What JB Dankwa told Prempeh II to get Asanteman join Ghana’s independence fight

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The month of March has been set aside by the government to be the ‘Ghana Month’ – a month to celebrate and promote the country’s cultural heritage.

The month is also to commemorate, more importantly, Ghana’s struggle for liberation.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024, marks the 67th anniversary of Ghana’s independence from the country’s British colonial masters in 1957.

What many Ghanaians do not know is that not every part of Ghana was colonised by the British and therefore needed emancipation.

The only part of present-day Ghana which was colonised was the part referred to as the Gold Coast.

colonizedGold Coast comprised states in the coastal parts of Ghana, including the present-day Western Regcolonizedral Region, Greater Accra, Eastern Region and some parts of the Volta Region.

The central and northern parts of Ghana, which include regions like the Ashanti Region, the Northern Region and the Upper, East Region, were never under the rule of the British.

However, the leaders of the non-colonised parts of Ghana were roped into the independence, struggle of Ghana by the leaders of the Gold Coast, who were leading the struggle, who became widely known as the “Big Six” – Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ako Adjei, Edward Akufo-Addo, Joseph Boakye Danquah, Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, and William Ofori Atta.

This article looks at how the Ashanti Kingdom, which comprises the present-day Ashanti Region, the Bono Region, the Ahafo Region, among other territories joined Ghana’s independence struggle.

The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in a recent statement at the “Kuntunkuni” and commemorative durbar to mark the 150th anniversary of the famous Sagrenti War, admitted that Asantes were not originally part of Ghana’s independence struggle.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu I, I indicated that Asantes joined Ghana’s independence fight after one of the “Big Six,” Joseph Boakye Danquah, who is widely known as JB Danquah, convinced his uncle, Osei Agyemang Prempeh II, the Asantehene at that time, to join the struggle.

According to the Asantehene, JB Danquah told Otumfuo Agyemang Prempeh II that he would be made the king of Ghana if he joined the independence struggle.

“Ashanti was its own nation; we moved and found ourselves in Ghana. Also, before Ghana came, Ashanti was already a nation. My uncle, Osei Agyemang Prempeh II’s lawyer, was Ed Joseph Boakye Danquah – they shared the same name, Kwame Kyeretwie. During the fight for independence, we (Asantes) were not part.

“It is there that they came to say that ‘Nana, come and join us to become a unitary state. So that when we succeed, we will make you (Osei Agyemang Prempeh II) like the foreign queen, and we will prime minister,” he said.

The Asantehene indicated that sadly, this aspect of Ghana’s history seems to be forgotten; saying, “We all know the history of Ghana but it looks as if we have forgotten them.”



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