President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has laid a wreath to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the 28th February Crossroads shooting incident which saw three Ghanaian veterans shot and killed by British police in 1948.
The Ghana police, the armed forces and other state security agencies participated in the ceremony to honour Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey who died on that day.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Akufo-Addo described the day as sacred because it marked the country’s journey to freedom and independence.
“I’m here to acknowledge the sacrifices the veterans made. Without this day, perhaps we would not have had independent Ghana so quickly. The crisis brought about by the senseless shooting of the three ignited this country from North to South, led to the arrest of the Big Six, led to the Watson Commission and the design for our future independence at the time. So this day is truly a sacred day for Ghanaian freedom and independence and I thought I should come here to reiterate and express to you the gratitude of succeeding generations of Ghanaians for the sacrifices you made for the cause of Ghana,” he told veteran soldiers who were present to mark the day.
“It also gives me an opportunity to come and express the gratitude of the Ghanaian people through me the president for the sacrifices that our men of arms make. They are people who are prepared to lay down their lives to secure the peace and tranquillity of their people. They are prepared to put their lives on the line in defence of their country, in defence of its integrity, and its peace. For me, you are special people.”
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has said Nana Akufo-Addo has directed his ministry to release GHS200million for the veterans’ welfare.
On February 28, 1948, a number of ex-servicemen were marching from Accra to the Christianborg 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 contingent, led by British Police Superintendent Colin Imray, ordered that they disperse and when they refused to obey, he gave an order to the police to open fire on them, leading to the killing of the three ex-servicemen.
The ex-soldiers had fought alongside the allied forces in the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force during the Second World War and had returned home poor and were not paid their gratuities.
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