Provisional National Defence Council

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politics and government of

The Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) was the name of the Ghanaian government after the People's National Party's elected government was overthrown by Jerry Rawlings, the former head of the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, on 31 December 1981. It remained in power until 7 January 1993. In a statement explaining the coup d'état, Rawlings explained that a "holy war" was necessary due to the PNP's failure to provide effective leadership and the collapse of the national economy and state services.

The PNDC was a military dictatorship that induced civilians to participate in governance. Most of its members were civilians. Its policies reflected a revolutionary government that was pragmatic in its approach. The economic objectives of the PNDC were to halt the economic decay, stabilise the economy and stimulate economic growth. Politically, its goal was to establish structures that would effectively allow the people to express their political will. Most significantly, the PNDC, carrying with it the spirit of the June 4, 1979 Uprising, brought a change in the people’s attitude from a 'government will provide' position to being proactive in nation-building.

The PNDC eventually gave up power, provided a new constitution in 1992 and held elections that year. Rawlings's party, the NDC, officially swept that presidential election with over 58%. The opposition boycotted the subsequent parliamentary elections.[1]


The seven original members of the PNDC from its inception were as follows:

Departures and replacements

Over the years, some people were added to the membership and others left. A number left in 1982 due to ideological differences. Joachim Amartey Quaye was executed for his involvement in the murder of three senior judges and a retired army officer. Rev. Damuah who was suspended from the Catholic Church because of his involvement in the government left in late 1982 and started his own church later called the Afrikania Mission, an organization devoted to the promotion of African Traditional Religion.[2]

August 1992 onwards - Final membership

  • Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings - Chairman
  • Justice D. F. Annan
  • Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama
  • Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata
  • P. V. Obeng
  • Lieutenant General Arnold Quainoo
  • Air Vice Marshal Dumashie
  • Dr. Mrs. Mary Grant


Position Name Dates Notes
Head of state of Ghana and ChairmanFlight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings1981 93
Chief of the Defence StaffBrigadier Joseph Nunoo-Mensah1981 82
MemberVincent Kwabena Damuah1982
MemberWarrant Officer I Joseph Adjei Buadi1981 84
MemberSergeant Daniel Alolga Akata Pore1981 82
MemberJoachim Amartey Quaye1981 82
MemberChris Bukari Atim1981 82
Member and Chairman of the
National Commission for Democracy
Justice Daniel Francis Annan1984 93
MemberSusanna Al-Hassan1985 87
MemberAnaa Naamua Enin1985 89
MemberEbo Tawiah? ?
MemberNaa Polku Konkuu Chiiri? ?
MemberAlhaji Iddrisu Mahama1982 93
MemberCaptain Kojo Tsikata1982 93
Chairman of Committee of SecretariesPaul Victor Obeng1982 93
MemberLieutenant General Arnold Quainoo1982 93
MemberMaj. Gen. Winston C. M. Mensa-Wood1987 92
MemberAir Vice Marshal A. H. K. Dumashie1982 93
MemberMary Grant1989 93


The officials in charge of the various ministries were designated as Secretaries of state.

Portfolio Secretary Time frame Notes
Chairman of Committee of SecretariesPaul Victor Obeng1982 93
Secretary for Foreign AffairsObed Asamoah1982 93
Secretary for InteriorAsiedu Yirenkyi
Kofi Djin
Winston C. M. Mensa-Wood
E. M. Osei-Wusu
1982 83
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for FinanceKwesi Botchwey1982 93
Secretary for DefenceIddrisu Mahama1982 93
Attorney General and Secretary for JusticeG. E. K. Aikins
E. C. Tanoh
1983 92
1992 93
Secretary for Education and CultureChristina Ama Ata Aidoo
V. C. Dadson
Joyce Aryee
Mohammed Ben Abdallah
Adisa Munkaila
Mary Grant
1982 83
1985 87
1988 89
1989 93
Secretary for Agriculture[7]Bortei Doku
John Ndebugre
Isaac Adjei-Marfo
Steve Obimpeh
Ibrahim Adams
1982 83
1984 85
1985 86
1986 92
1992 93
Secretary for Cocoa AffairsIsaac Adjei-Marfo? ?
Secretary for Chieftaincy AffairsEmmanuel Tanoh
Nana Sarpong Akuoku
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for Trade
Secretary for Trade and Tourism
Kofi Djin
John Bawa
1982 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for Local Government and Rural DevelopmentJohn Agyekum Kufuor
William H. Yeboah
Joyce Aryee
Kwamena Ahwoi
1987 88
? ?
Secretary for Rural Development and Co-operativesAcquah Harrison1982 ?
Secretary for Fuel and PowerAppiah Korang
Ato Ahwoi
1983 87
1987 93
Secretary for Transport and CommunicationsMahama Iddrisu
Yaw Donkor
Kwame Peprah
1983 87
1987 12
1992 93
Secretary for Roads and HighwaysYaw Donkor
Mensah Gbedemah
Richard Commey
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for Lands and Natural ResourcesKwesi Renner
Kwame Peprah
J. A. Dansoh
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for Industry, Science and TechnologyG. B. Opoku
Francis Acquah
K. A. Butah
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for InformationJoyce Aryee
Kofi Totobi Quakyi
1982 85
1985 93
Secretary for HealthCharles Buadu
Air Commodore F. W. Klutse
Steve Obimpeh
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for Labour and Social Welfare
Secretary for Mobilization and Productivity
Adisa Munkaila
Ato Austin
George Adamu
D. S. Boateng
1982 83
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Secretary for Works and HousingDr. Mawuse Dake
Alhassan Abubakar
Emmanuel Appiah Korang
Kenneth Ampratwum
Secretary for Youth and SportsAmarkai Amarteifio
Ato Austin
Arnold Quainoo
1983 87
1987 92
1992 93
Minister for Chieftaincy and CultureAlexander Asum-Ahensah? ?
Regional Secretaries
Ashanti RegionJ. Y. Ansah? ?
Brong Ahafo RegionJ. H. Owusu-Acheampong1982 ?
Central RegionAto Austin1982 ?
Eastern RegionF. Ohene-Kenah1982 ?
Greater Accra RegionNii Okaidja Adamafio1982 ?
Northern RegionThomas Ibrahim1982 ?
Upper East RegionKundab Mobilla1982 ?
Upper West RegionYelibora Antumini1982 ?
Volta RegionFrancis Agbley1982 ?
Western RegionJ. R. E. Amenlema1982 ?


  1. Jeffries, Richard & Thomas, Clare (1993). "The Ghanaian Elections of 1992". African Affairs. 92 (368): 331366.
  2. "Ghana - Libation issue rears up again". African News Bulletin. Archived from the original on 2011-05-26. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
  3. 1 2 3 Martin K.I Christensen. "Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership". Retrieved 2010-06-05.
  4. Ghana News Agency. "Justice Daniel Francis Annan". Ghana Famous People. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2010-07-18.
  5. 1 2 "The Rawlings Revolution". Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  6. ""Chapter 2— Ghana in Economic Crisis" in The Politics of Reform in Ghana, 1982–1991". p. 32. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
  7. "Former Heads of MoFA". Official website. Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
Preceded by
Limann government (1979–1981)
Government of Ghana
(Military Regime)

Dec 1981 – Jan 1993
Succeeded by
Rawlings government (1993–2001)
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