Thousands of enthusiastic Ghanaians yesterday joined the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I.C. Quaye, to welcome the Freedom Flame to the capital to climax the Jubilee celebrations today.
By 8.00 a.m. scores of people who had heard about the arrival of the flame at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle thronged the Freedom and Justice Park to participate in the historic event.
The flame would be handed over to President John Agyekum Kufuor to light the perpetual flame at the Independence Square where a colourful parade of schoolchildren and the security agencies would be held today.
At about 11.45 a.m. the flame arrived to thunderous shouts of “Ghana Oseeyie” by the teeming crowd who were clad in different apparels designed in the national colours, amidst brass band music.
The Freedom Flame, which was made from a bamboo stem painted in red, gold and green, was first received by the Mayor of Accra, Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blackson, who handed it over to the Deputy Regional Minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for South Ablekuma, Ms Theresa Tagoe.
It finally settled in the hands of Sheikh Quaye who, together with his entourage, went on a procession through some of the principal streets of Accra, beginning from the Nkrumah Circle.
Schoolchildren were not left out of the historic occasion as they lined the streets and waved their flags amidst shouts of “Freedom, Freedom”.
At a point, Reverend Jesse Jackson, a renowned Black American civil rights campaigner, joined the dignitaries to carry the flame through the streets.
It was a delight to watch scores of market women at the Central Business District of Accra abandon their wares to join in the fun, which virtually brought activities in the area to a standstill.
The procession finally ended at the Efua Sutherland Children's Park.
The regional minister expressed the hope that the next 50 years would place Ghana on a better pedestal to enable it to assume its place among the comity of nations.
Story: by Charles Benoni Okine