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Kwame Nkrumah's Secret Intelligence Units



  Kwame Nkrumah & The History Of Ghana   Kwame Nkrumah's Idealogical Institute - Winneba Ghana
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Nkrumah's handwriting
Over a period of years the Nkrumah's National Security Service experienced a number of reorganizations, nearly each of which was accompanied by an expansion of its functions and duties. In time it grew to have so many parts that there was confusion as to what each part of it should do. The following details reflect the last stages of the National Security Service as it existed in February 1966. Many of its parts have since been dissolved.

Department I Presidential Detail Department After the unsuccessful attempt on the life of Nkrumah at Kulungugu in August 1962 he ordered that the presidential guard company be expanded to a regiment, and, following the recommendation of Russian security experts, added a Civilian Unit to the bodyguard. Military and civilian wings became the Presidential Guard Department. In 1963 the name of the organization was changed to the Presidential Detail Department.

The Presidential Detail Department was responsible for the personal safety of  Nkrumah. In February its military and civilian wings grew rapidly. The 1st Guard Regiment included a battalion of 1,500 men, and the 2nd Guard Regiment was  in the process of formation and training under the Russian experts. 

The Civilian Unit was housed in 1966 both flats directly across the road from Flagstaff House in Accra. Its members were largely ex-servicemen and it was
organized along military lines. This unit was also trained by the Russians, with emphasis on weapon handling, hand-to-hand combat and physical fitness exercises.
Its members were the personal bodyguards who preceded Nkrumah on trips, mingled with crowds, and were prepared to remove individuals who might make trouble. The Counter Intelligence Unit spied on all the other members of the Presidential Detail Department. Secret Camps Under the Presidential Detail Departments was the storage depots and training grounds for Nkrumah's constantly expanding private army.

The existence of these secret military camps was not supposed to be known to the command of the Ghana Armed Forces, except to Major-General C. M. Barwah. The camps were located at Elmina Castle, Akosombo, Afienya, and Okponglo. After the dismissal of Nkrumah each was found to contain very large stores of Russian and Chinese weapons, ammunition and explosives. Many of these weapons, such as heavy machine guns, mortars and field pieces were not at all the type of equipment required by Nkrumah's military body-guard. Instead, they were intended for the private army that was to surpass the size of the regular army and possess the latest modern weapons.

The camp at Afienya was the site of a training area where Russian instructors trained the recruits of Nkrumah's private army. Contract 48812, of 23 June, 1964, between Ghana and the U.S.S.R. provided for the services of Russian "specialists for technical assistance on special equipment." Annexes to this contract listed eleven categories of specialists and gave the names of specialists who came to Accra in April 1965. All were paid £121 a month each.

A letter from the Russian Ambassador in Ghana dated 26 July, 1965, stated that this special equipment would cost 803,000 rubles, and an Annex to the letter, compiled by the Representative of the General Engineering Department, U.S.S.R., listed the types of special equipment. It is not known how many shipments there were of this special equipment. Although not so stated in the contract which was vaguely worded, the specialists and the special equipment were intended for the training of the Presidential Detail Department. The specialists had the following designations: 
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