Captain Kojo Tsikata is dead

The founding member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and former national security advisor Captain Kojo Tsikata has passed away

A founding member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and stalwart of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), Captain Kojo Tsikata, has died, can confirm.

He was 85.

The retired army captain also served as national security advisor as well as head of foreign affairs under the PNDC from 1982 onwards and is credited with being one of the “brains behind the Rawlings revolution”.

Tsikata, once an ally of the late president Jerry John Rawlings, was very much linked to the infamous murder in June 1982 of three high court judges and a retired army officer.

Captain Kojo Tsikata has been ill for a while. According to his personal physician, his health had been improving throughout this week but the situation changed on Friday (19 November 2021) and he passed away on Saturday (20 November).
Statement from the Tsikata family confirming the death of Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata

Brief profile of Kojo Tsikata

Tsikata was sent to the Congo with Major General Ankrah in a Ghanaian military contingent with orders from Kwame Nkrumah to protect the pan-Africanist and anti-neocolonialist Patrice Lumumba, who was then Congo’s prime minister.

He later travelled to Conakry, Guinea, to visit Nkrumah. On his arrival, he was arrested, detained and put on death row as a suspect in an assassination plot against Nkrumah.

The Mozambican freedom fighter Samora Machel intervened to have him pardoned. Machel then persuaded Tsikata to go with him to Mozambique. Tsikata then moved to Angola in 1964 to join the nationalist Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) fighters and internationalist fighters from Cuba.

In 1982 he became a member of the military junta under Jerry Rawlings. After taking charge of national security that year, he joined the Rawlings administration officially on 21 January 1995. He remained a captain in the Ghana army. He also served as a member of the Council of State

In 1995, along with Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who was the then deputy minister of foreign affairs, and Brigadier General Agyemfra, Tsikata was asked to join a post-civil war negotiation team brokering peace in Liberia.

They travelled to join James Victor Gbeho, the then chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and close ally of Flt Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings, and the diplomat Ate Allotey.

The team was accompanied by Harry Mouzallas of the Ghana News Agency and Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, who covered the events of the time and later described the role played by Tsikata in keeping the Liberian team on an even keel.

Tsikata rejected a national award, the Companion of the Order of the Volta, that President John Agyekum Kufuor recommended be conferred on him. He was listed as one of the six government officials in the NDC regime to receive the award.

Muammar al Gaddafi of Libya appointed Tsikata to a senior advisory position in charge of the Mathaba Central Committee, an organisation set up to support African liberation movements as well as anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist organisations.

Wilberforce Asare

Editor’s note: Clarifications were made to the original report (21 November 2021).

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