Today, January 2 marks exactly 56years ago when Supt. Salifu Dagarti sacrificed his life for the late Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah by taking a bullet for him (the president) in 1964.
This was the fifth assassination attempt on the life of the first President of Ghana, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Supt. Salifu Dagarti was born in July 1931. He sadly died on January 2nd, 1964.
Salifu Dagarti was a British Ghanaian trained police officer & a presidential bodyguard at the Flagstaff House.
On the day he passed on, Salifu Dagarti used his body as a shield to take a bullet aimed at Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on the fifth attempt to get him (Kwame Nkrumah) assassinated ever since he came to power in 1957.
What actually happened on the day of the shooting event and the shielding of Dr Kwame Nkrumah by Supt. Salifu Dagarti
Just at about 1.15 pm on Thursday, January 2nd, 1964, Dr Kwame Nkrumah had made his way out of his Flagstaff House office to the Christianborg Castle to have lunch.
As he made the next move towards his car by walking across the Flagstaff courtyard whilst being accompanied by his personal bodyguards — Supt. Salifu Dagarti & another security person who had been made available by CPP (the president’s own party) — a rifle shot loudly rang out.
The president had been fired at by Constable Ametewee who hid behind a cover which was just about a 50-yard distance away.
Apparently, Constable Ametewee was one of the policemen on guard at the Flagstaff House who had been posted there for duty only a day or two earlier.
As the president and his bodyguard, Salifu Dagarti dived for cover, the CPP security guard hid behind the car for his life, and the driver of his (the president’s) car was immediately nowhere to be found.
A police constable on guard outside the residence of Ghana’s president, Kwame Nkrumah, fired five gunshots at him in an assassination attempt. Seth Ametwee invaded The Flagstaff House in Accra and missed with his first shot. Nkrumah’s bodyguard, Salifu Dagarti, shielded the President with his body and was mortally wounded.
Two more shots were fired. One or both of them ripped through the President’s shirt but were apparently deflected by his bullet-proof vest.
Constable Ametewee then attempted to fire his fifth and last round, but the bullet was accidentally ejected. The President, seeing what had happened, got up and ran.
The distance he covered was considerable. And, as he ran, he shouted for help. A number of armed policemen watched with interest to see how the incident would end but did not move.
Senior officials similarly watched from the windows of nearby offices, one of them confining himself to the single comment: ‘They’ve bungled it again’.
As the President approached the kitchen of Flagstaff House, the Constable caught up with him and tried to club him with his rifle butt, but the rifle slipped from his hands. Inside the kitchen, the President and the Constable finally got to grips.
The Constable bit the President’s cheek. The President kicked the Constable in the groin and the latter momentarily collapsed. At that stage, other policemen arrived on the scene and decided the time had come to intervene.
Constable Ametewee was quickly knocked out and left lying on the ground. The President, having changed his shirt and had his cheek dressed by a Russian doctor, had his photograph taken crouching over his assailant, as he might have done had he just overpowered him. He then left for the Castle, from which he has not since emerged.
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