Okyenhene, Presby moderator calls for forgiveness for Late J.B. Danquah’s inhumane treatment

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Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana Most Rev. Dr. Abraham Opare Kwakye is urging the family of late Dr. J. B. Danquah to let go any pains suffered as a results of the circumstances leading to the death of Dr. J B Danquah.

He said, the family and friends  should rather use JB Danquah’s ideals in promoting freedom and  justice for all and respect for the traditional institutions.

Preaching at the remembrance service held at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church of Ghana in Kyebi, Dr. Opare Kwakye indicated that, it is time for total forgiveness.

He advised Ghanaians to emulate the JB Danquah spirit in speaking truth to power without fear.

Many prominent personalities including President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumiah, Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Dan Kwaku Botwe, several Ministers of State and Members of Parliament grace the occasion.

In his tribute, the Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori narrated that, the whole nation stood in grieve and shock at the untimely demise of Dr. J. B. Danquah in the Nsawam Medium Security Prison where he had been detained on the orders of the Kwame Nkrumah led Convention Peoples Party (CPP), under horrendous circumstances.

He said, JB’s  contribution to the consolidation of Okyeman, Akan cultural heritage, the independence struggle of our country, the defence of democracy and the struggle against authoritarianism and arbitrariness has a unique place in the history of Ghana.

According to Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori, Dr. Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah was with Nananom at the Conference of Paramount Chiefs of the Eastern Province of the Gold Coast at the early age of 21 years, serving as State Secretary of Akyem Abuakwa where the foundation were laid for the establishment of the Joint Provincial Council where he led in the formulation of the Native Administration Ordinance of 1927.

He said the impact J. B. Danquah made to the understanding and preservation of Akan culture, heritage and tradition can be seen  in his cogitative rendition of a theoretic and scientific treatise of the customary institutions of the Akan people in his celebrated work ,  “AKAN LAWS AND CUSTOMS – AND THE AKYEM ABUAKWA CONSTITUTION ” published in London in 1928.

‘Dr. J. B. Danquah was imprisoned under the Preventive Detention Act, an obnoxious law which anticipates and punish your future actions.

Under the imprimatur orders of the CPP leadership, Dr. Danquah was arrested on the 8th January, 1964, admitted to the Nsawam prisons condemned cells, a cell which was not suitable for a man of his condition and age.  The man who had high blood pressure and suffered asthma was put in a cell where he could neither stand nor walk, fed on gari, salt and water and endured other forms of inhuman treatment till the day he collapsed and died on 4th February, 1965′  Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panie

He added that, even in his death,  Danquah was punished.  The Nkrumah led CPP government decreed that the burial was to be held within 12 hours.  His body was not to be publicly laid in state and there was to be no public mourning and crying.

‘The District Commissioner received orders from Accra and a team of Officers and men from the Army and the Police were dispatched to Kyebi to ensure compliance.  For 59 years, Dr. Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah was denied a funeral rite, the most sacred of all rites of passage’  Okyehene

He was quick to add that; As TIME IS the great healer of wounds, the functionaries of the Nkrumah-led CPP and their assigns can and should be forgiven.

Okyehene mentioned the  need to look to a brighter future guided by a vision of hope, tolerance and reverence for the opinions, lives and dignity of all persons irrespective of their political views.

Osagyefo described Dr. Joseph Kwame Kyeretwie Boakye Danquah as the epitome and embodiment of the respect of human dignity, the culture and traditions of all peoples and the love for freedom of all men.

‘May the vision of Dr. J. B. Danquah and the challenges of his times guide us all towards this goal of preserving and entrenching the culture of peacefulness, respect for personal freedom, and political pluralism enjoyed by the people of Ghana ‘ Okyehene said.

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