Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia yesterday joined veterans contingents of the Ghana Armed Forces and the police to commemorate this year’s chapter of the February 28 Crossroads Shooting at Osu, Accra.
The solemn event took place at the cenotaph erected in memory of the gallant men who died on that fateful day – 72 years ago.
As the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council, the presence of the Vice-President is a feature of the annual programme.
The VAG contingent had within it a 96-year-old WWII veteran, Yaw Asare. The now annual event, during which the fallen on that tragic day on which a British Police Officer, Superintendent Imray, opened fire on WWII veterans, had in attendance important dignitaries.
Among those present were the heads of the security services, traditional rulers and others, with their presence giving the programme its deserved reverence.
On February 28, 1948, some ex-servicemen went to the Christianborg Castle to present a petition to the governor but were denied entry.
The British Senior Police Officer whose order to shoot the unarmed men was not carried out, snatched a rifle from one of the local police officers and fired into the line of veterans, killing three, namely Sgt Nee Adjetey, Pte Odartey Lamptey and Cpl Attipoe – all decorated men of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force.
Accra was turned into a bedlam, as a series of looting of shops swept across the city.
Soldiers were brought in from Nigeria to contain the situation. Earlier, Nii Bonnie of Osu had organized a boycott of European goods.
Although tragic, the development provided a catalyst for the independence struggle of the Gold Coast nationalists.
The Public Relations Officer of VAG, WO Segbefia, delivered a lecture to pupils of the Pte Odartey Memorial JSS at Osu on the February 28 shooting incident and the need to be patriotic.
By A.R. Gomda