It was October 1962 when Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah was giving his first address to the National Assembly (Parliament) to open the third session of the First Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. As part of his speech, he responded to a Private Members Motion that had been carried in the previous session congratulating him on his escape from the Kulungungu bombing and conferring life presidency.
“Mr. Speaker, Members of the National Assembly, before I turn to events outside Ghana, I must refer with great emotion to the historic motion passed at the last sitting of Parliament congratulating me on my miraculous escape from the bomb attack at Kulungugu and associating Members of this Assembly with the popular desire THAT I CONTINUE IN OFFICE AS PRESIDENT FOR THE REMAINDER OF MY LIFE.
I thank you, Mr. Speaker, Members of the National Assembly, for your motion, which is a mark of the confidence you have in me, and a unanimous expression of solidarity behind my person and office.
I would, however, remind you, Mr. Speaker, that we have adopted a People’s Democracy in which the sovereign will of the people is exercised through Parliament, a President and a Party. We are guided by a unique Republican Constitution which states quite clearly that elections for the office of President shall be held once every five years. It is essential that the people shall freely exercise their sacred right and duty of self-expression through voting; that once every five years they shall have the opportunity to renew their faith and confidence in the Party and its leader.
Therefore, while I thank the House for the faith and solidarity expressed in the motion to confer a life Presidency on me, I submit most humbly that the most conclusive way to demonstrate this singular support and confidence is by securing the return of me and my Party, the Convention People’s Party, to power at the five-yearly elections of Parliament. The objective which you sought in your motion can be attained if the nation does this.”
The private member’s motion was moved by the Member of Parliament for Bongo, Mr. W. A. Amoro on Thursday 6th September 1962. The debate was concluded at 9:20pm the following day, 7th September and the Speaker put the question to a vote. The motion was carried as follows:
“Question put and agreed to.
“That this House congratulates Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah on his escape from the recent bomb attack on him at Kulungungu; deplores the incident and urges all citizens to be alive to their responsibilities for the maintenance of the security of the State. It also wishes Osagyefo long life and good health, expresses its confidence in his leadership and ASSOCIATES ITSELF WITH THE POPULAR DESIRE THAT HE SHOULD CONTINUE IN OFFICE FOR THE REMAINDER OF HIS LIFE” (emphasis added).
Source: Official parliamentary records.