February 18, 1896: Sefwi formally joins the Gold Coast Colony

In the extreme north of the Western Region of Ghana are three traditional states collectively known as Sefwi.  Sefwi is made up of three mutually independent paramountcies of Anhwiaso, Bekwai and Wiawso. It is bounded on the northeast by Ashanti (Asante), on the east by Denkyira and Wassa-Amanfi, on the south by Awowin and on the west by the Anyi-Baule of the Ivory Coast. It also shares a common boundary with Brong-Ahafo In the north. All the three states share a common dialect Sefwi but almost all the people speak Twi (Akan). In addition they have a common tutelar deity, Sobore, and a common annual yam festival — the Allelolle. Since the middle of the Seventeenth century, this vast stretch of territory has served as a centre of refuge for people escaping from the political centralization policies of their neighbours to the north and east. Refugees from Bono-Takyiman, Wenchi, Adanse, Denkyira, Assin and Asante found ready welcome in this territory. It appears that the Awowin rulers who formerly controlled modern Sefwi territory adopted an open door policy as a measure to Increase the population of their state. Nor has the Influx of people into Sefwi ceased up to the present day. Its virgin forest serves as a bait for cocoa farmers and timber merchants from all over Ghana.

Between 1900 and 1902 the question of recasting the Gold Coast Colony-Ashanti boundary was raised but no significant alteration was effected. It had been argued that the geographical location of Kwahu and Sefwi made it "more convenient that they should be included for administrative purposes in Ashanti". The possibility of establishing protectorates and separate administrations for the two areas had also been considered. In 1901, however, the Governor indicated that he did not think "the Sefwis and Kwahus would understand or appreciate any difference being made in their status to that of the other tribes in the interior.' As the Ashanti were to be treated as a conquered people and punished for rebelling, it was considered proper to exclude the Sefwi and Kwahu who had not participated in the uprising from that administration. Besides, in Sefwi and Kwahu the laws of the Gold Coast Colony were, to some extent, successfully administered and the people were accustomed to taking their cases to the colonial courts. The 1895 boundary was therefore retained. The inclusion of Kwahu and Sefwi in the Colony made it a compact territory. On February 18, 1896, Sefwi formally joined the Colony. The regional boundaries which became operative on 1st January 1902 survived until 1907 when they were recast.






February 15, 1926: Edward A. Ulzen was born in Sekondi

Today marks the 92nd birthday of Edward Abraham Kofi Ulzen who passed away on October 1, 1999. His estate supports the Elmina - Java Museum and its controlling entity, the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation. He attended Amisano Seminary, St. Augustine's College, Achimota College and the University College of the Gold Coast. He reportedly chartered the first branch of the CPP youth wing in Takoradi, where he was a 2nd class officer in H.M. Customs. He was Principal Assistant Secretary in the Office of the President with a schedule for Higher Education and was Secretary of the Interim University Council that oversaw the transformation of Kumasi College of Technology into Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science and Technology under Chairman Kojo Botsio. He became the first Registrar of the new university. He was dismissed from this position following the findings of the Manyo Plange Commission after the the 1966 coup.

He continued his service as a Pan-Africanist in many roles in East, Central and Southern Africa. At the invitation of President Kaunda, he became the first African Registrar of the University of Zambia. He went on to become the Registrar of the erstwhile University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. He eventually moved to Nairobi and developed the African Literacy and Adult Education and Association into the largest education NGO in the world. In 1989, he represented Africa at the first UN sponsored conference on the role of NGOs, now known as Civil Society organizations. after his retirement to Ghana he was invited to serve as the Chairman of the Board of the Bureau of Ghanaian Languages. He was also a choral musician, whose choirs wo national competitions in Zambia and Kenya, a pianist and a Thespian.



February 13, 1874: The Ashanti sue for peace with the British at Fomena

After the city of Kumasi, the Ashanti capital, was sacked by the army of Sir Garnet Wolseley, on February 4, 1874, the British sought to capture the Ashanti king Kofi Karikari.

He had fled the capital before the British arrival. They tried unsuccessfully to hunt him down. Kofi Karikari eventually sent his messengers to track down Wolseley, who was returning to the coast. The messengers announced to Wolseley that King Kofi Karikari wished to agree to terms for peace.

They met on 13th February 1874, at Fomena to conclude what became known as the Treaty of Fomena.

This harsh treaty, which included payment of an indemnity of 50,000 ounces of gold, renunciation of suzerainty over neighboring nations, cessation of rent payments from the forts, free passage on all roads and the suppression of human sacrifice. These conditions undermined the stability of the Ashanti Kingdom and Kofi Karikari was destooled in September 1874 and this treaty laid the groundwork for the eventual collapse of the Asante Empire in the years to come.

February 13, 1951: Gov. Sir Charles Arden-Clarke invites Nkrumah to form a government

 In February 1951, the first elections were held for the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly under the new constitution for the colony. Dr Nkrumah still in jail, won his seat at Accra Central and his party won an impressive victory with a two-thirds majority of the 104 seats. The governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Charles Arden-Clark, released Dr. Nkrumah from prison and invited him to form a government as "leader of government business" a position somewhat similar to that of prime minister, on February 13, 1951. A major milestone had been passed on the road to independence and self-government. Nonetheless, the structure of government that existed was certainly not what Dr. Nkrumah's party preferred. The ministries of defense and external affairs were still controlled by British officials.

In 1952, the position of prime minister was created and the Executive Council became the cabinet. The Prune Minister was made responsible to the assembly, which duly elected Dr. Nkrumah prime minister. British officials still controlled the foreign affairs of the Gold Coast and independence was still to be won.

February 12, 1957: Nkrumah and Busia agree on a draft constitution for independence


The Constitution-Making Process

The NLM was uncompromising in its demand for a federal constitution and given the spate of violence that followed the formation of that party, the colonial authorities in 1955, appointed Sir Frederick Bourne to investigate and recommend the feasibility or otherwise of the federal system for independent Ghana. The Bourne Report recommended a compromise formula of a unitary system with devolutionary powers to regional assemblies which formed the basis of the 1957 Constitution.

Main Features of 1957 Constitution  

The Independence Constitution, officially titled, The Ghana (Constitution) Order in Council, was firmly based on the cabinet system in line with British political tradition. The executive consisted of the Prime Minister and his cabinet selected from the National Assembly to which they were individually and collectively responsible (Section 7). The head of state was a Governor General with generally ceremonial functions representing the British monarch (Section 6).  The Constitution had very few guaranteed rights such as the right to vote (Section 69), the right to property (Section 34) and others safeguarding minorities rights.

Section 32 provided special amendment procedures. According to Article 32(1) amendment to ordinary  constitutional provisions needed 2/3 majority of Parliament, while entrenched provisions needed a prior approval of not less than two-thirds of all the Regional Assemblies and in some cases the Regional Houses of Chiefs (Section 32(2). This cumbersome procedure of amendment was significant given the polarized politics at the time.

Perhaps the most significant provision in terms of the ‘compromise formula’ was Article 64 which called for the establishment, by an Act of Parliament, of a Regional Assembly in each of the then five regions of the country. Section 64(1) gave the regional assemblies effective powers in nine specified areas- local government, agriculture, education, communications, medical and health services, public works, town and country planning, housing, police- and ‘such other matters as Parliament may from time to time determine’ (Section 64 (2).

Application of the 1957 Constitution

 The colonial authorities had introduced the regional assembly system into the 1957 Constitution as a concession to an opposition which controlled 43% of the popular votes. But it was a compromise that satisfied neither the government nor the opposition. The ruling CPP felt the Independence Constitution had been forced upon it (Kraus 1969:117). Nkrumah reportedly said his Government and the CPP had accepted with grave misgivings the Constitution as was drawn in Britain but they preferred to take what was offered rather than see independence delayed (Ohene-Darko 1977:78). For the NLM and its allies, anything short of the federal system was not desirable and they continued to boycott important stages in the transition process[i], a strategy which the CPP cleverly exploited to its own advantage.

The CPP adopted the uncompromising attitude of using its majority in parliament to adopt measures aimed at destroying the opposition. For example, in December 1957, the CPP-dominated parliament passed the Avoidance of Discrimination Act (ADA) which sought to render illegal all the opposition parties on grounds that they were not national. The regionalist opposition parties however outwitted the CPP by coming together to form the United Party (UP) before the ADA could be passed. Similarly, the passage of the Preventive Detention Act (PDA) in 1958 made it possible to detain without trial for five years and without right of appeal for conduct considered by the government to be prejudicial to the defence and security of the state. The CPP also resorted to amending significant portions of the Constitution; measures that turned the very rigid constitution flexible. In this respect, the fate of the regional assembly system is most illustrative. The CPP government had ‘induced’ the opposition to boycott both the parliamentary debate on and election to the Regional Assemblies and succeeded in legislating the assemblies out of existence(2).

Thus, while the 1957 Constitution was intended to operate on compromise and tolerance, both commodities were scarce between the Government and the Opposition. In the middle of 1960, therefore, Nkrumah and the CPP threw away the Independence Constitution wholly and wholeheartedly and introduced a new one on their own terms (Dale 1993:72).


1.       For example, the opposition was on a boycott and did not take part in the debate on the ‘Motion of Destiny’ tabled by Nkrumah on 4 August 1956 calling for the granting of independence in March 1957. Though the Opposition returned to endorse the draft constitution early 1957, they again boycotted the debate in 1958 of the Regional Assemblies Bill.

2.       In accordance with Section 64 of the 1957, the Governor-General had formed the Van Lare Committee (composed of the chairman, 13 CPP and 8 opposition MPs) to work on the modalities of the regional assembly system. The Committee had drawn a careful compromise between the wide and extensive powers of the Regional Assemblies demanded by the opposition and their reduction to advisory bodies as demanded by the CPP. But the CPP government grossly altered the compromise formula when it introduced the Regional Assembly Bill in Parliament. The opposition boycotted the deliberations and subsequent elections to fill the Assemblies. Not surprisingly, the CPP-dominated Assemblies legislated themselves out of existence. This was approved by 2/3 majority in Parliament that enabled constitutional amendments to be made by a simple majority in the House. In addition, the Houses of Chiefs had their powers modified and chieftaincy matters came under direct government control.


From Alexander K.D. Frempong, "Constitution -Making and Constitutional Rule in Ghana" Golden Jubilee Colloquium March 1-2, 2007 


February 11, 1974: Gen. Acheampong closes all 3 universities in Ghana

On February 11, 1974, students of the 3 major universities in Ghana, namely, the University of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah of Science and Technology and University of Cape Coast simultaneously marched in protest against the military government of the National Redemption Council (NRC). An event of military brutality against a mature student of the University of Ghana who was traveling back to Accra from Ho in the previous week which galvanized the Accra students into action. The Student Representative Council (SRC) at Legon and the National Union Ghana Students (NUGS) mobilized themselves in one short week and struck in unison, paralyzing the three cities that morning and confronting troops deployed in all 3 cities. By early afternoon, the government announced all 3 universities closed immediately and students were ordered to leave their campuses. This event set forth a train of events of resistance to military rule, which eventually led to the downfall of the Acheampong regime, first with the palace coup in 1977 and eventually the coup in in 1979, led by Flt. Lt. Rawlings.


February 8, 1951: First Gold Coast direct elections for Legislative assembly

8 February 1951 Legislative Assembly Election

Registered Voters

Not Available

Total Votes (Voter Turnout)

Not Available (N/A)

Invalid/Blank Votes

Not Available

Total Valid Votes




Number of Seats (38)*

Convention People's Party (CPP)


United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC)




*38 out of 84 members were directly-elected; 37 members were indirectly-elected by territorial councils, six were appointed to represent commercial interests, and three were ex-officio members appointed by the Governor.


February 7, 2013; President Mahama moves seat of government to Flagstaff House.

Ghana’s then President, John Dramani Mahama on Thursday, Feb 7, 2013 officially moved the seat of the government of Ghana from the old colonial slave post Osu Castle to the Flagstaff House built with India’s help. Minister for Information and Media Relations Mahama Ayariga confirmed that the government would conduct “formal” business from the House starting Feb 7. The move came after four years of dithering over what to do with the building which was being used by the ministry of foreign affairs.

The ministry planned to relocate to a new building being built with help from China. “Staff of the ministry of foreign affairs are to relocate from the administration block so that we can make a complete move to the Flagstaff House in 2013,” the president had said in December. However, the new presidential palace has gone through several controversies.

First, then president John Atta Mills decided not to use it after its completion, citing security reasons. This was in line with his election campaign promise that he would not live in the building because the money spent on it could have been used on other things to benefit the poor.

However, John Kufuor, under whose presidency the construction was initiated, praised the Indian government for providing the funds.

There was also concern about its cost. Originally estimated at $36.9 million, the cost shot up to $135 million with the provision of additional facilities to enhance security. The amount was part of a $60 million funding from the Indian government that has a 50-percent grant element at an interest rate of 1.75 percent, repayable in 25 years, including a five-year moratorium.

The building returned to the original name of Flagstaff House after it had been changed to Jubilee House by President Kufuor. Shapoorji Pallonji of India was named as contractor of the project, which started in 2006.

February 6, 1812: Commandant of Winneba Fort, Henry Meredith killed by Effutus

In the month of February 1812, Mr. Meredith now commandant of Winneba was done to death by the natives of that place. One day, he was suddenly seized by a number of natives, who dragged him away into the bush and there charged him with detaining a quantity of gold, the property of the natives. This gold, they asserted, a sergeant of the company’s soldiers had delivered to him for safekeeping as Ashantis were in the neighborhood.

It appears that the sergeant upon being asked for it by the owners, had evaded payment by declaring that he had forgotten to whose care he had entrusted it. The owner consulted the great god of the Fanti and was told by the Oracle that was the Meredith had it, hence his seizure.

It was in vein that the unfortunate commandant declared that he knew nothing of the gold….They treated their captive with the greatest barbarity. Not satisfied with making him walk several miles bareheaded in the heat of the sun, they set fire to the dry grass, and taking off his boots, forced him to walk over at barefooted. He was frequently beaten, his arms were stretched out horizontally at full length, and fastened to a long pole, which pressed upon his throat and caused him much pain.

Apparently during this period, there was a great deal of surface gold in and around Winneba. With the Ashanti’s close by, the locals would amass large quantities of gold and send it to the British fort for safekeeping. They however noted that a barrel being shipped out to England, which fell and broke revealed a great deal of gold. Suspicious, the Effutu people demanded an accounting of the gold which had given the British and this was not achieved. As a result, they held the Commandant Mr. Meredith responsible and killed him in the manner described above.

To avenge his death, the English forces led by Commodore Irby, destroyed the fort and burn down Winneba in July 1812. The Effutu were required to pay an indemnity of “some of money and satisfaction of the injury done to the late Mr. Meredith”. Under the guns of the British, the natives of Winneba brought all the gold they had until the large scale being used weigh the gold broke under its weight.

This is why Winneba is the only major caostal town without a fort from this era.

February 5, 1885, Winneba Asafo rioters, executed in Accra

On February 5, 1885 the Asafo men arrested after riots in Winneba were executed in Accra. This followed violent disturbances between Tuafo and Dentsefo companies led to their prosecution at Accra on a capital charge, and finally the condemnation to death of a good many of those who took part in the riot. King Ghartey IV’s petition on their behalf failed to achieve anything. 

When they were executed eventually, it was noted that coincidentally, that all officials involved in the condemnation and execution died one after the other in the same year: the Queen’s Advocate who prosecuted, the Chief Justice who sentenced the people, the Sheriff who delivered them for execution, the Engineer who fixed the gallows, and Governor W. A. Young himself, who signed the death warrant and finally the gaoler (Trant), who conducted the last act of execution.

January Ghana History Moments in Review

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In January we revisited many consequential and interesting moments in Ghanaian history. Check out some of the topics that we covered below!

1. Police Constable Ametewee fails in assassination attempt on Nkrumah

2.  JE Atta-Mills wins election to become President of Ghana

3.  The Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) filed a lawsuit challenging the results of Ghana's 2012 elections

4. The Progressive Peoples Party applies formally for registration.

5. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) call a general strike

6. Gov. Arden-Clarke imposes Peace Preservation Ordinance on Ashanti

7. John Dramani Mahama sworn in as President of Ghana

8. Positive Action Day declared by Kwame Nkrumah

9. JB Danquah re-arrested after Ametewee assassination attempt on Nkrumah

10. A Special Court was established to hear cases on security threats to the state

11. Exchange of Dutch possessions completed

12. Lt. Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong overthrows Prof. Kofi Busia's government

13. Ghana's first woman minister, Mrs Susanna Al-Hassan passes away

14. Sir Francis Scott enters Kumasi with British and West Indian troops

15. The foundation stone is laid for the construction of St. George's (Elmina) Castle

16. British Governor, Sir Charles McCarthy killed at Bonsaso

17. Kwame Nkrumah arrested as CPP banned by colonial government

18. Kumasi College of Technology is established

19. The Volta River Hydro-electric Project is inaugurated

20. Cape Coast erupted in riots over chieftancy succession

21. Osei Yaw Akoto becomes King of Ashanti

22. Chief Nii Kwabena Bonne II leads boycott of European goods

23. The Draft Constitution for the 2nd Republic presented

24. People's Movement for Freedom and Justice founded

25. Achimota (Prince of Wales) College opened

26. Elections and Public Offices Disqualification Decree

27. British Komenda natives reject Dutch takeover after Anglo-Dutch Agreement


February 5, 1972: Col. Acheampong Repudiates some of Ghana's foreign debt.

Characteristic of military dictators, Gen. Acheampong unilaterally and unceremoniously declared his government’s intention to repudiate all foreign debts contracted by previous administrations suspected to be tainted by corruption. Unperturbed by the potential consequences of his action, Acheampong announced his infamous ‘Yentua’ (debt repudiation) policy to the chagrin and surprise of Ghana’s creditors. On February 5, 1972, he announced the repudiation of US$90 million of Nkrumah's debts to British companies and the unilateral rescheduling of the rest of the country's debts for payment over fifty years. He declared that the NRC explicitly repudiates all contracts which are vitiated by corruption, fraud or other illegality. He also openly expressed his disdain for the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and refused to allow the IMF and the World Bank to negotiate Ghana’s debt with her creditors. Acheampong’s defiant position won him a lot of admiration from Ghanaians. His populist approach to economic diplomacy was exactly what he needed to rally the people and gain their support for his government. It is argued that Acheampong was emboldened to chart this path of defiance and confrontation with Ghana’s creditors because the country’s economic fortunes were bolstered by an increase in cocoa prices on the world market as well as an increase in timber production.

February 5, 1874: The "Sagrenti War" and the "Sacking of Kumasi".

The Battle of Amoaful was fought on 31 January 1874. A road was cut to the village and the Black Watch led the way, forming square in the clearing with the Rifle Brigade, while flanking columns moved around the village. With the pipes playing "The Campbells Are Coming" the Black Watch charged with bayonets and the shocked Ashantis fled. The flank columns were slow moving in the jungle and the Ashantis moved around them in their normal horseshoe formation and attacked the camp 2 miles (3.2 km) to the rear. The Royal Engineers defended themselves until relieved by the Rifle Brigade. Although there was another small battle two days later, the Battle of Ordashu, the action had been decisive and the route to Kumasi was open. There were three killed and 165 wounded Europeans, one killed and 29 African troops wounded.

Amankwatia (the Bantamahene) designed, planned and executed the last great stand of the Asante at the village of Amoaful against the advancing British Army of Major-General Garnet Wolseley in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War. The Battle of Amoaful itself did not last much more than 24 hours on 31 January 1874.

The British won (and the Asante lost) the Battle of Amoaful. Some (perhaps questionable) British accounts have it that the biggest havoc in the British ranks was caused by bad air (malaria) and yellow fever, but in the Battle of Amoaful every fourth British soldier was hit by the heavy Asante fusillade.  

The Asante chose forest cover and ridges overlooking bogs (through which the British had to wade) as their battle stands. Amankwatia is credited with such clever calculation. What advantage the British had in heavy armament and superior rifles the Asante countered with far superior numbers (no wonder between 2000 and 3000 of them were either injured or killed). The British soldiers for a long time came under heavy gunfire from people they could not see.

The capital, Kumasi, was abandoned by the Ashanti when the British arrived on 4 February and was briefly occupied by the British. They demolished the royal palace with explosives, leaving Kumasi a heap of smouldering ruins. The British were impressed by the size of the palace and the scope of its contents, including "rows of books in many languages.

The Asantahene, the ruler of the Ashanti, signed the harsh Treaty of Fomena in July 1874 to end the war. Among articles of the treaty between H.M. Queen Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and H.M. Kofi Karikari, King of Ashanti were that "The King of Ashanti promises to pay the sum of 50,000 ounces of approved gold as indemnity for the expenses he has occasioned to Her Majesty the Queen of England by the late war..." The treaty also required an end to human sacrifice and stated that "There shall be freedom of trade between Ashanti and Her Majesty's forts on the [Gold] Coast, all persons being at liberty to carry their merchandise from the Coast to Kumasi, or from that place to any of Her Majesty's possessions on the Coast." Furthermore, the treaty stated that "The King of Ashanti guarantees that the road from Kumasi to the River Pra shall always be kept open..." Wolseley completed the campaign in two months, and re-embarked for home before the unhealthy season began.

Wolseley was promoted and showered with honours. British casualties were 18 dead from combat and 55 from disease (70%), with 185 wounded.

Some British accounts pay tribute to the hard fighting of the Ashanti at Amoaful, particularly the tactical insight of their commander, Amankwatia: "The great Chief Amankwatia was among the killed. Admirable skill was shown in the position selected by Amankwatia, and the determination and generalship he displayed in the defence fully bore out his great reputation as an able tactician and gallant soldier".

The campaign is also notable for the first recorded instance of a traction engine being employed on active service. Steam sapper number 8 (made by Aveling and Porter) was shipped out and assembled at Cape Coast Castle. As a traction engine it had limited success hauling heavy loads up the beach, but gave good service when employed as a stationary engine driving a large circular saw.

February 4, 1965: Dr. J.B. Danquah dies at Nsawam Prisons

Dr. J. B. Danquah stood as a presidential candidate against Nkrumah in April 1960 but lost the election. On 3 October 1961, Danquah was arrested under the Preventive Detention Act, on the grounds of involvement with alleged plans to subvert the CPP government. He was released on 22 June 1962. He was later elected president of the Ghana Bar Association.

Danquah was again arrested on 8 January 1964, for allegedly being implicated in the Ametewee assassination attempt against the President. He was admitted to Nsawam Prison and placed in the Condemned Section (Special Block) in Cell No. 9 on the upper landing. The cell is approximately 9 feet by 6 feet in area, secured by solid door with small open grille in the top half of the door and barred window high up in the rear wall. The cell contained no bed or other furniture other than a chamber pot. He reportedly suffered a heart attack and died while in detention at Nsawam Medium Prison on 4 February 1965.

After the overthrow of the CPP government in February 1966 by the National Liberation Council (NLC), Danquah was given a national funeral and his status was rehabilitated.

February 2, 1918: All Basel Missionaries deported from the Gold Coast

From 1870 to 1914 the Basel Mission succeeded in extending its work from the Akwapim Ridge to Kwahu, Akim and Asante and across the Volta as far as Yendi the north in 1913.

During this period, difficulties encountered were different from the initial difficulties which will more related to sickness, deaths and the suspicion of indigenous people in accepting the Gospel. Now, with the burgeoning Cocoa industry, the expansion of commercial activity, the development of gold mines and the building of roads and railways disturbed the traditional lifestyle. This decreased the zeal with which people began to accept the Gospel leading to nominal Christianity. Moreover, the Islamic religion was also being introduced to the southern section of the country by Muslim immigrants from the north of the colony.

In spite of all this, with the advent of the First World War in 1914 in the Kwaku District there were 21 congregations with a total of over 2500 members. The Akim area had about 3400 converts over 32 villages and there were about 900 children distributed in 27 Schools. The Basel Mission, as a result of this phenomenal expansion trained many local personnel to man the new stations.

After World War I was declared in 1914, the German missionaries were restricted in their movements by the British in the British colonies. The restrictions intensified until in the second week of 1917, when all German missionaries were rounded up, brought to Accra and deportations began on December 16. The work of the Basel Missionary Society was taken over with the consent of the Basel Mission Home Board by the United Free Church of Scotland whose ecclesiastical organization was Presbyterian. The Scottish Missionary Society had been working in Calabar, Nigeria, also a British colony adjacent to the Gold Coast and it was from the Calabar Presbyterian Church in Nigeria that a missionary was sent to take charge of the Presbyterian work in the Gold Coast after the deportations.
This was a bitter pill for the Basel Mission to swallow after 19 years of devoted service in the mission field in the Gold Coast but they were not dismayed when they considered that “in education and agriculture and artisan training and in the development of commerce, and medical services and concern for social welfare of the people, the name Basel by the time of expulsion of the mission from the country, had become a treasured word in the minds of the people”.

By February 2, 1918, all Basel missionaries had been deported from the Gold Coast.

February 1, 1896: Exiled Prempeh I and his retinue arrive at Cape Coast Castle

Nana Prempeh I was enstooled in March 1888 with the stool name Nana Kwaku Dua III. This name later changed to Prempeh I. Because of the civil war which proceeded his enstoolment, the chiefs who did not support him continued to cause trouble. Among the states which were opposed to his enstoolment were Kokofu, Mampong, Nsuta, Adanse and Dadiase. The states which supported him were Kumase, Bekwai, Dwaben, Edweso, Offinso, and Nkoranza. Edwesohene was the war general for Nana Prempeh,s faction during the civil war, therefore after the war his stool was raised to paramount status . The other Asona towns within the Kingdom who were serving Kumase direct but had scattered were all made to come under Edweso, as requested by Dikopim.( Dikopim,s request did not materialised at Nana Tutu,s time because of opposition from the scattered Asona Towns)
According to oral tradition , the defeat of Atwereboana,s supporters made them desert their towns . The people of Kokofu crossed the Pra River into the protectorate. Those from Mampong and Nsuta went to Atebubu. There was even the move by the people of Mampong to become British subjects. This period coincided with the scramble for Africa, therefore the British Government decided to colonise Asante by all means. The Governor wrote many letters to the King on the matter but Nana Prempeh I did not yield to his suggestions because his request were always accompanied by threats . According to Kimble, in one of the letters the Government promised to pay the King six hundred pounds sterling (600) per annum. He also promised to pay the Chiefs of Mampong, Kokofu, Bekwai, Dwaben, and the Queen-mother a total of one thousand four hundred pounds sterling (1400) , if they agreed to come under the British ,but if they refused , he will enstool Atwereboana , the rival contestant . This luring and threatening behaviour of the British made the King and the state become confused. The Kingdom had already decided on friendship with the British. That was why the Governor was invited to be present at Nana Prempeh’s enstoolment. However, it was not duty of the British Government to appoint a King for them. Because of the threats, the King appointed an eight – man delegation to go and see the Queen of Britain and have a frank discussion with her on what was happening in the Gold Coast, especially in the Asante Kingdom. According to Claridge, the delegation was made up of the following people: John Ansa, Albert Ansa, Nana Kwame Boaten, Nana Kwaku Fokuo, (a linguist), Kwaku Nkroma, Kwabena Bonna, Agyapon Daban and Kwadwo Tufour.
The Governor persuaded them to stop the journey and discuss everything with him, because he requested the crown in the Gold Coast. They did not agree to the Governor’s suggestion and left for England, because of the many threats in the Governors letters to the King. They wanted to hear from the Queen but not her nominee. They were in fact prepared to throw much light on their customs to the Queen of England to bring about peace among them. The Governor told them point blank that the Queen of England would not welcome them but they took it as one of the threats. They did not know that the King had been described as cruel King who took delight in human sacrifice therefore they would not be welcomed. They still insisted on going to see the Queen of England. They therefore boarded a ship for England. When they arrived, they made all possible efforts to get audience with the Queen, but they were refused. They remained in England for six months trying to see the Queen but all efforts were in vain. The Governor at the time, Mr Branford- Griffiths was transferred and Mr William Maxwell was posted to replace him. The new Governor was asked to send the following message to Nana Prempeh I.

1.       That he should allow a British resident representative in Kumase.

2.       That he should open his trade routes to all and allow free trade in Asante district.

3.       That he should stop human sacrifice.

4.       That he should honour the Fomena Treaty by paying the Government an amount of one hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds sterling (175,000) which was equivalent of fifty thousand ounces of gold stated in the treaty.

5.      That he (The Asantehene) should allow any state in his Kingdom, which wished to secede and come under the British, do so without intimidation. Such a state would be welcome by the British Government.

The new Governor wrote a letter containing the message as stated to Nana Prempeh (Asantehene) and gave him a few days to reply. It was eight days after the deadline that Nana Prempeh I replied that he had received the letter but since he had sent messengers to Britain to see the Queen of England, he could not give full reply to the points raised until they returned. When the letter was received by the Governor, he decided to use force on the Asante Kingdom to bring it under the British Flag.

The messengers to Britain returned to the Gold Coast in December 1895 without seeing the Queen of England. When they reached the shores of Accra that saw the preparations being made by the Governor for an expedition to Kumase. Fearing the consequence, they went to meet the Governor and agreed that a British representative was welcome in Kumase and they wanted to lead the representative to Kumase. They also agreed on all the terms contained in the Governor,s letter and asked him to rescind his decision of sending troops to Kumase. The Governor did not give in to their plea but asked that he needed the King Nana Prempeh I himself but not his representative, therefore he would come to Kumase with the troops and if the King (Nana Prempeh ) was not happy with their coming , he should meet him at Praso and make a new treaty with him. He should also pay all the expenses incurred on the soldiers. Since the Governor did not agree to their request, they left immediately to report to the King and the Asanteman(the Asante state) . Asanteman, on hearing the news waited for the Governor,s arrival.
According to Claridge, the King (Nana Prempeh) and hid Chiefs decide to fight the British again and while waiting, he dressed two of his children and sent them as hostages to the Governor at Praso. His motive was to present them to the Governor so that he and his troops would not cross into the Asnate territory, but return. However, the Governor, knowing that the Asantes did not inherit paternally, refused the offer. The King (Nana Prempeh) sent again his linguist, Nana Fokuo and Nana Boaten to plea with the Governor to return since he had accepted all the terms in the letter. The Governor again refused their plea and continued with his men. The governor and his troops crossed River Pra on 11th January 1896. They were met by the chief of Bekwai, Nana Yaw Boaten, and the chief of Abodom, who made a treaty with him and accepted to become British subjects. According to Claridge, after the treaty, they received flags from the Governor and hoisted one at Bekwai in the chief,s palace . The chief of Adanse, Nana Kwaku Nkansa, had also accepted the British protection earlier on 18th of October 1895.

When the news reached to the King that some chiefs had joined the camp of the Governor,King Nana Prempeh and the remaining chiefs decided to accept the British Flag. They therefore waited for the arrival of the Governor so that they might proclaim to the Asante Kingdom that they had accepted the British Flag and they needed the Governor,s representative in Kumase. When the King (Nana Prempeh) heard that the soldiers would reach Kumase on the 17th of January, he summoned his chiefs to a great durbar to welcome the Governor. The King and his elders reached the durbar grounds at 9:00 O,clock in the morning to wait for the Governor,s arrival . They waited till 5:00 O,clock in the evening before they got to know the news that the Governor was arriving on 18th January . The soldiers who arrived in Kumase on 17th January, consisted of 1,322 whites and 1,800 blacks, made up of Hausas, Fantes, and men from Adanse and Bekwai. When the Governor reached Kumase on the 18th January, he was told that the King (Nana Prempeh) and his men were at the durbar grounds waiting for him. He therefore sent message to the King that he is tired and they should retire to their homes and mount the durbar on the 20th of January.   The and his elders had decided that they were meeting the Governor to proclaim to him that they had accepted to come under the British Rule so that he in turn might introduce the resident representative for Asante . Little did they know about the motive of the Governor and why he had come with that number of troops?
Another durbar was mounted for the Governor on the appointed day. The King and his chiefs reached the durbar grounds early in the morning. To their astonishment they saw soldiers all over the place. The soldiers started separating the chiefs from their supporting men. Only the chiefs and few of their elders were allowed to go to the chief’s stand. This made the King (Nana Prempeh) and his chiefs sense danger. After a while the Governor also arrived at the durbar grounds and exchange greetings followed. Then followed the actual message he brought. This message was that he came to invite the King (Nana Prempeh) and his subjects to accept the British rule in his country. Secondly, he stated that the King and his subjects had not kept the terms of the treaty of Fomena, therefore they had come to urge them to keep their promise by paying the 50,000 ounces of gold as stated in the treaty.  After the message, the King (Nana Prempeh) and his chiefs became baffled as they never dreamt that the Governor was coming to retrieve debts. In this state, John Ansa, leader of the Asante delegation to London, went to the King and whispered something to him. A few minutes later the King and the Queen mother got up and went to the Governor bowling down before him and touching his shoes. They returned to their seats and the King made statements that from that day onwards, he and his subjects had accepted the British rule.  On the payment of 50,000 ounce of gold, the King (Nana Prempeh) stated that he would pay it but had no funds at that particular moment, but he would pay six hundred ounces (600 oz.) of gold, which was the equivalent of two thousand pounds sterling (€2000). The Governor did not accept the amount. He insisted that if the King (Nana Prempeh) had managed to raise money to send a delegation to England, he should be in the position to pay. When the Governor waited for a while and the money was not paid, he ordered the arrest of the King(Nana Prempeh) and the Queen mother ,the King,s father, his brother, two heirs to the throne, two linguists, the King,s interpreter, the chiefs of Bantama, Asafo, Mampong, Offinso, Edweso , and some of the King,s wives and servants.
Records from the archives indicate that the people arrested and deported included the following:

1.     Nana Akwasi Agyemang Prempeh         King of Asante.
2.     Nana Yaa Akyaa                                           The King,s mother and Queen mother of Asante .
3.     Nana Appea  Osokye                                  Chief of Mampong .
4.     Nana Kwadwo Kwahu (alias Kwadwo Appia)   – Chief of Offinso.
5.     Nana Kofi Afrane (alias Kofi Mensa)    – Chief of Edweso.
6.     Nana Kwame Amankwaatia II   –    Chief of Bantama (war chief – Kontihene).
7.     Nana Asafo Boakye   –               Chief of Asafo (war chief 2 and Akwamuhene ).
8.     Nana Kofi Subri                         Akyempemhene.
9.     Nana Kwabena  Agyekum        Oyokohene.
10.   Nana Kwasi  Gyambibi          The King,s father .
11.   Nana Agyemang Badu            The king,s brother and chief of Adum.
12.   Nana Akwasi Akuoko            Head   Linguist of the King
13.   Nana Boakye Ntansa              Chief of royal bodyguards (Akonfrahene)
14.   Mr Francis Korsah                 Interpreter to the King
15.   Barema Yaw Konkroma.
16.   Kwaku Fokuo                         The King’s linguist
17.   Nana Kwaku Wusu               The King’s linguist
18.   Kwame Kusi.
19.   Abena Kordie                        The King,s wife
20.   Amma Kwahan                    The King,s wife
21.   Kwasi Boakye                        The king,s son
22.   Kwame Yeboah                     The Kings, attendant
23.   Kwabena  Dabre                   The King,s attendant
24.   Kwame Asante                     The King,s cook
25.   Maame Mansa                       The Queen mother,s attendant
26.   Maame Daaho                       The Queen mother,s attendant
27.   Yaa Boatemaa                        Mamponghene,s wife ( chief of Mampong)
28.    Kwaku Fokuo                       Mamponghene,s servant (chief of Mampong)
29.    Kwame Ware.                       Mamponghene,s son ( chief of Mampong)
30.    Akua Akyaamaa                   Bantamahene,s wife
31.    Yaa Asokwa                           Bantamahene,s wife
32.    Abrakatu                                Bantamahene,s servant
33.    Daakowaa                              Asafohene,s wife (chief of Asafo,s wife)
34.    Nipade Yennow                    Asafohene,s wife (chief of Asafo,s wife)
35.    Ama Anowuo                        Asafohene,s wife (chief of Asafo,s wife)
36.    Kofi Mensa                            Asafohene,s servant
37.    Dwaben Amma Serwaa       Subri,s wife
38.    Kwaku Dua                            Subri,s servant
39.    Kwame Baafi                         Subri,s son
40.    Kwaku Boaten                       Boakye Ntansa,s servant
41.    Yaa Kordie                              Boaten,s wife
42.    Yaa Yennow                           Agyeman Badu,s wife
43.     Kwame Adu                          Agyemang Badu,s servant
44.     Kwabena Akroma                Agyemang Badu,s servant( Terchirehene)
45.     Amma Serwaa                      FoKuo,s wife
46.     Kwasi Agyapon                    The King,s half-brother
47.     Kwame Oti                            Servant
48.     Kwame Awua                       Servant
49.     Maame Amma Dapaa
50.     Akosua Akyem                      from Mfensi
51.     Akranyame                             from Offinso
52.     Maame Akua Afriyie
53.     Adokuaa
54.     Akua Agyeiwaa                      Offinsohene,s wife (chief of Offinso,s wife)
55.     Nana Kwame Boaten            Dominasehene (chief of Dominase)

After the arrest they were sent to Cape Coast Castle on February 1, 1896. 

February 1, 1964: Ghana becomes a One Party State under the CPP


It is often said by some African intellectuals, that Kwame Nkrumah had his faults, as every human being and leader has. This statement is used to prepare the ground to criticize Kwame Nkrumah on policies he and the Convention's People's Party (CPP) introduced which his critics are not comfortable with. Unlike many heads of state, Nkrumah wrote more than twelve books in which he defended and explained his policies. 

This is why it is important for any intellectual who criticizes him to not only refute whatever policy they disagree with but also to show the alternative for future generations to learn from. 

Among the so-called mistakes attributed to Nkrumah was the declaration of Ghana as a one-party state. According to imperialist propaganda, Nkrumah declared Ghana a one-party state because he wanted to rule Ghana without opposition. 

This cheap imperialist propaganda has gained credence from the pronouncements of some African intellectuals with neo-colonial leanings. Foremost among them is Professor Ali Mazrui of the State University of New York at Binghamton, USA. He is one who sees the multi-party system as something ordained by God. 

The truth about electoral history in Ghana is that from 1951 until Nkrumah was overthrown by the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Nkrumah and the CPP won every election held by overwhelming majorities. Even when the British colonialists jailed Nkrumah for three years, for publishing a so-called seditious article in the Cape Coast Daily Mail, in the general elections conducted by the British, the CPP won the overwhelming majority of the votes. 

In the election, Nkrumah received the largest individual poll ever recorded in the history of Ghana: 22,780 votes out of a possible 23,122. This is because Nkrumah and the CPP chose the people first, while the opposition chose themselves first, before the people. The declaration of one-party state by Nkrumah was not at all for any selfish reasons, as the imperialist propaganda wants us to believe. 

According to Nkrumah, the multi-party system is divisive and a newly independent state needs the energy and enthusiasm of all the people to move forward in all aspects of development. 

In a speech to the Indian Council on World Affairs, December 26, 1958, Nkrumah said: "We, in Africa, will evolve forms of government, rather different from the traditional Western pattern, but no less democratic in their protection of the individual and his inalienable rights." 

In Nkrumah's book Africa Must Unite, he wrote: "If the will of the people is democratically expressed in an overwhelming majority for the governing party, and thereby creates a weakening of the accepted two party system, the government is obliged to respect the will of the people so expressed. We have no right to divide our mandate in defiance of the popular will of the people." 

Nkrumah also wrote in Consciencism: "A people's parliamentary democracy, with a one-party system, is better able to express and satisfy the common aspirations of a nation as a whole, than a multi-party parliamentary system, which is in fact only a ruse for perpetuating and covering up the inherent struggle between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'." 

In a speech to the National Assembly on 1st February 1966, twenty-three days before he was overthrown, Nkrumah warned with great alarm: "A one-party system of government is an effective and safe instrument only when it operates in a socialist society. In other words, it must be a political expression of the will of the masses working for the ultimate good and welfare of the people as a whole. On the other hand, a one-party system of government in a neo-colonial client state, subject to external pressures and control, can quickly develop into the most dangerous form of tyranny, despotism, and oppression. It can become, in the hands of a few privileged rascally-minded and selfish individuals in a neo-colonialist state, a weapon and a tool for suppressing the legitimate aspirations of the people in the interest of foreign powers, and their agents. I repeat that a one-party state can only function for the good of the people within the framework of a socialist state or in a developing state with a socialist programme. The government governs through the people, and not through the class cleavages and interests. In other words, the basis of government is the will of the people." 

Kwame Nkrumah lived, schooled, and worked in both the USA and Britain. He studied the political systems of both nations. He discovered that both the Republican and the Democratic parties in the USA represented the interest of the rich. Likewise, the Conservative and the Labor parties in Britain also represented the interest of the rich in their society. 

In Class Struggle In Africa, Nkrumah wrote: "Every form of political power, whether parliamentary, multi-party, one-party, or an open military dictatorship, reflects the interest of a certain class or classes in society. In a socialist state, the government represents the workers and peasants. In a capitalist state, the government represents the exploitative class. The state then, is the expression of the domination of one class over other classes." 

Through subversion, lies, corruption, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and CIA pressures of all kinds, the enemies of African progress and political unification have influenced most African politicians and intellectuals by prescribing the multi-party system as the only form of political governance. Even though the effects of multi-party system have been disastrous everywhere in the developing world, any leader with vision and armed with an alternative form of governance, would be overthrown by the CIA. And that is what happened to Nkrumah. 

Presently it is happening to Presidents Chavez of Venezuela, and Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Proper scrutiny into world political history, will lead one to discover that in the 20th century, great political strides were achieved with one-party socialist systems as forms of governance. This is what Nkrumah refers to as 'scientific socialism'. The former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) used a one-party socialist system to develop their country from a backward semi-feudal society, to a world super power in less than 60 years. It was on par with most of the advanced developed countries of the world, until Mikhail Gorbachev betrayed the socialist system of the USSR. 

The People's Republic of China also used a one-party socialist-system to build their country from a peasant economy, to a great regional super power. It is now challenging the world's only super power in all aspects of science, technology, and business - this came about in less than 60 years. 

Vietnam also used a one-party socialist system to militarily defeat both French colonialism and USA neo-colonialism in the 20th century. And again, Cuba used a one-party socialist system to build their nation despite the embargo imposed by USA and her allies. Today, Cuban medical doctors are all over Africa and developing countries serving humanity. 

In 1975, when 'Apartheid South Africa' invaded Angola from the South, and UNITA, a terrorist organization backed by the USA also invaded from the North, in order to overthrow the MPLA socialist government, Cuba sent 30,000 troops to repel both UNITA and the racist apartheid forces. Henry Kissinger, then US Secretary of State, was going from one African capital to another trying to have African leaders condemn President Fidel Castro, but they refused. Today, Cuba is the only free territory in the western hemisphere with a genuine, independent, self-reliant, economic system. It is not guided by capitalism, and it is worth studying, understanding, and emulating. 

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), a small country half the size of Ghana, also used a one-party system of governance to develop from a feudal peasant economy to a highly developed industrialized society. Again, this was done in less than sixty years. In 1973, the government abolished all forms of direct and indirect taxation, demonstrating its economic self-reliance. 

Today, CIA propaganda tells us that the people of North Korea are facing massive starvation. The present hardship in the country is due to years of sanctions imposed by the US and its capitalist allies. Despite the sanctions and the US efforts at isolating the country, North Korea has been able to develop nuclear technology to the point of recently testing a nuclear weapon. It is clear that the true reason capitalist states impose sanctions is to reduce the speed of socialist development. 

Kwame Nkrumah also used a one-party socialist system to lead the people of Ghana into nation building. In only nine years, Nkrumah and the CPP built the most modern road network in Ghana, including the Accra-Tema Motorway. Since his overthrow, other governments have not added even a kilometer. 

Takoradi Harbour was extended and the Tema Harbour, the largest artificial harbour in Africa, was built from scratch. The Akosombo hydroelectric project was also constructed under Nkrumah and the CPP government. Dr. K.A. Busia, then leader of the opposition, described the hydroelectric project as a "communist inspired prestige undertaking." This dam created the Volta Lake and it is the primary source of Ghana's electricity even today - forty years later. 
Other infrastructure built under Nkrumah and the CPP provided pipe-born water, housing, schools and hospitals. 

Tele-communications and road networks were extended to rural areas of Ghana. In education, Nkrumah and the CPP achieved more in nine years, than the British did in 100 years of colonial rule: and more than all the successive governments after Nkrumah and CPP, be it military or civilian. There was free and compulsory education. Free education was provided from primary school to the university level. 

In addition, textbooks were supplied free to all pupils in primary, middle, and secondary schools. Night schools for adults, males and females, were created as part of the mass literacy campaign. The state farm corporation developed a 20-square mile rubber plantation. Soon after Nkrumah's overthrow, this valuable plantation was given to the Firestone Rubber Company of the USA. Even the prison system was improved under Nkrumah and the CPP government. 

Nkrumah and the CPP built the most humane prison in Ghana, Nsawam Prison. This is the only prison in Ghana that has recreational facilities, a church, a mosque, and a library. Today, it is overcrowded and antiquated, and as in so many other sectors of society, all successive governments after Nkrumah have turned a blind eye to the prison situation in the country. In short, Kwame Nkrumah laid the foundations for Ghana's development in every sector of the country. 

The time has come for African students, intellectuals, and politicians, to stop analyzing Nkrumah through CIA propaganda. They must assess him based on his political and developmental programmes, and on his contributions to the political and economic advancement of Africa. Professor Ali Mazrui, one of the leading neo-colonialist intellectuals, still analyzes Nkrumah through CIA propaganda. 

In the 2002 Aggrey-Frazer-Guggisberg Memorial Lectures he delivered at the University of Ghana on March 11-13, he said so many backward things about Nkrumah, one student in the audience was compelled to ask, "Is this man a CIA agent or on the CIA payroll?" Like a good servant, the professor sang his master's favorite tune. Ali Mazuri said: "Kwame Nkrumah was one of Africa's greatest sons, but he was not one of Ghana's greatest servants." Rubbish! Kwame Nkrumah served Ghana so much, he did not even get time to build a one-bedroom house for himself. 

Nkrumah remains Ghana's greatest selfless servant. On the one-party system, Ali Mazrui said: "Nkrumah's policy of trying to create one Ghana by abolishing separate parties was usurpation." 

Ali Mazrui must be informed that the introduction of one-party state in Ghana was an act of Parliament. It was not a decision implemented by Nkrumah alone. In 1962, U. Thant, then Secretary General of United Nations, summed up the problem, which Ali Mazrui still can't comprehend. U. Thant said: "It is a mistake to assume that the political institutions of the newly independent states will be of the same type as those prevailing in Britain, or that there will necessarily be two main parties competing against each other for the votes of the people. The notion that democracy requires the existence of an organized opposition to the government of the day is not valid. Democracy requires only freedom for opposition, not necessarily its organized existence." 

The multi-party system does not by definition mean democracy. Ali Mazrui espoused CIA propaganda by saying that: "The Nkrumah regime was sometimes also guilty of ethnic profiling, but perhaps never as blatantly." This is a blatant lie! It was the CPP government which introduced the Avoidance of Discrimination Bill to deal with the control of political parties based on tribal or religious affiliations. Its full title was "An Act to Prohibit Organizations Using or Engaging In Racial or Religious Propaganda to The Detriment of Any Other Groups in the Community." 

As far back as 1967, Kwame Nkrumah criticized articles written by Ali Mazrui. Nkrumah said: "Ali Mazrui is one of the Black neo-colonial intellectuals who writes what the white man wants to hear. His thinking is still being shaped by colonialism, and its influences. Actually, he is incapable of looking forward. He doesn't seem to comprehend the future and its potentialities. In short, he still has the colonial mentality." 

One imperialist strategy in African politics is to brainwash us into believing that unless our constitution is based on an imitation of the Western Parliamentary system, we can't engage in politics and democracy. 

This notion must be turned upside down. We must make our intellectuals rid themselves from this colonial mentality. Kwame Nkrumah devoted his life's energy for Africa's political freedom and unification. His achievements are there for all to see. Militants the world over admire how he set colonialism ablaze in Africa. Nkrumah has shown us the way and we must walk it with confidence. 

Colonial powers never educate their victims (those they called subjects) on how to win their freedom. But Kwame Nkrumah taught us how to do it. 'Free market', 'privatization', 'NEPAD', 'Structural Adjustment Program', 'Highly Indebted Poor Country'' globalization', and 'Millennium Challenge Accounts' are all imperialist attempts to deceive Africans and to poison our minds to make us participate in our own exploitation. 

Nkrumah said: "There are only two ways of development open to an independent African state. Either it must remain under imperialist domination via capitalism and neo-colonialism, or it must pursue a socialist path by adopting the principles of scientific socialism." 

The choice is for us to make. Either we chose the freedom fighters path, or we follow the CIA Gospel, as preached by Ali Mazrui.


By Nii Ardey Otoo

Pan Africa News Wire; December 24, 2006


January 31, 1868: British Komenda natives reject Dutch takeover after Anglo-Dutch Agreement

Fort Komenda was a British fort on the Gold Coast, established between 1695 and 1698 at Komenda, in contemporary Ghana. The fort had a very peculiar architecture, as this four-bastioned structure was built around an earlier four-bastioned English trading post, built in 1633. The fort was built within cannon-shot distance to the Dutch Fort Vredenburgh. It was abandoned in 1816, after the abolition of slave trade.

The ruin of the fort was transferred to the Dutch as part of a large trade of forts between Britain and the Netherlands on January 31, 1868. When a Dutch navy ship entered the harbour of Komenda, however, the local population resisted the transfer of the fort to the Dutch. Through the use of force, Dutch rule was eventually established. Between December 1869 and January 1870, a military expedition was sent to the local capital of Kwassie-Krom. A deadly battle ensued, but the Dutch managed to emerge as victors. It was a Pyrrhic victory, however, as the ongoing problems with the local population meant that on 6 April 1872, the entire Dutch Gold Coast, was again transferred to the United Kingdom, as per the Gold Coast treaty of 1871.

digitalgallery.nypl.org, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18881346

January 29, 1968: Elections and Public Offices Disqualification Decree

The National Liberation Council (NLC) transition to civilian rule program, took the familiar Nigerian route, starting up with the creation of the Constitutional Commission, the Constituent Assembly, lifting the ban on politics, electioneering campaigns, elections and the final handing over of power to a civilian government.

To ensure that the old guard, especially those of the former regime, were prevented from participating in the electoral process, a highly controversial Election and Public Offices Disqualification Decree was published on January 29th, 1968. This effectively barred certain members of the Convention Peoples Party (CPP) from holding office for 10 years.
There was an initial comprehensive ban on CPP activists and employees by Decree No.223, even though those affected could appeal to the Exemption Commission. This ban principally barred affected individuals from being eligible for the Constituent Assembly and the National Assembly. The decree was eventually replaced with a new one following public reactions and outcry. The NLC was inconsistent in the banning of former CPP activists and as some of them appealed to the Exemptions Commission with their cases is still pending, the NLC came out with yet another decree disqualifying 150 former CPP officials for a ten-year period. This was a prelude to the inauguration of the new Constitutional Commission which was established comprising 18 outstanding Ghanaian citizens chaired by Chief Justice Akuffo-Addo. The draft document was a combination of the Whitehall and Washington models, with a very strong emphasis in favor of fundamental freedoms and civil rights. Ironically, the civil rights of a large portion of the political spectrum had been clearly violated in the run-up to the new civilian administration.

January 28, 1927, Achimota (Prince of Wales) College opened

After the First World War, J.K. and the Government of the Gold Coast felt the need for advanced education in the colony. As Guggisberg put it, "In spite of the existence of one or two educational institutions of a secondary nature, the intellectual gap between the African who had completed his education at an English University and the semi-educated African of our primary school is dangerously wide. No one is more ready than I to sympathize with the legitimate aspirations of the African for advancement and for a greater share in the Government of this country, but if we are to help him to do this, if we are to protect the masses from the hasty and ill-conceived schemes of possible local demagogues, we must hasten as rapidly as our means will allow to fill up the gap between the two classes.

Achimota College was therefore established as part of Guggisberg's plan to reform the Gold Coast educational system. In August 1920, Guggisberg met and befriended native-born Dr. James Aggrey who was in the Gold Coast as a member of the Phelps Stokes Fund's African Education Commission. In 1922, as a result of the Phelps-Stokes Commission's 1920 report on education, Guggisberg appointed a committee to review its recommendations for Gold Coast education reform. That committee recommended the establishment of a comprehensive institution at Achimota to provide general secondary education, teacher training and technical education for male students. Achimota College was then conceived, thanks to the effort and support of Chiefs such as Nene Sir Emmanuel Mate Kole, Konor of Manya Krobo; Nana Sir Ofori Atta, Omanhene of Akyem Abuakwa and Nana Amonoo V, Omanhene of Anomabo, as well as prominent statesmen of the time such as the Hon. Dr. Benjamin W. Quartey Quaye Papafio, the Hon. F. V. Nanka-Bruce, both of Accra; the Hon. Thomas Hutton-Mills, Sr. of Accra, the Hon. E. J. P. Brown of Cape Coast, and the Hon. J. E. Casely-Hayford of Sekondi.

The Colonial government meant to carry out its policy to establish an excellent secondary institution where teachers as well as students would be trained. The Legislative Council went on to approve the 1923–24 budget for the establishment of the Prince of Wales College and School, and in March 1924, Guggisberg laid the foundation stone. Rev. Alexander G. Fraser was the first Principal (1924–1935), and Dr. James Aggrey was the first Vice-Principal (1924–1927). Fraser had previously been Principal of Trinity College, Kandy, an elite school in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, and was hailed as the greatest colonial headmaster of his day by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Aggrey campaigned vigorously for women's education at a time when the idea was not popular, and held the belief that to educate a man was to educate an individual, while educating a woman had more far-reaching benefits to family and community. This led to an increase in the number of places offered to girls by the College.

From 1924 until it opened on 28 January 1927, Guggisberg, Fraser and Aggrey worked together to realise Guggisberg's dream of establishing a first-class co-educational school and college. The University College of the Gold Coast, which is now known as the University of Ghana, had its roots in Achimota College. The University of Ghana holds its annual Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecture series to honour the founders' contributions to education in Ghana. The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) also had its roots in Achimota College's Engineering School.