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Veep, veterans mark 28th February shooting

BY: Chris Nunoo
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia laying a wreath on behalf of the government to mark the anniversary  of the shooting of the World War Two veterans
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia laying a wreath on behalf of the government to mark the anniversary of the shooting of the World War Two veterans

The 73rd anniversary of the 28th February Christianborg Crossroads shooting incident was Sunday observed at the Freedom Monument, near the Black Star Square at Osu, in Accra with a brief ceremony attended by the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

Also in attedance were the Minister designate for Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul; the Minister designate for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery; the acting Chief of the Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, traditional authorities and members of the Veterans Association of Ghana (VAG).

A skeletal contingent from the Ghana Army Band was in attendance.

Dr Bawumia, in the company of five veterans, laid a wreath in memory of the fallen soldiers.

Shooting incident

The infamous Christianborg Crossroads shooting on February 28, 1948, led to the killing of Sergeant Adjetey, Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey Lamptey, and has since been observed in memory of the three Ghanaian World War II veterans.

It was a landmark incident which provoked a major strike and the call for an end to colonial rule.

This was during a protest by the war veterans for compensation for their service during the war but a British police superintendent — Imray — who had earlier ordered his subordinate to shoot at the protesters, took the gun and shot the three soldiers when his subordinate could not carry out the order.

The three soldiers and their allied forces in the then Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force had been at the Second World War and had returned home without being paid their gratuity.

The veterans had decided to march to the seat of the British colonial governor of the then Gold Coast after several appeals to the colonial government to claim what was due them had fallen on deaf ears.

The march was, however, cut short when they were intercepted at the crossroads — the exact location of the present “Freedom Monument” — by a contingent of armed policemen and shot at, leading to the death of the three.

Recall

Speaking to the media after the ceremony, a veteran, WO1 Sarfo Kwame, recalled how he used to witness the ceremony with his late father who was a private soldier.

WO1 Sarfo narrated the incident which led to the death of the three soldiers in 1948, and said the ceremony always ignited painful and bitter memories for him and his colleagues.