Obituary: Hilla Limann

Share
Related Topics
Hilla Limann, diplomat and politician: born Gwollu, Upper Region, Ghana 12 December 1934; President of Ghana 1979-81; married Dora Yaro (two sons, three daughters); died Accra 23 January 1998.

Hilla Limann was the elected President of Ghana from 1979 until 1981. It was a brief and politically unstable interlude of civilian government in a succession of military regimes.

Limann was a Muslim from northern Ghana. He was educated at the London School of Economics and the Sorbonne before embarking on a career as a diplomat in post-independence Ghana, becoming a senior official in the Foreign Ministry after a stint at Ghana's mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

The circumstances of the elections which brought him to power did not augur well for his government. General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong's corrupt military regime was overthrown in 1978 by General Frederick Akuffo who lifted a ban on political parties and scheduled elections for the following year. Before the elections, however, a group of junior officers led by Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings seized power. Acheampong and Akuffo were executed after swift convictions on corruption charges.

But Rawlings allowed the elections to go ahead. They were contested by five parties including Limann's People's National Party (PNP), which ran on an anti-corruption ticket. The PNP scraped to victory and Limann, hitherto practically unknown in Ghana, was elected President.

Ghana needed a strong leadership to face the various crises which had beset it since independence. Limann, in spite of his personal qualities and his universally recognised honesty, was unable to provide it. He was obliged to form a coalition government which was inevitably undermined by political infighting and accusations of corruption. Efforts to tackle economic decline failed, food prices rose and there were strikes and riots.

Relations between Limann and Jerry Rawlings deteriorated and by the time Rawlings intervened for the second time on the last day of 1981 another coup was widely expected. This time Rawlings made it clear he was staying in power. Limann and other prominent members of the PNP were placed in detention.

In 1992 Rawlings, under considerable pressure from Western donors, lifted the ban on political parties and held elections. Limann, uncowed by two years under house arrest, founded a new party, the People's National Convention, to fight them. Rawlings won with over 50 per cent of the vote and Limann came a distant third with 6.7 per cent. Although he remained leader of his party he chose not to run in the 1996 elections, which Rawlings also won.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) pictured shaking hands with Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi on 25 March 2004.  

There's nothing wrong with Labour’s modernisers except how outdated they look

Mark Steel
 

Any chance the other parties will run their election campaigns without any deceit or nastiness?

Nigel Farage
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee