Former Member of Parliament for Dome Kwabenya says JB Danquah, a founder member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), anticipated what has now been christened the dumsor debacle and took steps to resolve it.
On a day to mark the 50th Anniversary of the death of Dr JB Danquah who is described as the “Doyen of Ghana’s politics” Professor Mike Ocquaye said JB Danquah informed Parliament about the need to establish an institution to
oversee Ghana’s energy situation. Quoting the Hansard of the Legislative Assembly of the early 1950s Prof Mike Ocquaye mentioned that JB Danquah pushed for the formation of a national committee to supervise the creation of that institution.
“What is now the Volta River Authority, which oversees Ghana’s power generation was referred to as Volta Basin Corporation by JB Danquah,” he indicated.
However, several years after the bold intent to ensure a rich power reserve for a tiny West African country, Ghana is still wallowing in a crippling power crisis.
Prof Ocquaye made these comments at a symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of JB Danquah’s passing.
JB Danquah was a patriot, a writer, orater and a political activist. He was one of the founders of the UGCC who invited Dr Kwame Nkrumah to act as Secretary of the first ever political party in Ghana.
There was a misunderstanding between the founding members of the UGCC which led to Dr Kwame Nkrumah breaking to form the CPP which eventually won independence for Ghana.
JB Danquah died in the dungeons of the Nsawam Prisons on the 4th February 1965, where he had been kept under Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s Preventive Detention Act.
Showering praises on a member of the big six and a founding father of Ghana, Prof Mike Ocquaye described JB Danquah as the “father of university education in Ghana.”
According to him, when the colonial masters wanted to make Ghana an appendage of Nigeria’s tertiary education, JB Danquah resisted that attempt.
But for JB Danquah’s bold intervention, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria would have been Ghana’s first choice for university education.
His efforts led to the establishment of the University College of Gold Coast which has now become Ghana’s premier University.