On January 13, 1972, the Kofi Abrefa Busia government fell victim to an army coup led by Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong within twenty-seven months.
The government was accused of economic mismanagement, and as such, 54 government officials were arrested and thrown into the Ussher Fort prison.
Among those jailed for 15 months was John Agyekum Kufuor, who was appointed Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1969 after being elected MP for Atwima Nwabiagya.
According to the former president, for almost 8 weeks, they were denied contact with family.
He made this known in his tribute to his late wife, Theresa Kufuor whom he said took the burden of raising five children all by herself.
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 statesman, who was then in his thirties, noted that he was left with a sense of optimism that was most assuring Theresa was allowed to visit him 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.