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General News of Thursday, 28 February 2008

Source: Chronicle

The significance of February 28th

The attainment of political independence for our nation Ghana was not handed on a silver platter. The sequence of events leading to the declaration of independence, by Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was after a bloody and tortuous journey to emancipation.

A lot of Ghanaians, of this present generation, most often fast-forward the achievement of our independence, from the British, to the very events of 6th March 1957, at the Old Polo grounds where Nkrumah made the immortal statement, “…at long last the battle has ended…and Ghana your beloved Country is free forever.”

It must not be lost on Ghanaians that the events of the ‘Christiansburg Cross-roads Shooting’ on the 28th February, 1948, among others, served as a catalyst for the attainment of our independence struggle.

Therefore when it comes to paying tributes, to the Martyrs of our independence struggle, we must not forget the role played by our Second World War veterans, both living and dead.

On 20th February 1948, Dr. J. B. Danquah, the doyen of Ghana’s politics, and the enigmatic Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah had met and addressed the Second World War veterans at the Palladium Cinema, in Accra. This was to sympathize with their (the veterans) cause of being denied their legitimate gratuity from the British colonial powers, following their exploits in the Second World War.

On this day, some sixty years ago, some of the ex-servicemen decided to march, to the seat of the colonial government, to present a petition about their legitimate demands, when Police Superintendent Colin Imray decided to do the unthinkable. He gunned down three of the protesting ex-servicemen namely; Sgt. Adjetey, Coporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.

This event let loose the plethora of anger, and resentment in Ghanaians, which was ably controlled and directed by Nkrumah, and the other political bigwigs, to fight for our independence from the British, culminating in the declaration of independence on 6th March 1957.

It is, therefore, very incumbent on all Ghanaians, not to loose the importance of this day. As the war veterans go on their march past, this morning to remember their departed colleagues, we at The Chronicle would like to congratulate them for their sacrifices, which led to the attainment of our independence.

A country that does not recognize the sacrifices of its citizens is not worth dying for, and that is why The Chronicle is happy with the continued remembrance of this day, by both the past and present governments.

It has always been the pride for an American soldier to die, whilst serving his nation, because of the recognition of their roles by the government.

This is what we must also emulate, so that people will sacrifice their time and energy in serving the best interests of this country.

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