How J.B. Danquah wanted Queen Elizabeth’s head, not Nkrumah’s on Ghana’s currency



Just some three months after Ghana gained independence on March 6, 1957, the rivalry between Dr. J.B. Danquah’s National Liberation Movement (NLM) and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP) simply could not go away, manifesting into a much broader situation that led the then opposition to hold a press conference regarding the identity of the national currency and postage stamps.

This time, the National Liberation Movement and its allies demanded that the Queen of England’s head be embossed on the national currency (coins and notes) and not that of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.

The group, at a press conference held at the residence of J.B Danquah on June 16, 1957, passed a resolution to allow for opposition lawmakers in parliament to raise the matter in the National Assembly at the time.

Details of this press conference were captured in a viral newspaper clipping from Monday June 17, 1957, and shared via X by a journalist, @theyawofosu.

The newspaper report noted that “the Minister of Finance, Mr. K. A. Gbedemah, had been unable to answer whether or not whether Dr Nkrumah’s head would appear on the national currency in the National Assembly.

“The conference further resolved that the stamps bearing the portrait of the Queen as the head constitutional head of the Ghana State should be put into circulation.”

The opposition NLM and its allies further demanded of the government to withdraw the stamps bearing Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s head from circulation, in accordance with its own promise to the nation that the stamps were to be withdrawn on June 5, 1957.

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