Until the Portuguese set foot on the shores of Shama and subsequently in Elmina in 1471, the Gold Coasters were been governed by their respective chiefs. Ideally, the concept of democracy was a bit far away from the indigenes. Until the British took over and introduced the Monarchical system of governance where the Queen was the head with Governor-General as caretakers.
From 1957 to 1960 the head of state under the Constitution of 1957 was the Queen of Ghana, Elizabeth II, who was also the Monarch of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. The Queen was represented in Ghana by a Governor-General. Gradually, Ghana became a republic under the Constitution of 1960 and the Monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an executive President.
Under the 1960 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah replaced the Monarch as executive head of state. The President was elected by Parliament for a 5-year term (unlike these days which is for just 4 years).
From the First Republic came a military rule and on and on till we got to the Fourth Republic.
Historically, the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana that came into effect on January 7, 1993, provided the basic charter for the country’s fourth attempt at a republican status.
The same day the country’s new constitution came into force, the late Jerry John Rawlings (who staged coups and acted as a military leader for a while) became the first president of the Fourth Republic. When he served his full 8 years, he was succeeded by John Agyekum Kufuor who also served his 8 years at the presidency. After him came Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who defeated the then opposition leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo.
After the untimely demise of Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, his then Vice President – John Dramani Mahama succeeded him and subsequently won the 2012 election to continue till 2016 when he also lost to Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo Addo.
Under all these presidents from 1960 till date, there are some fond memories which bring us together as Ghanaians and those born during certain regimes can attest to the fact that they had a different feelings altogether.
So, who was the president of Ghana the year you were born and how was the country then?
Kindly share your thoughts with us.