GUSS celebrates a quiet Independence Day

A few members of Ghana Union and their friends met at Rinkeby on Saturday to mark Ghana's 51st anniversary of independence. After the hectic days of the Golden Jubilee last year, not many people were poised for a great celebration this year. The occasion was meant for a few people, and only a few attended. Those who did had a lot to eat and drink. They also heard a message from the president who was not able to attend because of his illness. It was read on his behalf by the Vice President, Grace Mahama.  
  Vice President Grace Mahama welcomes members to the celebrations
Akolor Saanle gave an interesting talk on the 1956 UN plebiscite in the then Trans-Volta Togoland which preceded Ghana's independence. He explained that the territory, which the Germans had lost after the First World War, was trusted to the British who controlled the then Gold Coast. The UN, which took over from the defunct League of Nations, decided to hold a plebiscite which would ask the people of the territory whether they wanted continued union with an independent Gold Coast or a separation under British administration from the Gold Coast. 58 percent, as against, 42 percent, voted to continue the union with the Gold Coast. That was how the then British administered territory of The Togolands permanently became part of the Gold Coast about a year before Ghana became independent. Akolor presented the breakdown of the vote in the various districts and it was interesting to note that Kpandu and Ho districts, the districts that were predominantly Ewe, voted massively for separation whiles the Mamprussi, Dagomba, Gonja and Buem/Krachi districts voted to continue the union with the Gold Coast (see below). Akolor explained that the options in the plebiscite were not very clear as the question did not adequately stipulate what would happen to the territory if it had voted for separation. The 1955 UN General Assembly Resolution 944(X) only stated that in the event the territory voted for separation from the Gold Coast, it would continue as a trusteeship under British administration pending the ultimate determination of its political future. Akolor's speech brought a lively discussion among the few listeners who were not very familiar with this part of our nation's history.
Some of the few Union members and their friends at the party

Akolor also talked about the genesis of the colours in our national flag and explained into detail what each meant. He also explained the various symbols in our national coat of arms. He then talked about our national anthem and distributed copies of all the stanzas of the original anthem (Lift high the flag of Ghana) as well as the lyrics of the present anthem (God bless our homeland, Ghana). He made the controversial claim that Ephraim Amu had a better anthem which was not picked because the composer was from the former trust territory which was not originally Gold Coast. The chosen tune was by Philip Gbeho, an Anlo man who was never a citizen of the Trust Territory.

There was a lot to discuss but this was cut short by the limited time available. It was unfortunate that there were not many people to take part in the discussion. The party ended at around 10 p.m.


Results of the 1956 Plebiscite in the Trans-Volta Togoland

93,095 (58%)
67,492 (42%)
Suberu Salaam, Ghana Union's inofficial and 'standige' photographer was there to take pictures    


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