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General News of Thursday, 28 February 2013

Source: Graphic Online

Independence hero's grave in ruins

Sixty five years after the death of Sergeant Cornelius Frederick Adjetey, one of the three icons in Ghana’s independence struggle, his burial place lies in ruins.

His grave is now engulfed in filth at an abandoned cemetery, part of which has been turned into a football field by schoolchildren.

Fifty metres away from the grave is a refuse dumping site. The cemetery houses about 70 old and broken graves, among them that of the once gallant soldier who was killed during the Christianborg Crossroad Shooting incident on February 28, 1948

His grave has the inscription: “The late hero ex-Sgt. C. F. Adjetey. Born 2nd February, 1894. He was shot at the Christianborg Rd. He served in the 1914-1939 World wars. Aged 54.”

The grave of the veteran of the First and Second World wars is located on the compound of a cluster of schools at La in Accra.

Surprisingly, the state has, over the years, been celebrating the sacrifices he and Corporal Attipoe and Private Odartey-Lamptey, who were members of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF), made in the Christianborg Crossroads Shooting incident on February 28, 1948.

A visit to the site by the Daily Graphic on Monday, February 25, prior to the 65th anniversary of the shooting incident, showed that nothing had been done to improve Sgt Adjetey’s resting place after this paper, in its March 1, 2013 edition, published on its front page a story on the neglect of the grave.

A part of the two pillars supporting the tomb was found broken. According to some residents who spoke to the Daily Graphic, that pillar had been broken for months.

Since the shooting incident 65 years ago, which sped up the country’s independence struggle, a symbolic wreath-laying and flag-raising ceremony is organised every year to commemorate the anniversary of the death of the three ex-servicemen.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Country Coordinator of the La Citizen Network, Nii Yemo Yemofio, said the association had been working feverishly to ensure that the veteran soldier was given a fitting resting place by 2014.

According to him, the network, together with the La Socio-Economic Development Association, was in the process of building a monument at La in memory of Sgt Adjetey.

He said the two associations wanted to give the late sergeant a fitting burial as an illustrious son of La, since the government and the La Traditional Council were yet to do anything concrete about the grave.

He, however, bemoaned the fact that the two associations had to resort to external sources to secure funds to build the monument in honour of a man whose death, together with that of two others, sped up the independence struggle of the country.

Nii Yemofio said presently $145,380 was needed to build a bronze statue and an additional GH¢40,000 to beautify the area where the monument was being erected.

According to him, so far they had received support from some prominent citizens of La and the La Traditional Council but they needed more support, especially from the council and the government.

As part of efforts at raising funds in support of the monument, Nii Yemofio said a memorial lecture to be addressed by Dr K. B. Asante would be organised at the Du Bois Centre on Thursday, February 28.

The lecture is being supported by the Historian Society of Ghana.

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