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TRIBUTE To Aliu Mahama By Nana Addo


ALHAJI ALIU MAHAMADagbon has lost its most illustrious son

18 November 2012


We met some twenty years ago in Tamale when I was busy helping to organise the expansion of the Danquah Busia Memorial Club in preparation for the formation of the New Patriotic Party. He had an open house for all and sundry, especially for adherents of our common tradition. He was a genial host, courteous and generous.

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I recognised, from the outset, his deep attachment to the values and principles of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition – the values of fairness and opportunity, respect for individual freedom and human rights, respect for the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability, and confidence in a dynamic market economy as the best vehicle for generating prosperity for the mass of our people.

We struck up a good relationship in Opposition, a relationship that grew in Government, where we were both members of the Kufuor administration in which he held the number 2 position. For him personally, the most disturbing incident in our period of government was the tragic death of his good friend, the Ya-Na, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II. It shook him to his core and he worked tirelessly to find a solution to the problems of peace and reconciliation for his beloved Dagbon.

The cordial relations between us survived even our competition for the leadership of the party, and lasted till the unfortunate end.

It was in Tamale a few weeks ago, at the time of the IEA debate, that I had my last conversation with Alhaji Aliu Mahama. As was usual with him, he was refreshingly to the point and uncomplicated. He gave me a precise brief on the part of the campaign that he had been involved in and he was his usual positive self. There was no indication that such a tragedy would befall us less than a month later.

Unfortunately, however, on his return to Accra, he was hospitalised at Korle Bu, a predicament from which he did not recover. I visited him exactly a week ago today, but left his unconscious side with a considerable sense of anxiety and foreboding. My instincts have been tragically realised.

I felt a deep sense of loss at the passing of Aliu. For eight years as Vice President to John Agyekum Kufuor, he was an exemplar of what a Vice President should be – supportive, encouraging and constantly watching out for pitfalls.

It is not often that the New Patriotic Party takes someone to its collective heart so wholeheartedly, but our Vice President managed to charm most people in the party. He made it one of his tasks to woo Zongos to the NPP and the Nasara Clubs found a ready champion in him. Those who took his calm demeanour for weakness did so at their own risk, because he was not easily moved from his strongly held beliefs.

He did not shy from hard work, and, in this current campaign, he has been as enthusiastic on the trail as he ever was. He has been especially supportive of my running mate, Mahamudu Bawumia, and has been generous with his time and resources. Aliu and I have unfinished business; he wanted us to win over the Zongos and he wanted peace to return to his beloved Dagbon.

I hope that on December 7 we shall have evidence that his work with the Zongos has brought dividends and I pledge to him that I will work to bring peace to Dagbon. If anything will ensure that Aliu rests in peace, it will be the establishment of full peace and reconciliation in Dagbon, and I pray that we all work to achieve this. My deepest condolences go to Hajia Ramatu, Aliu’s elegant and supportive wife, and to the children, Farouk, Mohammed, Fayad, Selma and Halim.

Dagbon has lost its most illustrious son; the North has lost a powerful advocate; the Moslem community has lost a devout Moslem and its only Vice President in our history; the NPP has lost a valued and hardworking activist; John Agyekum Kufuor has lost his dependent and competent vice, who helped him reinforce the unity of our country; and the Ghanaian nation has lost a patriot and dignified public servant.

I feel a deep personal loss and I pledge that the NPP will work to keep the Aliu flame alight. Let us pray for the repose of his soul, and may the Almighty Allah grant him eternal rest. Allah Yi Kein shi.

Source: Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo



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