Has Independence really been worth it?
By Joseph Ojumu
It is a time for reflections and I am writing this piece on Sunday March 5, which is the eve of Ghana’s National Day, which this year marks the 60th anniversary of the independence from British colonial domination of West Africa’s first decolonised territory.
That event meant a lot to many people of African descent back then and still does today. Depending on where you are standing for example, it may trigger sweet memories of ‘thank God, we are free at last,’ or sorrowful echoes as to whether Independence was indeed worth it! Have the fruits of Independence being delivered at all?
With the current state of social and economic development in the country, it is clear that Ghana is not yet what it set out to be 60 years ago. But with its continuing commitment to democratic renewal, which was recently exemplified in successfully conducted national elections that led to the emergence on the saddle of state of incumbent President, Nana Akufo Addo, the outlook is that, going forward, the nation has great hopes of becoming even stronger and better.
Instructively, there was a stormy national debate in Ghana as to the desirability of the Ghana@60 celebrations in the first place. But all of that is now behind us and the day is upon us.
Meanwhile, the Police Service has announced that some roads will be closed as a result of Ghana’s 60th Independence Day Anniversary parade at the Black Stars Square on Monday, March 6, 2017 even as final arrangements have presently been put in place for the event.
The statement from the service outlined that the roads expected to be closed are :
28th February Road from the CEPS Headquarters to Castle Road Junction
Osu Cemetery Traffic Light on the Lokko Street
Castle Road from AU Circle to Osu Cemetery Traffic Light
Starlet 95 Road will be closed at the Ministries Traffic Light Intersection
To ease continuing commuter access, the following traffic diversions were also announced:
Traffic from the 28th February Road emanating from La, Labone, and Osu heading towards the Central Business District will be diverted unto the Salem Avenue at the Castle Traffic Light to link up with the Oxford Street.
Traffic from John Evans Atta Mills High Street towards Black Star Square shall be diverted unto the Liberia Road at the CEPS Headquarters traffic light towards the National Theatre Traffic Lights Intersection
Motorists from Lokko Street towards the Castle Road should use Ajumaku Street and Oxford Street
Traffic from AU Circle towards the Castle Road through Osu Cemetery Traffic Light shall be diverted unto the Abdul Diouf and King Hassan Roads to link with Gamal Abdul Nasser Road in front of Ghana Institute of Journalism.
The statement further indicated that “vehicles with appropriate anniversary embossed with stickers such as Red, Gold and Green will be allowed to park at the Black Star Square arena.”
The following areas have also been earmarked for car parking at the event:
- The forecourt of the State House
- The International Conference Centre
- Access Bank car park
- The Osu Cemetery car park
- The Accra Sports Stadium car park
- The Ministries area
The statement said “no vehicle would be allowed to park at unauthorized places or drive through these road blockages. Security vehicles and vehicles carrying dignitaries would be allowed after through checks.”
It added that “traffic police officers would be on hand to direct and assist motorists to appropriate car parks and diverted roads.”
“Towing cars would be available to two any abandoned disabled or wrongly parked vehicles at the event grounds and owners surcharged.”
Happy anniversary day, Ghana. May you yet live out the full implications of your purpose. Amen.
Ghana President, Nana Akufo Addo