A lot can happen in a day. The expanse of a day can encompass a plethora of emotions and activities that shape the course of destinies forever. Sixty- nine years ago today, three Ghanaian Ex-Servicemen decided to demand of the Colonial British Police, then stationed in Ghana , and after returning from the World Wars, for their benefits promised them as payment for signing up and joining Britain to fight. Soldiers like these three men fought a victorious battle alongside British Soldiers; they returned to Ghana and did not received the pension benefits and gratuities promised to them by the Governor of the Gold Coast. Theirs was a peaceful march which quickly turned bloody when the colonial police shot into the crowd. 28th February 1948 is stamped in history as the day that that held the incident that broke the camel’s back. Private Odartey Lamptey, Corporal Attipoe and Sergeant Adjetey were killed. Several others were wounded that day which led to riots never seen before in Colonial Accra.
The riots led to hotspots of unrest in Ghana which included the arrest of the ‘Big Six’ namely Kwame Nkrumah, William Ofori Atta, Edward Akufo-Addo, E. Ako Adjei, Emmanuel Obestebi-Lamptey and J.B. Danquah. The Watson Commission and Coussey Committee, through commissions of enquiries, advocated for the re-engineering of the constitution, part of events which led to the Independence of Ghana in 1957. It was nine years in coming and 6th March 1957 lit the torch for Independence from colonial rule on the Continent of Africa.
Sixty nine years ago, three of our compatriots paid the ultimate price for the independence Ghana has come to enjoy as a nation.
The spotlight is now on Ghanaians to serve and to continue to build on the foundation that was laid by the Ancients. The present generation cannot afford to douse the flame that was lit at such a price. As we mark this day in remembrance of the gallant soldiers and forefathers, the best of tributes to pay them is to rededicate our service to continue to make Ghana a great nation in Africa and the world.
…Long Live Ghana!