The late arrival of the Freedom Flame at Nkroful, the birthplace of the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, did not deter the chiefs and people of the area from according it the necessary reception.
Although a respectable crowd greeted the flame when it arrived after 6 p.m., the numbers could have been more if it had arrived at the stipulated time of 2 o'clock in the afternoon or 3 p.m.
Almost all schoolchildren as well as the chiefs and people had gathered at the forecourt of the chief's palace waiting for the arrival of the flame at a point in time.
Unfortunately the flame arrived at Nkroful at about 6:45 p.m. when most of the schoolchildren, people and some of the chiefs had left.
The Freedom Flame arrived in the Western Region on Sunday, February 25, at the Bibiani Anhwiaso-Bekwai District and had been carried through the Sefwi Wiawso, Wassa Amenfi East, Wassa Amenfi West, Wassa West and the Jomoro districts.
When the flame arrived in the Nzema East District it was sent to Benyin before arriving at Nkroful.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr A.E. Amoah addressing the gathering, expressed the hope that the Freedom Flame would rekindle a recognition for other people's freedom among Ghanaians, as well as bring about a rekindle of selflessness, patriotism, and a commitment to further develop the country.
The chiefs and people of Nkroful in the Nzema East District used the occasion to appeal to the government to revisit all the development projects proposed for the town to ensure improvement in the lifestyle of the people in the area.
The projects are the provision of street lights, potable water, the establishment of Vocational Technical Academy, as well as the creation of a separate district for the area, with Nkroful as the district capital.
The Assembly member for the town, Nana Bulumia Twum, made the appeal after receiving the Freedom Flame from the Nzema East District Chief Executive, Mr Joshua Kwajah-Ellimah, at Nkroful last Monday.
The assembly member explained that the Indian Government made efforts to establish a Vocational/Technical Academy at Nkroful in 1997, to honour the President of the First Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
He said the chiefs provided one mile square land for the project. Feasibility studies were done and a proposal submitted to the Indian Government.
Nana Twum said some of the equipment for the school were brought from India but the equipment was given to the Nzema East District Assembly.
Touching on the water project, he explained that the people of Nkroful paid their counterpart fund of ¢150 million last year under the Community Sanitation and Water Project but the provision of water for the people had not materialised.
According to Nana Twum, a district was created for the area in 1965, with Nkroful as its headquarters, but after the 1966 coup, the district status was nullified.
He also called for the creation of a paramountcy for the area, explaining that there were 13 sub-chiefs at Nkroful.
The assembly member also regretted that since the Nkrumah Trust Fund was established in 2004, many schoolchildren in the area had not benefited from it.
In a related development, many schoolchildren, teachers, market women and residents lined up along the principal streets of Takoradi, Sekondi and Essikado to catch a glimpse of the Freedom Flame, which arrived in the Shama Ahanta East Metropolis from the Ahanta West District last Tuesday.
The children and a few people who had miniature Ghana flags waved them, while others waved their bare hands, handkerchiefs and tree branches as the flame passed by.
Story by Kwame Asiedu Marfo