In a sudden move against opponents of the Government of the day, orders under the Preventive Detention Act were issued on Oct. 3 against 50 persons, the majority of whom were arrested on the same day. Those detained included Dr. J. B. Danquah, Mr. Joe Appiah, two other United Party M.P.s (Mr. Victor Owusu and Mr. S. G. Antor), and other U.P. leaders; a C.P.P. member of the Assembly– Mr. Quaidoo (Social Welfare Minister until April 1961); leaders of the recent strikes; and the editor of the Ashanti Pioneer, the independent Kumasi newspaper from which government control had been lifted in May, but in whose offices a government controller had again been installed on Sept. 10 in connection with the strikes. The Government stated that the arrests followed the uncovering of a number of subversive activities, including a plot to murder Dr. Nkrumah and other Ministers and to overthrow the regime. Subsequently (Oct. 7) the Government announced that it intended to publish a White Paper giving the full circumstances leading up to the arrests.
Eighteen railway men who had been involved in the strikes wore detained at Sekondi -Takoradi; five market women were detained in these two towns, and three more in Kumasi, following the action of market women in organizing the supply of food to the strikers; the city editor of the Ashanti Pioneer was arrested in Accra, in addition to the editor himself in Kumasi; while others detained included a number of teachers and merchants.
It was announced immediately after the arrests that one of the wanted men, Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey (a barrister), had escaped; although Government statements implied that the other 49 persons had all been detained, it was reported on Oct. 18 from Lome (capital of Togo) that four other men had also reached Togolese territory, including Mr. Kwow Richardson, Secretary-General of the U.P., and Mr. J. R. Baiden, secretary of the Maritime and Dock Workers’ Union in Takoradi-Sekondi.