Feb 28, 2013 at 3:30pm
28th February Crossroad Shooting Incident
COMMENTARY ON THE 28TH FEBRUARY CROSSROAD SHOOTING INCIDENT
The Independence of Ghana will be meaningless unless it is linked to the struggle of soldiers of this country who were drafted to fight alongside the Allied Forces in World war two.
If Ghana is a sovereign state today, we need to pay homage to our ex-servicemen who waged a relentless struggle against the colonial government which was refusing to give them what was due.
It is heartwarming 28th February each year is dedicated to the remembrance of war veterans but for whom Ghana would not have been where it is today.
Truly a nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for.
It all started when about two thousand ex-servicemen who had returned home after fighting in World War two were demobilised and paid a pittance by way of war gratuity of about one shilling a day.
Not happy with the money, naturally they protested thinking the British government which ruled the then Gold Coast would in appreciation of the sacrifice pay gratuity in the right proportion with those sacrifices.
Several appeals made by the soldiers to the authorities fell on deaf ears.
After a period of waiting for reasonable war benefits to be paid which were not forthcoming, the ex-servicemen decided that a direct approach be made to the British Governor and Commander in Chief of the Gold Coast Regiment, Sir Gerald Creasy.
On Saturday 28th February 1948 before noon, a number of unarmed ex-servicemen were in march from Accra to the Christianborg Castle to present a petition to the Governor when they were intercepted at the Christianborg Crossroads by a contingent of Armed Policemen led by a British Superintendent, Mr.
The Superintendent ordered the ex-servicemen to disperse and when his orders were disobeyed he gave another order to the police to open fire, when this second order was not complied with, he personally snatched a gun from one of the policemen and fired at the ex-servicemen killing Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.
News about the death of the gallant ex-servicemen spread rapidly, leading to a situation where law and order broke down in Accra and other part of the country.
This encouraged anti-colonial movements to press the British government to institute a Commission to investigate the killings and general disorder.
The Watson Commission recommended self government for the Gold Coast.
This subsequently led to the attainment of political independence for the country.
A lot of lessons need to be learnt from the colonial struggle especially events at the Christianborg Cross roads, the most important being the need to appreciate the sacrifice and toil of others, people who have rendered vital services to the nation.
Soldiers play important roles in the development of every nation.
They offer security and protect the nation from external aggression.
We have some of our soldiers on peace keeping duties in Mali, Cote d'voire, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Afghanistan to mention a few.
The contribution of Ghanaian soldiers to UN peacekeeping duties is acknowledged as among the best in the world.
We appreciate government's efforts to ensure the country's veterans live decent lives, as exemplified in housing them at the New Legion village at Amasaman.
It is unfortunate the STX housing project which was aimed at easing the accommodation difficulties of our security services did not go through.
Frantic efforts must be made by the current administration to make amends.
The situation at Burma Camp and indeed most of our barracks leaves much to be desired.
As soldiers and members of the other security services who lay down their lives for the country, we need to improve their living conditions.
Recently two naval personnel died in the cause of service whilst chasing Galamsey operators.
Our security personnel need social security.
We are aware government has improved their pay packets through the Single Spine Salary Structure.
Plans to establish a second military hospital to serve the Northern Sector must be accelerated.
Health is one area that must be critically looked at if our Security Services should be motivated to protect us since they contract various diseases from their postings outside the country.
The Veterans Administration of Ghana under the chairmanship of Commodore Steve Obimpeh deserves tons of commendation for initiating the erection of the bust of the three soldiers who died in the crossroad incident at the Black Star Square.
This serves as a memorial not for them alone but for all soldiers who die in inactive service.
It is unfortunate interest in the National Poppy Appeal has died down.
The Veterans Administration is encouraged to revitalise that project to raise funds for the veteran.
As we mark yet another anniversary of the 28th February Crossroad shooting incident, let us imbue the spirit of nationalism in our youth.
Today some players of the Senior National Football team are refusing to offer their services to their motherland.
Some of them play without any sense of commitment yet they are well motivated.
Our doctors go on strike at the least opportunity killing many people in the process.
This makes it imperative to look again at our national award schemes and give honour to whom honour is due.
We say Ayekoo to our gallant soldiers who fought to bring honour to this country.
Long live the Veterans Administration.
Long Live Ghana.
BY: JUSTICE MINGLE, A JOURNALIST