citizenry. The regime, whose ten-year rule was to a considerable extent characterised by arbitrariness, abuse of fundamental human rights and extra judicial killings succumbed to what was believed to be pressure from donor countries and the international community to return the country to civilian administration. On November 3, 1992 therefore, Presidential elections were conducted, and, as expected, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) - an offspring of the PNDC, candidate Fit. Lt. J. J. Rawlings won with 58.3% of valid votes cast. Rawlings’ closest rival, Prof. Adu Boahen of the NPP had 30.4 per cent of the votes cast. In the Parliamentary elections (29 December 1993),;boycotted by the main opposition party - the New Patroitic Party (NPP) tor alleged rigging of the ballot in the Presidential Election by the NDC,43 the NDC won 190 out of 200 seats, 22 of which were unopposed.On January 7, 1993, therefore, Ghana was once again ushered into a civilian administration with Fit. Lt. j. j. Rawiings succeeding himseif as President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.