Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity given to me to contribute to the Statement that has been made by my Hon Colleague on the other side.Mr Speaker, I would just make some few remarks and then sit down.
Many at times, we commend these three illustrious sons of Ghana who lost their lives on the 28th February, 1948. When
speaking about them, we say that, they were just marching to present a petition about their salaries, resettlements and conditions of service that were due them as a result of the their participation in the Second World War, which they were not given.
Mr Speaker, this was, of course, the immediate cause. But there were other remote causes, and the remote causes made these three illustrious sons of Ghana very good citizens, who were not looking up to themselves alone, but were trying to fight to ensure that they left a legacy for future generations, for you and me to enjoy today.
What were these remote causes? Mr Speaker, it was the 1948 riot, which happened on the 28th February, 1948, that set the pace for the internal government, and that is what has given the opportunity for you and me to participate here today as full-grown, Ghanaian legislators for our country today.
The 1946 Constitution of Sir Allan Burns did not provide an opportunity for more Africans to participate in the Legislative and the Executive Councils, and these were some of the reasons that led Corporal Attipoe, Sergeant Adjetey and the likes to champion that cause. I am saying this because some of the problems have been solved and others are there for us to continue.
As a result of that, political independence, like my Hon Colleague said, has been achieved. They were also fighting to ensure that more schools were provided for Ghanaians to be educated to take charge of the technical human resource of the country. And therefore, as we are providing more high schools, I think that problem is being solved, and we must all work towards that.
One other reason, which was one of the remote causes, was lack of jobs, unemployment. Ghanaians did not have work to do, and therefore, the youth of the country rallied in support of those gallant men to ensure that they did what they did. I am saying this because, if that happened, then congratulations to this august House for passing the Ghana Youth Employment Bill, which was passed just two weeks ago. We are praying that it would receive the appropriate assent for it to be implemented. That is going to give the jobs that Corporal Attipoe, Sergeant Odartey and all those people suffered for.
Mr Speaker, besides that, they were also fighting for Africans to take charge of the businesses, the shops and industries of the country. This is because, the Association of West African Merchants, which was dominated by the Syrians and the Lebanese dwarfed and crippled African businesses.
So, if there is a way that African and the Ghanaian businessman could be raised or assisted in a way, maybe, through the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC) as the President spoke about yesterday, we must all come together to ensure that we give all such assistance in order to avert all those things and fulfil the wishes and aspirations or the visions which Corporal Attipoe and Sergeant Adjetey wanted to see. This is because, it was by their deeds and efforts that political independence has been achieved. The economic independence has been started, and I know that by God's grace, we shall be there.