JB Danquah Deserves Fitting Funeral – MPs
On the occasion of the 51st anniversary of Dr JB Danquah’s death, Members of Parliament (MPs) on Thursday paid tribute to him for his immense contribution to Ghana’s independence and sustenance of democracy. They called for a fitting funeral to be held for him.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) MP for Abuakwa North, JB Danquah Adu, recalled that the late Dr JB Danquah, referred to as the ‘Doyen of Gold Coast politics,’ was incarcerated in a condemned cell for speaking against Dr Nkrumah’s autocratic rule and died in prison after persistent appeals for his release had fallen on deaf ears. The MP noted that no fitting funeral was held for him.
The MP said it was Dr Danquah who changed the country’s name from the Gold Coast to Ghana after researching and concluding that the people of the Ancient Ghana Empire were related to the Akan people of the then Gold Coast.
“Danquah hated the mercantilist description of the people of the Gold Coast, and hence christened the Gold Coast, Ghana,” the MP underscored.
According to Mr JB Danquah Adu, it was Dr JB Danquah who also suggested March 6, as the date for Ghana’s independence.
“Danquah thought of a date which would have a meaning for the people of the Gold Coast; and March 6 was the date he chose as a break-free point from the Bond of 1844 which was also signed on March 6 of that year,” he recounted, adding that Dr Danquah in 1953 stood in the Legislative Assembly and demanded that it was time the British granted full independence to the then Gold Coast.
Dr Danquah, according to the MP, was the one who fought the British government when it decided to set up only one university at Ibadan in Nigeria to serve the whole West African sub-region and succeeded in helping to set up the University College of Ghana in 1948 – now the University of Ghana – and consequently had the University College of Technology set up in Kumasi – which has become the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
In his contribution, the NPP MP for Kwadaso said Dr Danquah achieved a lot for humanity and his nation saying, “In fact, he died for his country and the liberation of its people.”
According to the Kwadaso MP, it is unfortunate that the then President, Dr Nkrumah, sanctioned that funeral rites should not be observed for the late illustrious son of the nation.
“Mr Speaker, I think the best tribute we can give to this great son of Ghana and Africa is to ask the president to reverse this fiat by the First President of the country and let his family and the whole nation have a funeral for this man because we must also recognise that he was also a royal who could have become the Chief of Akyem Abuakwa,” he articulated.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ablekuma South, Fritz Baffour, said he personally had an encounter with the late Dr Danquah.
He maintained, “Even though I do not belong to the Danquah tradition, I see this man as a very nice person and I support the call for a national funeral to be held for him.”
The NPP MP for Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea, said Dr Danquah was a man of different parts; and despite his dedication to the fight against oppressors’ rule, he also particularly paid much attention to the development and growth of his people in the Akyem Abuakwa area.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr