The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, has objected to the popular narrative about Ghana’s independence being declared by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah at the Old Polo Grounds in Accra.
The independence of Ghana has over the years been told of famously as the ‘At long last, the battle has ended, Ghana is free forever’ declaration by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on March 5, 1957 at the Old Polo Grounds.
Dr Kwame Nkrumah was addressing a CPP rally here, according to Prof Mike Oquaye
But speaking at the 40th anniversary lecture of Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia, on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, at the Accra International Conference Centre, Prof Oquaye said the declaration by Dr Nkrumah was only a teaser at a Convention People’s Party’s rally, which preceded the actual declaration of independence later on March 6, 1957 in Parliament.
“That was a CPP rally and Nkrumah was entitled to let his supporters know that the struggle was in fact ended. Independence was declared hours later in Parliament,” he said.
According to the Speaker,Dr Busia, who became the second Prime Minister, was the man who supported the motion moved by Kwame Nkrumah for independence.
“In this connection, let me say categorically that Nkrumah did not declare independence at the Old Polo Grounds. The motion for independence was supported by Busia and was carried and the Duchess of Kent declared Ghana independent at the National Assembly by the authority of Queen Elizabeth II,” he noted.
He has thus cautioned: “No Ghanaian child should be taught that Nkrumah declared independence at the Old Polo Ground”.
Eulogizing Busia, Professor Oquaye observed that he had been very instrumental to the struggle and attainment of Ghana’s independence, noting that “never in his life was he not supportive of Ghana’s independence”.
“I want to use this occasion to remind Ghanaians that when Nkrumah moved the motion of destiny in the National Assembly for independence, it was Busia who seconded it and it was unanimously carried.”
He added that Busia never stopped upholding democratic principles and condemning tyrannical tendencies while in Parliament.
“His role in Parliament was a prophet. He was opposed to the anti-democratic methods adopted by Nkrumah and the CPP, and spoke up against them.”