October 16, 1956: Conference on form of government deadlocked, with Asante and Northern Territories pushing for federal government

1956 was a banner year in Ghana's push to become the first sub-Saharan African country to break from European colonial rule. On October 16, 1956 a conference called to reconcile competing visions for the imminence of sovereignty for the Gold Coast, reached no agreement.  About a month later, the legislative asembly voted to resolve the question in favor of a constitution for a unitary government, with a margin of 70 to 25. The 1956 election saw Kwame Nkrumah's Convention People's Party win 71 of 104 seats in the Legislative Assembly and self-governance was imminent. On August 3 the assembly voted for independence from Great Britain.

 Simon Diedong Dombo was the leader of the Northern People's Party, who were advocating for a system of government recognizing his region's distinct identity

Simon Diedong Dombo was the leader of the Northern People's Party, who were advocating for a system of government recognizing his region's distinct identity

On October 16 a conference was held between leaders from different regions of the emerging country to decide on a path toward governance. While Nkrumah's CPP proposed a Parliamentary form of government with all regions of the country operating under a unitary constitution, the leaders from Ashanti Region and the Northern Territories were in favor of a federal system of rule that would recognize each region's distinct identities, allowing them to continue with a degree of sovereignty.