By Frank Amponsah
The President, H. E. Nana Akufo-Addo has led the people of Ghana to celebrate 60 years of Ghana’s independence to the admiration of all including foreign dignitaries who were present to grace the occasion.
The President who was dressed in a white batakari over black trousers took the national salute upon arrival where thousands of Ghanaians are participating in the activity that has seen other Heads of States arrived in the country to commemorate the day.
The colourful ceremony has been marked as one of the best and most well-organized event which indeed showcased the true spirit of the Ghanaian.
The President inspected the contingent formed by the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air Force, Ghana Prisons, Ghana Police, Ghana National Fire Service, and Ghana Prisons, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Immigration Service and the schools contingent, which became an admired part of the event.
The overly excited President Akufo-Addo who was so passionate and hopeful of seeing a great transformation in Ghana far as its history and development is concerned, Ghana at this time has the freedom and ability to make informed decisions in life without having to ask other people for permission, “help or money and you take full responsibility for seeing things through.”
He noted that our founders chose this day, March 6, as the date of our independence, in order to repudiate the Bond of 6th March 1844, which led to our land becoming a British colony.
“If the signing of the Bond of 1844 marks the formal start of the Gold Coast colony, then the formation of the Aborigines Rights Protection Society on 4th August, 1897, in Cape Coast, marks the start of the struggle for political independence,” he said.
According to him, although there have been several struggles to secure the freedom of Ghanaians, the safety of that freedom is threatened today.
“… We must fight against the new domination. And we must fight with the weapons of today, constitutional, determined, persistent, unflinching, unceasing, until the goal of freedom is attained.”
He said, “On March 6, 1957, we lowered the British flag and we jettisoned the name Gold Coast that had been given to us and took on the name, Ghana, the name of our ancestral home. The name Ghana was meant to give us a fresh start and mark the break from colonialism; and it was also meant to serve as a link to our historical roots and the assurance that we have a history, culture and civilisation that preceded colonialism.
... We must remember, on a day like this, some others who are not listed among the forefront fighters for political freedom, but who fought equally hard for our cultural integrity and the identification of who we are as Ghanaians.”
In that regard, the president ad homage to people like Ephraim Amu, Tata Amu, Kwegyir Aggrey, Philip Gbeho, Kofi Antubam, poet Apaloo, Otumfuo Prempeh I, Professor Alexander Adum Kwapong, Dede Ashikisham and Akua Shorshorshor, and host of other famous people whose struggle made difference in Ghana's history.
He noted that as a Fourth Republic, the nation agreed on a multi-party constitutional democracy and a guarantee of individual freedoms under the rule of law and that for the past 24 years Ghana has seen the longest period of political stability.
“The pace of our development has quickened and our self-confidence, which had been severely strained, has returned.”
This notwithstanding, the President pointed out that the economic dividend that has to accompany our freedom has still not materialized. “... Sixty years after those heady days, the mass of our people are still poor.”
He however out that, hard work, enterprise, creativity, discipline and a consistent and effective fight against corruption in public life would bring the transformation we seek, adding that Ghana will achieve these goals when we move and act as a united people.
“We must take pride in our diversity by all means, but the Ghanaian must always rise above the ethnic or sectional interest. We have a bright future, and we must mobilise all our resources and all our strengths, here and in the Ghanaian Diaspora, to get to that promised land of prosperity faster.”
President Akufo-Addo expressed confident that Ghana can achieve the dreams of its forebears and be worthy inheritors of this land.
“Let us mobilize for the happy and prosperous Ghana of tomorrow, in which all of us, including our youth, our women and the vulnerable in our society, will have equal opportunities to realise our potential, and build lives of dignity. Then, our independence will be meaningful. Then, we will have a Ghana beyond aid.”