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General News | Feb 4, 2005

Family and friends of J.B. Danquah visit Nsawam Prisons

GNA

Nsawam (E/R), Feb. 4, GNA - The family members and admirers of Dr Joseph Boakye Danquah, Doyen of Ghana Politics and Member of the "Big Six", on Friday visited the Nsawam Medium Prisons where he died as part of activities marking the 40th anniversary of his death. At 0600 hours the delegation, including Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr Yaw Barimah, Eastern Regional Minister, was allowed into the Prisons where they were met by Mr Benjamin Quaye, Director of Operations, who said Dr Danquah died at 0630 hours exactly 40 years ago.

The Most Reverend Dr Asante Antwi, Immediate Past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, led the group in a candlelight procession to the cell where he died.

He said Dr Danquah was an asset not only to the people of Akyem but to the nation and the world at large.

"We are here to remember a great light that went off 40 years ago and that is why we have lighted these candles to signify that J.B Danquah's life had had an impact on our nation today. He stood for the truth and freedom, which we now have in Ghana," he said.

Rev. Asante Antwi described the death of Dr Danquah as a painful past, which had yielded the present pleasure.

Mr Quaye urged the family members to adopt the Library in Prison "so that together we make this place a better place for the inmates here". The delegation, led by Mr Fred Asante, Member of the Council of State, later went to the Accra Palace of Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Payin, the Paramount Chief of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area, where Dr Danquah hailed from to brief him on the trip.

In response, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Payin said it was a good thing to celebrate the life and work of Dr Danquah.

He said the final funeral rites would be performed in August this year after which Dr Danquah would be celebrated every year adding: "Instead of mourning his death, we will celebrate his life and works." The "Big Six" which included Dr Kwame Nkrumah; E. Obetsebi-Lamptey; E. Ako Adjei, William Ofori Atta and Edward Akufo-Addo fought for Ghana's independence from colonial rule.

Dr Danquah was born on December 21, 1895 to Emmanuel Yaw Boakye, a famous Basel Evangelist and one time celebrated state drummer of Okyenhene Amoako Atta and Madam Lydia Okom Korantenmaa of the royal family of Adadeentam.

In November 1921, Dr Danquah left for England to study law where he was awarded a Degree in philosophy in 1925.

In London, he was the President of the Gold Coast Students' Association in 1926 and a one-time editor of the West African Students' Union's magazine.

Dr Danquah was said to be a great patriot, who supported the colonial regime when necessary but also criticised its policies that were not in the interest of the country.

He was committed to universal human values and promoted human happiness, dignity and self-fulfilment.

Dr Danquah championed individual rights and he unceasingly urged government to treat each citizen as a human being and a Ghanaian. His sharp criticisms of the Nkrumah Administration led to his imprisonment on January 8, 1964. He died in the condemned cell the following year. 04 Feb. 05

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