President John Agyekum Kufuor, while addressing the most historic event of his seven years stewardship, on Tuesday paid homage to people whose sweat and toil gave Ghana political independence from British colonial rule.
"Today, I pay homage to the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah and his colleagues from the United Gold Coast Convention who in 1947 launched the last phase of the process towards independence."
Addressing thousands of people who thronged the Independence Square to mark 50 years of Ghana's independence, he paid tribute to J.B. Danquah, Paa Grant, Edward Akuffo-Addo, William Ofori-Atta and Ako Adjei, who initiated the process of political emancipation.
Digging down into history, he listed giants of the Danquah-Busia and Nkrumaist traditions, which had shaped the political history of Ghana.
"But above all, let us give thanks and praise for the many Ghanaians throughout the years who have worked anonymously and often without reward to make our nation what it is today."
We celebrate the whole of Africa
President Kufuor singled out his colleague heads of state, including the Special Guest, President Olusegun Obasanjo for joining Ghana to celebrate the big day.
"I am sure you will agree with me that it is a celebration not only for Ghana but also for the whole of Africa. For March 6, 1957 changed the outlook of our Continent and its status and role in the world forever.
"The African on the Continent, who for centuries had been violated and subjugated through the Slave Trade and Colonialism. That fateful day succeeded in breaking asunder, the chains of bondage. Today therefore is as much Ghana's celebration as it is for the rest of Africa."
Every space at the Independence Square was adorned with the national colours and filled to capacity by cheering citizens and non-citizens alike, some of whom gave the security personnel hard time as they surged to the parade grounds to have a full view of the historic moment.
Chiefs, politicians, journalists and people from all walks of life were seen clad in the national colours, kente or smocks apparel and waving miniature flags.
There was deafening shouts as the Police Constabulary escorted President Kufuor to the Square.
The smiling President waved enthusiastically to the crowd and proceeded to inspect the Guard of Honour mounted by the security agencies and lit the Perpetual flame.