Within twenty-seven months, on January 13, 1972, an army coup headed by Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong overthrew the Kofi Abrefa Busia administration.
54 government employees were detained and imprisoned at Ussher Fort after the government was charged with fiscal mismanagement.
John Agyekum Kufuor, who was elected MP for Atwima Nwabiagya in 1969 and served as Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, was one of those serving a 15-month jail sentence.
The former president said that they were deprived of family contact for about eight weeks.
This was revealed in his eulogy for his late wife Theresa Kufuor, who he claimed assumed full responsibility for parenting their five children.
But “this angel of a woman, to my amazement, would survive the ordeal of raising five children on her own – in my absence, Aba gave birth to our fifth and last child, Kofi, as a single parent on 16 June 1972.”
He posited that Theresa Kufuor’s “strong and exceptionally disciplined personality did indeed come to the rescue of our family.”
“I could not have foreseen the crash that befell us and could not, therefore, have made any provision for our ordeal. However, Aba rose above that. With her strong, prayerful faith in God, Aba’s spirit would not and could not be broken. She survived on very little then; and she truly kept our hopes alive,” he added.
The politician, who was thirty years old at the time, observed that he was left feeling hopeful, especially since Theresa was permitted to pay him a visit in prison.
“I survived my incarceration of 15 months largely because of Aba. She was a woman of sacrifice, devotion, humanity and resilience,” he said.