Ghanaian Chronicle

150 STUDENTS COLLAPSE AT INDECE DAY CELEBRATION

Date published: March 7, 2013

From Isaac Akwetey

ohAbout 150 students made up of Primary, Junior and Senior High School students collapsed during the country’s 56th Independence Anniversary, which was colorfully observed yesterday.

The number was made up of 50 from the Koforidua, capital of the Eastern Region, and 100 from the East Akyem Municipality.

Pride and determination were boldly written on the faces of these young school children, as they marched on Independence Day, but the hot weather weighed against them.

This year’s event was held under the broad theme: “PARTNERSHIP AND INNOVATION FOR BUILDING A NEW AND BETTER GHANA.”

Notwithstanding the few incidences recorded, the celebration in the two municipalities was well organised, as school children, the security agencies, and other civil society organisations smartly marched past the dais.

At the Jackson Park in Koforidua, the caretaker Regional Minister and some of the Municipal and District Chief Executives (MDCEs), who arguably performed their last official duty in the region, took the national salute and read the Head of State’s speech.
Awards and other prizes were given to deserving students and schools at the end of the almost a 7-hour parade. The out-going Regional Minister assured the gathering, particularly, the school children, of the government’s continued support for education in the country, since the children were the country’s future leaders.

From the Volta Regional capital, Ho, correspondent Samuel Agbewode reports that as early as 7:42 a.m., the various security agencies were on parade at the Jubilee Park, together with some heads of department, chiefs, as well as queenmothers, to mark the 56th Anniversary celebration.

The security services, which included the military, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (CEPS), the Police Service, Immigration, Prisons and Ghana National Fire Service, treated the audience to a display of slow and quick marches to mark the day.

On parade were 1,460 students from 33 first and second cycle institutions, including six cadet corps from the Ho Municipality, Mawuli School Army, St. Prospers College, Ola Senior High School Naval, Mawuko Girl’s Police, Sunrise Christian, and Wallas Academy Senior High School.

The students also demonstrated their patriotism, as they equally competed for the best school of the march past, which saw the Volta Barracks Junior High School coming first, Dora Memorial Junior High School taking the second position, whilst Christ Redeemer’s Junior High School placing third.

At the primary level, Sunrise Christian School came first; Prince Charles Jubilee School second, whilst Royal Praise School came third. At the Senior High level (SHS), Ola Girls SHS got the first position, Mawuli SHS second and Sunrise SHS third.

The cadet categories of the schools saw Mawuli School adjudged first, Ola second and Sunrise third.

Addressing the parade, the Reviewing Officer, who is the Caretaker Deputy Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Ametefe, observed a minute’s silence for the late Volta Regional Minister, Henry Ford Kamel, and the 14 year old Junior High School student of the Fiave SDA School in Ho, who collapsed during school rehearsals towards the 2012 Independence Day celebration.

Mr. Ametefe commended the security agencies, as well as the pupils and students who had demonstrated high levels of patriotism, and called on all to be committed to duty, in order to ensure the accelerated development of the region, and the nation in general.

In a related development, the chiefs and people of the Agortime-Ziope District also gathered at the district capital, Kpetoe, where the day was not only marked with a march past, but used to encourage the youth to take agriculture as serious business, as the farmers displayed palm nut and farm implements to mark the day.

Addressing the large crowd, the District Chief Executive for the area, Mr. Michael Adzaho, noted that the independence of the country had placed a greater responsibility on its sons and daughters to ensure that they actively participate in the development activities of the country at all levels.

Mr. Adzaho said the peaceful elections held in 2012 was a clear indication that the independence attained by the nation had grown, where democratic principles of governance had become the main basis of state craft, and urged the people to have confidence in themselves and the government for the needed development.

Edmond Gyebi also reports from Tamale that the Head Pastor of Christian Mission Dunamis Church, Tamale, Reverend Isaac Adjei, has described the annual celebration of Ghana’s Independence Day as a “baseless necessity”, giving the current disappointing and deteriorating state of the nation 56 years after its birth.

According to him, the leaders of the nation, in the last two to three decades, must not only bow down their heads in shame for their unforgivable disappointments, lack of vision, and dedication towards the development of Ghana, but must also declare Independence Day as a “day of national mourning”, so as to let the world know they had mismanaged the nation.

Rev. Adjei said that he could not comprehend why a nation, gifted with large quantity of gold, diamond, bauxite, cocoa, oil, timber and human resources, should continue to move at a sluggish pace.

Speaking in an interview with The Chronicle, after an refusing invitation from the Northern Regional Coordinating Council to attend Ghana’s 56th Independence Anniversary celebration at the Jubilee Park, in Tamale, the Reverend Minister cited the current non-availability of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), petroleum products, and their associated high cost, the frequent power outages, and absence of potable drinking, which he described as basic social amenities, as some of the shameful occurrences in the country.

Rev. Adjei bemoaned that in Tamale for instance, most fuel and gas filling stations had closed down for weeks and months now, leaving the residents frustrated, as they move from one filling station to another each day, in search of the non-existing commodities.

Meanwhile, close to one thousand neatly dressed school children from 38 selected primary, junior and senior high schools, 8 security contingents, social groups, heads of departments, heads of security agencies, religious and traditional leaders, as well as other groupings, made it to the Tamale Jubilee Park on Wednesday for the 56th Independence Anniversary celebration.

The celebration was under the theme: “Partnership and Innovation for Building a New and Better Ghana.”

Before the parade was inspected by the Northern Regional Minister, Moses Bukari Mabengba, on behalf of the President of the Republic, John Dramani Mahama, during which close to 14 school children collapsed and had to be rushed to hospital by the National Ambulance Service.

The Minister, who used the occasion to thank the chiefs and people of the region for their cooperation and support throughout his stay in office as Regional Minister, enjoined them to sustain the prevailing peace in the area.

He called on the youth to stay out of trouble and join the nation’s war against ignorance, poverty and disease.

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