Account from within: Paa Grant birthed, funded Ghana’s independence struggle

The daughter of one of the many unsung heroes in Ghana’s struggle for independence has revealed how her father sowed the seed for independence, a seed which would later grow and free the country from the shackles and evil claws of colonialism.

Mrs Sarah Grant Aquah, in a lively interview with host of Joy FM’s Cosmopolitan Mix, Doreen Andoh gave a first hand account of how her father, Paa Grant rooted for the idea for independence during a meeting with JB Danquah at his home in Sekondi in the early 1940s.

The interview was part of Joy FM’s Ghana Month being commemorated this March.

Paa Grant had become tired of the oppression by the Colonial government and with a community of lawyers including Lawyer Blay and Awoonor Williams, the dream to rescue Ghana was birthed.

According to Sarah Aquah, her father, a wealthy merchant, did not only constitute a crack team of lawyers to initiate the struggle but also funded all activities of the independence struggle.

Ako Adjei, Obestebi Lamptey and Akufo-Addo all of whom were in Accra at the time were rolled into the struggle by JB Danquah and they all had to travel frequently to Sekondi to plot an end to colonialism.

Ako-Adjei was named Secretary of what would become the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC)  but after two years of stewardship he offered to resign and concentrate on other matters while still contributing to the struggle in other capacities.

Nkrumah’s emergence
Paa Grant would not allow Ako Adjei to resign without a worthy and competent replacement, Sarah Grant, who was then in her twenties narrated.

Together with JB Danquah and Ako Adjei, a decision was made to bring Kwame Nkrumah down from London to act as General Secretary.

According to Sarah Grant Acquah her father provided an ammount of £100.00 which was cost of shipping Nkrumah from London to Accra.

The use of aircraft as a means of transport was uncommon at the time, Sarah noted.

Sarah Grant in her youthful days
Nkrumah came down and was housed temporarily in the residence of Paa Grant and for a period coordinated the activities of the UGCC.

Sarah Grant said Nkrumah was a hardworking, jovial person with a great appetite for palm nut soup.

Genesis of Danquah and Nkrumah rift
Different accounts have been given to explain what triggered a rift between the leaders of the UGCC and Kwame Nkrumah who later broke away to form his own party-CPP.

But Sarah Grant said JB Danquah had noticed several correspondence between Nkrumah and the government of the Soviet Union with the latter using the UGCC letter heads.

JB Danquah is reported to have confronted Kwame Nkrumah about it and warned him against using the UGCC to accentuate his personal ambitions.

That marked the beginning of the end of what was otherwise a close relationship between two outstanding lawyers and consummate politicians.

It later became obvious that whilst Nkrumah was touring the country in the name of the UGCC, he was mobilising support for the creation of a new political party- the CPP- which would later win Ghana’s independence.

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