75th Christiansborg Crossroads shooting anniversary commemorated
A wreath-laying event was yesterday held at the Freedom Monument, near the Independence Square at Osu in the Greater Accra Region to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 28 February Christiansborg Crossroads shooting incident.
The brief but solemn ceremony is commemorated every year to honour ex-servicemen who were on a peaceful march to the Osu Castle in 1948 to present a petition over their unpaid allowances to the then British governor, Gerald Creasy, but were shot and killed by the colonial police.
This year’s parade by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) and a contingent of the Ghana Police Service was graced by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia; the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul; the Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery; the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Vice Admiral Seth Amoama, and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Dr George Akuffo Dampare.
Also on parade was a contingent of veterans and the Army band which gave a rendition of some Methodist hymns during the event.
There was a roll call of the veterans, while a minute’s silence was also held in memory of the fallen heroes.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, laid a wreath for and on behalf of the government and the people, while the CDS, Vice-Admiral Seth Amoama, laid one on behalf of the security services.
The third wreath was laid by the Chairman of the Veterans Administration Ghana, Major-General Clayton Banuba Yaache (retd), on behalf of the veterans.
The Osu Alata Mantse, Nii Kwabena Boni V, also laid one on behalf of traditional authorities and communities, while David Hammond from the family of Sergeant Odartey Lamptey, laid the final wreath on behalf of the fallen soldiers.
On February 28, 1948, before noon, a number of unarmed ex-servicemen marched from Accra to the Christiansborg Castle to petition the then Governor and Commander-in-Chief, Sir Gerald Creasy, over their unpaid allowances, when they were accosted at the Christiansborg crossroads by a contingent of armed policemen led by a British, Superintendent Imray, who ordered the ex-servicemen to disperse.
When his orders were disobeyed, Superintendent Imray gave another order to the police to open fire.
When the second order was not complied with, Mr Imray fired at the ex-servicemen, killing Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey.
The news about the death spread rapidly, leading to the breakdown of law and order in Accra and other parts of the country.
This encouraged anti-colonial movements to put pressure on the British government to set up a committee to investigate the killings and general disorder.
The committee recommended a self-government for the Gold Coast which subsequently led to the attainment of political independence for the country.