It was pomp and pageantry at the Black Star Square yesterday when a national parade was held to climax the 60th anniversary celebration of Ghana’s independence from British colonisation.
In yet another fashionable and colourful event, the parade attracted thousands of people who trooped to the Black Star Square to witness the event
Attended by special dignitaries from countries and organisations around the world, the programme began exactly 9am with a match of school children and security contingents to the parade ground.
The President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mogabe, President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo and Vice President of Liberia, Joseph Boakai as well as representatives from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), and United Nations (UN) were among some of the distinguished guests that graced the occasion.
Clad in their uniforms and neatly worn hats tilted forward, the 18 contingents that represented the prisons, police, army, navy, fire and immigration services, strolled systematically to the parade grounds.
Army and police armour vehicles numbering about 40 as well as several fire tenders and ambulances were parked on one side of the parade grounds to showcase some of the security equipment of the country.
The four-hour event was entirely incident-free except for few school children who could not stand their grounds for more than an hour in the bright and sunny weather, but had to be rushed for first aid from the national ambulance vehicles that were parked few metres from the parade.
The crowd went into frenzy when the former President Jerry John Rawlings together with his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings alighted from their convoy.
Former presidents, John Agyekum Kufour, John Dramani Mahama and some other high personalities, including leaders of some political parties in the country, received similar cheers from the crowd when they entered the venue of the occasion.
However, the applause soared much higher when the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in a convoy of several fleet of cars led by a dozen of motorcade alighted in front of the red carpet.
After being played the national anthem, he proceeded to inspect the parade and went ahead to light the perpetual flame which signified unity, peace and a brighter future and later handed the flame over to the country’s boxing legend, Azumah Nelson to be travelled around the 10 regions.
In a more organised and unique manner, the school children and the contingents matched pass the presidential podium being saluted by the President himself which was followed by cultural display from cultural troupes representing the 10 regions.
There were other performances from dance groups and seasoned local actors and actresses from what is popularly described as “Kumawood” led by Agya Koo.
By Charles Amankwa