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General News of Tuesday, 22 May 2018


We never fought for independence; we only negotiated for it - Kofi Bentil

Contrary to the narrative of the iconic six-member group led by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who are known in Ghanaian history to have fought for the country’s independence, Vice President of policy think tank, IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil says there was no fight for independence.

Mr. Bentil claims Ghanaians rather negotiated for their freedom as the three ex-servicemen who were shot at the Christiansburg Castle on February 28, 1948, did not march there to fight for the country’s independence but went there to demand for their unpaid salaries.

"Those three ex-servicemen were promised salaries and they went there to collect it. Their shooting was rather unfortunate but the politicians took advantage of it and in the process, we ended up getting our independence,” he averred.

“When there is a political narrative that Ghanaians fought for Independence, Ghanaians didn’t fight for independence,” the IMANI Veep said and maintains that fact must not be changed in the bid to ‘twerk’ Ghana’s political history.

He explains that there was rather a local tussle between the local political parties and never against the colonial officers saying, “In those days there was a lot of tassel between the UGCC and the CPP just as how we have it today, the fight was never against the colonial masters, we never fought the United Kingdom and I want to tell my grandchildren that”.

According to Lawyer Bentil, the history of Ghana stretches far beyond colonialism and, therefore, people like J.B Danquah, Mensah Sarbah and others should be duly recognised for their efforts in attaining independence for Ghana.

He said, “There’s a reason why Ghana isn’t like southern Africa. The queen once wanted to take over all our lands, our forebears took a ship, went to the UK and argued against that and successfully so which many Africans are not able to do and, therefore, they end up fighting.”

There is more to Ghana’s history than “the one hero” narrative we have been told, Lawyer Bentil said and added, “That is why I believe one day we will come to appreciate the person of Dr. JB Danquah”.