The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Education Service (GES), Alhaji Mohammed Cambodia Haroun, says the regional directorate has been overwhelmed by the gesture to have this year’s Independence Day celebration held in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale.
He said it was a privilege in the lifetime of the school pupils and students in the region, to march past a huge crowd and to salute the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Speaking to the Ghanaian Times by phone, Alhaji Haroun said it was unprecedented in the history of Ghana for the national parade to be moved to Tamale, adding that the gesture had boosted the confidence and courage of the students and pupils.
Alhaji Haroun, who helped to compose the drum rendition performed by the students of the Northern School of Business in Dagbanli to herald the President’s speech, however said his greatest disappointment was “the stoppage of the rendition to be translated into English.”
He said the rendition was composed to show appreciation to the President for his kind gesture to have the Independence Day celebration observed in Tamale, and his efforts at consolidating peace in Dagbon.
The English version of the rendition was stopped for want of time, but Alhaji Haroun differed saying “The English translation would have given the President and others who do not speak Dagbanli, a better appreciation of the rendition.”
He expressed appreciation to the organising committee for the various roles they played to make the event successful, and commended the Director General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku-Amankwa, for hosting the students after the march past.
Alhaji Haroun added that the 6th March parade observed in Tamale was significant in the life of Dagbon, adding that for the first time, the Yaa-Naa and other prominent chiefs in the region were brought together on one platform.
This year’s Independence Day celebration was marked on the theme “Celebrating Peace and Unity” in Tamale as part of efforts to consolidate the peaceful resolution of the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute with the enskinment of the overlord, Yaa-Naa Abukari Mahama II.
Hundreds of school pupils and students from selected schools in the region and a detachment of the security services gave out their best in the march past and acrobatic display, leaving a lasting memory on the minds of thousands of people who filled the over 25,000- seater capacity Alhaji Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.
Among the dignitaries was President Mahammoudou Issoufou of Niger who was the special guest of honour.
The 21-gun salute, the fly past by the Ghana Air Force and the dropping of troops from the helicopter “propeller” were spectacular scenes for people in Tamale.
By Salifu Abdul-Rahaman