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About Ghana Association Of Greater Cincinnati

Ghana Association Of Greater Cincinnati Ghana Association Of Greater Cincinnati Ghana was 52 years as a nation on March 6 2009, and we, as a people, have come a long way to cherish this date. Among the first things that we did as a new nation was the adoption of the name Ghana because we believe that we moved to the present location from an ancient Kingdom of present Mali. In 1874, we were proclaimed a British colony, under the name Gold Coast, but it took another 30 years of wars and bloodshed before the Ashanti Kingdom and its dependencies in the North were finally brought under British rule by the close of 1902. So, the entire country was colonized from 1902-1957 (a period of 55 years). In 1946 the colonial government in the Gold Coast introduced the Burns Constitution, which had its aim of gradually preparing the country for independence. Dr. J. B. Danquah a member of the Legislative Council of the Gold Coast and others opposed the contents of the Burns Constitution and its promise of independence for the Gold Coast. Together with prominent people like Arko Adjei, R.S. Blay, Paa Grant, a rich merchant at the time, formed the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) on August 4, 1947 to seek political independence for Ghana. Dr. Arko-Adjei was offered the position of Secretary General but he declined it because of his active involvement with the activities of the Gold Coast Ex-Service Men’s Union. Upon the advice of   Dr. Arko Adjei, the UGCC invited Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to become the Secretary General of the party. Mr. Paa Grant provided funds for Nkrumah to return home to join in the struggle for independence for the Gold Coast. Dr Arko-Adjei recommended Nkrumah, Dr. Nkrumah because both were once students at the Lincoln University in the U.S.A. (Lincoln University conferred honorary Ph.D. on Nkrumah in 1945 and Arko Adjei in 1962 for their academic and later political activities.) In December 1947 Dr. Nkrumah arrived in the country to become General Secretary of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC). So after 12 years of studying in the United States and Britain, Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast at the invitation of his fellow Africans to join them in the fight for independence for the Gold Coast. The pace for the struggle for independence accelerated following the riots of 1948. Economic conditions in the country had suddenly deteriorated largely as a result of the Second World War and bad economic policies of the colonial government. Nii Kwabena Bonnne II a Ga Chief, managed to incite the people of the Gold Coast against the economic policies of the colonial government. His appeal found fertile grounds in the country when people started boycotting European, Syrian and Lebanese goods. His idea was to create economic conditions that would alleviate the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian. Dr. Arko-Adjei, the Solicitor-General for the Gold Coast Ex-Service Men’s Union prepared a petition for the Ex-Service Men’s Union to present to the Governor of the Gold Coast, Sir Gerald Creasy for better conditions after their discharge from active duties. The Ex-Service men marched to the Castle, Osu, Accra, on February 28, 1948 to present their petition to the colonial government. Unfortunately, the colonial government did not appreciate the peaceful march of the Ex-Service men to the governor’s office. The Colonial British officer in charge of security at the Castle, Superintendent Colin Imray, ordered his men to fire into the group of Ex-Service men who were peacefully marching to present a petition to the Governor to bargain for improved living conditions. The shooting resulted in the deaths of the three of the ex-service men. These were Sgt. Adjetey, Private Odartey Lamptey, and Corporal Attipoe. This sad event triggered other riots in the country. On March 12, 1948, the governor ordered the arrest and detention of six of the leading members of the United Gold Coast Convention. These were Dr. J. B. Danquah, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mr. William Ofori-Attah, Dr. Arko-Adjei, Mr. Edward Akufo-Addo, and Mr. Obetsebi Lamptey. They were detained in a prison in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast for one month. These were detained in prison for one month because the colonial government accused them of being behind the disturbances in the country, a charge that they denied.  Later these men became known in local political circles as “The Big Six.” The Big Six, after their release from prison, saw a different vision for the struggle for independence. While Nkrumah demanded “immediate” self government, others led by Danquah preached a gradual process. Nkrumah’s approach appealed to the masses because they were fed up by the political ineptitude of the British colonial government. In 949, Nkrumah broke company with the UGCC and with Arko-Adjei, his old time friend and other verandah boys formed the Convention Peoples’ Party June 12, 1949. The colonial government set up the Watson Commission to inquire into the causes of the 1948 riots. Following the publication of the Watson Commission’s report, the government set up a constitutional Reform Committee under the chairmanship of Sir Henley Coussey. The Coussey released its report on November 7, 1949. The report recommended the inclusion of Africans in the colonial government but did not advocate for self rule. This did not meet the aspirations of Nkrumah and the verandah boys and so appealed to the public resort to civil disobedience. Once again, Nkrumah and the leaders of the CPP found themselves in jail. While in jail, Nkrumah and the CPP contested the 1951 general elections, Nkrumah’s party of the Convention Peoples Party won 34 seats while the older political party, the UGCC won only 3 seats. Nkrumah, who was then in prison for his political activities won his seat and the colonial government, released him from prison after 13 months to form his government, which was made up of four Europeans and seven Africans. Nkrumah became the Prime Minister of the new government in March 24, 1952. The division between the UGCC and the CPP continued. Although Nkrumah was the Prime Minister at this point, the nation was still not politically independent. The pressure for independence continued. On July 18, 1956, fresh elections were held to select new members for the Legislative Assembly. There were a total of 104 seats. In the ensuing elections, the CPP won 71 seats and the National Liberation Movement (NLM) and the other political parties won the rest. With 71 out of the total of 104 seats won, the CPP formed the new government under the leadership of Dr. Nkrumah. The stage was now set for Ghana to be independent. On March 6, 1957, under the leadership of Dr. Nkrumah Ghana became an independent nation. It is clear from this history that conflict has been part of our struggle right from the first republic to the present republic. In the process, we lost several people including the 3 ex-service men and countless others who reside in unmarked graves. Today, four individuals, leading different non-partisan groups are going to speak as you can see on the program. If there is another group that is not represented, then, I stand guilty as charged. Whether we like it or not, people are going to admire and respect us not by the example of our power or influence, but by the power of our example in this community. My core values of leadership are embedded in these two quotes: The Greek Poet and Philosopher, Heraclitus once said, “The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principle and can bear the full light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you chose, what you think, and what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny … It is the light that guides your way.” I have observed our community has many filters and rumors because of our assumptions, personal biases, experiences, expectations, feelings, values and beliefs. The issue before us is: If doing what is right produces something bad, or if doing what is wrong produces something good, the force of moral obligation may seem balanced by the reality of the good end. We can have the satisfaction of being right, regardless of the damage done to others, or we can aim for what seems to be the best outcome, regardless of what wrongs must be committed. The choice is ours. We begin the process of unity today cautious of our value differences, but with a clear resolute that as Ghanaians, what unite us is stronger than what divide us, and also for the fact that, when it comes to unity, there is no rhyme or reason, we got to unite. There are only two ways: If you are not a part of the solution, then, you are part of the problem. Let us walk the door together and help each other. They say, “People will forget what you say or said; what you do or did, but won’t forget how you made them feel. Let’s treat each other with respect because every Ghanaian here is a hero to his or her family back home. We, as community leaders, and our pastors as moral leaders should show the way to enhance believe in our unity. In unity, our strength radiates and our purpose becomes lucidly focused. The task ahead would be daunting and difficult if we chose to go our own way and serve our selfish interest. Now is not the time to exclude anyone with a good heart and an itching pair of hands to participate. Let everyone contribute based on his or her God given talent. Together, and united in purpose, we will drag our community and hoist it on the pedestal it deserves. A Ghanaian is always a Ghanaian. Long live Ghana, Long live our unity and God bless Mother Ghana.
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