On March 6, 1957, exactly 66 years ago today, Ghana declared its independence from colonial rule after several decades of under British governance.But it was not until some three years later that Ghanaians assumed full reins of government with an actual government made up of Ghanaians as leaders.
Thus, Ghana became a republic on July 1, 1960.
But prior to becoming a republic, Ghana under Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah who later became the country’s first president had to take steps to define the constitutional and governance structure of the nation.
Consequently, on March 6, 1960, Dr Nkrumah’s address to the country on the occasion of the country’s third independence anniversary was largely on outlining of a roadmap designed by his Convention Peoples Party in bringing Ghana to a full republic status.
Dr Nkrumah in his anniversary speech outlined the framework of what would become Ghana’s first Constitution, process of electing a government, the structure and arms of the new government as well as their powers.
The address by Dr Kwame Nkrumah was delivered a few weeks to a referendum held on April 27, 1960.
The main issue was a change in the country’s status from a constitutional monarchy with Elizabeth II as head of state, to a republic with a presidential system of government.
The then prime minister in his anniversary address also called for the full participation of citizens in the exercise.
Being a full believer in the unity of Africa, his address also reiterated the need for a union African government and the preparedness of Ghana to its sovereignty “in whole or in pain the interest of a Union African States and Territories as soon as ever such union becomes practicable.
Read Dr Nkrumah’s full address below: