General News of Wednesday, 4 February 2015
The Interior Ministry has rejected a request by the family of J. B Danquah to visit the cells he was kept in at the Nsawam Prisons, as part of activities to mark his 50th anniversary celebrations.
The Ministry said it took the decision upon advice by the Ghana Prisons Service and the National Security Council.
“I wish to acknowledge with thanks receipt of your letter dated 22nd January, 2015. The matter was referred to the National Security Council and the Ghana Prisons who have both advised that Prisons are security zones and therefore your request should not be acceded to,” the statement said.
J. B Danquah was instrumental in Ghana’s fight for independence from the British.
His family recently released one of the many letters the political prisoner wrote to President Kwame Nkrumah at the time, pleading for his freedom.
In the said letter, he said: “I am tired of being in prison on preventive detention with no opportunity to make an original or any contribution to the progress and development of the country, and I therefore respectfully write to beg, and appeal to you to make an order for my release and return home. ”
“Here at Nsawam, for the four months of my detention up to date (8th January to 9th May 1964), I have not been allowed access to my books and papers, except the Bible, and although I was told in January that my application to write to my wife, Mrs Elizabeth Danquah, could be considered if I addressed a letter to the Minister of the Interior, through the Director of Prisons, I have not, for over three months, since I wrote to the Minister as directed on the 31st January 1964, received any reply, not even a common acknowledgment from the Minister as to whether I should be allowed to write to my wife or not,” he added.
He died in detention at the Nsawam Medium Security Prisons on February 4, 1965; without trial.
Other activities that will be held to observe Danquah’s 50th anniversary include a symposium [among others], which will be addressed by the 2016 New Patriotic Party(NPP) Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo.