Kyebi, Feb. 6, GNA - A wreath laying ceremony and memorial and thanksgiving church service was held at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Kyebi, on Sunday as part of the activities marking the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Joseph Boakye Danquah.
He died as a prisoner of conscience in the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons on February 4, 1965, as a result of his political differences with the First Republican administration of Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama laid one of the seven wreaths on behalf of the Government of Ghana and the Minister of Education and Sports, Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, on behalf of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Others were laid on behalf of the Danquah-Busia Club, the Okyeman, the Akufo-Addo family, his family and children.
Earlier, in a tribute at the church service, Vice President Mahama described Dr Danquah as a "great son of not only Ghana but Africa," who had laid down his life for the freedom, dignity and development of the people.
He recalled the leading role he played towards the independence of the country and called on the people to continue to pray for the repose of his soul.
The Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin, in a remark, recounted the written works of Dr Danquah (known in private life as Kwame Kyeretwie), and the central role he played towards the country's independence and asked Ghanaians to emulate such qualities to guide future generations.
He asked the people to resolve to uphold and defend the constitution and democratic dispensation re-won for the nation through the 1992 Constitution against anyone who might attempt to subvert it. He said Ghanaians could ill-afford to forget the toils and torture Dr Danquah suffered till death in detention as a result of his liberal political views.
He said, "Dr Danquah died in his unyielding defence of the freedom and human rights of his fellow men against oppression", adding that his nationalistic exploits contributed a lot towards the building of Ghana as a leading nation state.
Okyenhene Amoatia Ofori Panin called for the establishment of a university in Okyeman to be named after Dr Danquah as a mark of lasting memory for the invaluable role he played towards the educational growth of the country.
Delivering the sermon, the immediate past Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, the Most Rev. Asante Antwi, called on Ghanaians to be bold to speak out against any abuses of their human rights as Dr Danquah did.
"Why don't we embark on peaceful demonstration in defence of our freedom and rights against any violation by oppressors", he asked and attributed the death of Dr Danquah to the lust for power, which he stood up against.
Most Rev. Antwi asked Ghanaians to love one another and be prepared to forgive and not seek revenge when offended for the sake of God. The service was attended by Ministers of State, MPs, District Chief Executives, the Okyehemaa, Nana Adutwum Dokua, chiefs and a cross-section of the people.