It was a night of celebrations as Ghanaians resident in Abuja, joined their people the world over to mark the country’s 60th Independence anniversary. The people, proud of their cultures and traditions, entertained guests, comprising Nigerians and largely, members of the diplomatic corps, with colours of Ghana.
Aside the display of the country’s culinary art, there was a show of local fabrics, which the country is famous for. The climax of the evening was the cutting of anniversary cake and poetry performance by a young female Ghanaian, Splendour Joe King. The performance captured some of the virtues that the people hold in high esteem. Using the image of a black and proud woman, the poet tells a story of a country that is generously endowed by nature and whose people are united and resilient. The young poet also highlighted the tourism potentials of the country and beckons on the world to come and savour the enormous beauty of Ghana.
Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. William Awinador-kanyirige, later in his remarks, saluted the people of Nigeria for their roles in the actualization of the country’s Independence 60 years ago. He stated that the struggle toward the Independence of Ghana was not carried out by Ghanaians alone, but also by every African within the territorial space.
Giving special recognition to Nigeria for standing by the country all through the struggle, the High Commissioner noted that both nations were united in their desperation for self-rule, adding, “So, when you are talking about heroes of Ghanaian Independence, there were some Nigerians that formed part of that struggle. There were lots of Nigerians resident in Ghana. Nigerians were waiting in Ghana and Ghanaians were waiting in Nigeria. We shared a common desperation to be free.
“Our Independence is intertwined; the independence of one was that of the other. Our lives and our people are intertwined. The militaries, the governments are close but the people are even closer.”
While speaking on the peaceful change of governments in the two countries, Awinador-kanyirige was elated that Africans were beginning to embrace the culture of elections. According to him, the reasons might not be separated from the pains and setbacks suffered during military interventions in politics.
According to him, “Africans suffered a lot of military interventions in politics. I am delighted that things are beginning to take a positive dimension politically. Political freedom was of the reasons for the struggle for self-rule because nobody wants to be oppressed by another.”
He said through trial and error, African nations would come to stabilise politically with time, noting, “In the year 2000, Ghana was able, for the first time, to transit from one ruling government to another, another one was in 2008 and then, 2016. So, the chicken has come home to roost.
“When we continue to have it this way, people would be less militant and acrimony would be reduced in the region and the continent at large.”
The High Commissioner, however, used the forum to charge the media on the need to hold government of the region accountable so as to bring it closer to the people.
In his reaction, Mr. Peter Iyamabo and representative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffery Onyeama, while congratulating the people and government of Ghana, stated that both countries shared a lot in common. He expressed delight at the cordial relationship that had existed between the two countries, adding that they have a lot in common, particularly in the area of politics.
“Both countries have contributed greatly to deepening democracy in Africa through peacefully transiting power from one government to another,” he stated.
Guests were entertained with various Ghanaian cuisines and beverages.