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15.02.2007 General News

J.B. Danquah's son petitions

By : The Ghanaian Times
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A son of the late Dr J. B. Danquah, one of the icons of Ghana's independence struggle is appealing to the government to rename the University of Ghana after his father.

J. B. Danquah Jnr prayed that the change be effected before the Independence celebration, in recognition of Dr Danquah's "singular effort that led to the creation of the university in 1948.

"For all that he did for this country, not a single national monument has been named after him," he lamented.

Danquah Jnr recalled that it was his father who petitioned the British colonial office and government in the 1940s to establish a university in the then Gold Coast, at a time when the British contended that the country was not ready for a university.

"Even when the British decided to establish one university in Ibadan, Nigeria, to serve the whole of British West Africa, he persisted until his request was granted," he said.

Mr Danquah also recounted his father's role in the formation of the United Gold Coast Convention, a political movement that was very instrumental in the struggle for independence.

"My father devoted all his life to the service of mother Ghana. It is a shame that all his toils and sweat have not been recognised," he said.

Mr Danquah said the only monument in memory of his father the Danquah Circle near Osu, was the result of his own initiative to preserve the memory of his father.

He explained that during the era of General Acheampong in the 1970s, a parcel of land belonging to his father was taken over for the construction of a dual carriageway.

"I approached the late Joe Appiah, who was then an advisor to General Acheampong and he suggested that the circle be named after Dr Danquah as compensation for the land that was appropriated by the state."

Gen. Acheampong, he said, agreed and Saka Acquaye, a renowned sculptor, was contacted to make Dr Danquah's statue, but the government was overthrown before the statue could be erected at the site.

He said in 1990 he contacted Nana Ato Dadzie, who was then the Chief of Staff at the Castle, to facilitate a meeting with the then Head of State, Flt-Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, at the Castle.

"He agreed for the statue to be erected at the site," he said.

Regarding the Golden Jubilee celebrations, the 64-year-old retired civil servant and father of five said: "The country should move forward as one family and build upon the foundation built by our forbears.

"We should forget about our past differences and rid ourselves of any vindictiveness so that we can leave a good legacy for generations yet to come," he said.

Dr Danquah, who was acclaimed as the 'Doyen of Ghana Politics," was one of the 'Big Six' who fought for the country's independence.

The others were Dr Ebenezer Ako Adjei, William Ofori Atta, Kwame Nkrumah and Obetsebi Lamptey.

Dr. Danquah is also credited with coming up with the name 'Ghana' to replace 'Gold Coast', after he had established that most Gold Coast tribes were descendants of the famous ancient Ghana empire which flourished between the ninth and 13th centuries.

Source: The Ghanaian Times