Ghanaian President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday led a solemn wreath-laying ceremony in Accra to honor World War II veterans and heroes.
The event was also to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the killing of three colonial ex-servicemen of the Royal West African Frontier Force on February 28, 1948, by British police.
A contingent drawn from the Ghana Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG) mounted a parade. Wreaths were laid by representatives of the Ghana government and people, security services, the VAG, traditional authorities and families in remembrance of the fallen heroes.
President Akufo-Addo said the day was truly a sacred one for Ghanaian freedom and independence. “Without this day, perhaps Ghana would not have had independence so quickly,” he said.
The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, said the government would provide financial support to cater for the welfare of veterans in Ghana.
On February 28, 1948, a number of ex-servicemen were marching from Accra to the Christiansborg Castle to present a petition to the Governor on their unpaid war benefits when they were intercepted at the crossroads by a contingent of armed policemen. The leader of the contingent, Colin Imray, ordered that they disperse and when they refused to obey, he gave an order to the police to open fire, killing the three ex-servicemen.
The news about the death of the gallant ex-servicemen spread rapidly, leading to rioting and breakdown of law and order in Accra and other parts of the country. This incidence encouraged anti-colonial movements in the Gold Coast to press the British government to institute a committee to investigate the killings. The committee recommended self-government for the Gold Coast, and subsequently, led to the attainment of political independence for the country on March 6, 1957. Enditem