Supreme Military Council (SMC-II) 1978
Acheampong wanted to change the constitution to end party politics and to create a union government composed of civilians, military personnel, and police. Such a system, Acheampong believed, would create national unity, end tribalism, and facilitate economic development. The failure to achieve these goals and the 1975 decision to transform the NRC into the Supreme Military Council (SMC) marked the beginning of Acheampong's downfall. The government maintained that the SMC would restore the military hierarchy that the 1972 coup had destroyed. Over the next two years, the Acheampong regime gradually lost popular support because of growing corruption, economic problems, and clashes between the SMC and the general public, culminating in violent disturbances during the 1978 referendum on union government.
As public hostility toward the Supreme Military Council [SMC] increased, Ghana became increasingly ungovernable. On July 5, 1978, junior officers on the Military Advisory Committee persuaded senior officers, led by Lieutenant General Frederick W.K. Akuffo, to force Acheampong to resign. The creation of what was termed SMC II, however, failed to restore public confidence in the government, largely because Akuffo refused to abandon the idea of a union government without party politics.
As a result, there were about eighty strikes in a four-month period to protest the regime's economic policies. In November 1978, when junior civil servants went on strike, the regime declared a state of emergency and dismissed more than 1,000 public employees. Akuffo eventually succumbed to this pressure by announcing that the ban on political parties would be lifted on January 1, 1979, and that free elections would be held.
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