Thursday, March 1, 2007
X’borg cross-road shooting marked
Story: MICHAEL DONKOR
A SOLEMN ceremony was yesterday held at the Freedom Monument, near the Independence Square in Accra, to commemorate the Christiansborg cross-roads shooting incident in 1948, which marked the first major step towards the struggle for Ghana’s independence.
For the first time since the incident took place, the Actors Guild enacted the incident at the cross-roads to the Christiansborg Castle.
The ceremony drew a large section of the public to the place to catch a glimpse of the characters in the re-enactment of the shooting incident.
The ceremony, the 59th in the series, was attended by the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Albert Kan-Danpaah, officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the Police, Fire Service and members of the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG).
The Minister of Defence, Dr. Kwame Adoo-Kufuor, was the guest of honour.
After traditional, Christian and Muslim prayers, the bugle was sounded to invite all veterans to be on parade.
The VAG contingent then marched to the parade grounds while the roll of the veterans was called.
A brief history of the incident was read after which flags were hoisted.
After the sounding of the last post, a minute silence was observed for the departed heroes, followed by the reveille.
Four wreaths were laid; the first by Dr. Addo-Kuffuor on behalf of the government and people of Ghana, the second was laid by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. J.B. Danquah, on behalf of the Security Services, the third by the Chairman of the VAG Council, Air Vice Marshall Odartey Barnor, on behalf of the VAG and the fourth by the Sempe Mantse and Acting President of the Ga Traditional Council, Nii Adotey Obour, on behalf of Traditional Rulers.
Among the dignitaries present were the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Patrick Acheampong, and the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Samuel Odotei.
The 28th February Christiansborg cross-roads shooting incident is celebrated every year to honour the defenceless ex-service men who, 19 1948, were killed at the end of the Second World War by the colonial police while they were marching peacefully to the Osu Castle to present a petition to the then Governor.
War veterans of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF), who fought so gallantly alongside their allies and received commendation, were demobilized at the end of the war when they were only paid pittance by way of war gratuity. The ex-servicemen were naturally not happy with the gratuity.
They felt that the British government, which then ruled the Gold Coast, would, in appreciation of their sacrifices, pay them something appreciable. Several appeals made by the soldiers to the authorities unfortunately fell on deaf ears.
After waiting for a period of time in anticipation that a reasonable was benefit would be paid to them, the ex-servicemen decided that a direct approach should be made to the British Governor and Commander in-Chief of the Gold Coast Regiment, Sir Gerald Dreasy.
It was in the process of making this direct approach, in a protest march to the Christiansborg Castle to present a petition, that a British Police Officer, Superintendent Imray, opened fire, killing three of the Ex-Servicemen: Sgt. Adjetey, Cpl. Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.
The brutal murder of the ex-servicemen infuriated the people of the Gold Coast, who rose up to demand immediate self-government.
Daily Graphic - Thursday, March 1, 2007 Page: 16