With “Tribute To A Political Father And Mentor”
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” 2nd Timothy 4:17
Truly, Professor Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor has fought a good fight and his crown awaits him in the heavens.
Ghana your beloved country will surely honour you for what you stood for. Out of Ghana’s 56 years as a Nation State, Professor Awoonor has been part of the building process for almost five decades, if not more.
Since the days of his political mentor and the Father of this Great Nation, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, at a very tender age, Prof contributed to her formative years as a country. Prof headed a very sensitive institution in the scheme of affairs under the Convention People’s Party. That was the National Film and Television Industry (NAFTI).
I remember vividly what a friend told me of Prof’s stewardship under Osagyefo after Ghana attained independence from the British colonialism. Prof, you never turned your back on your beloved country. Even when you had the opportunity to be attracted to trappings of the West, you chose to be part of the struggle to build a prosperous country.
Prof, a proud son of the Anlo State, a dedicated citizen of Ghana and the black race, like John the Baptist said, I quote “I am not worthy to even untie the shoes of the one who is to come” I can also say that but for divine arrangement, I am not even qualified to have a photo session with you because of your stature.
Prof. as I always called him, since my very first encounter with you before the 2008 general elections in a meeting arranged by Kobla Kudoto, you have imparted positively my life. To your memory, I have learnt all the things I know now in politics, especially the importance of social contract with the masses.
Prof when you were the Chair of the Council of State, I cannot recall the countless calls I had from you and the messages you sent on how I should conduct myself in public office. I feel honoured to be among a few appointees who could walk to your humble abode at North Legon, of course not at the time of your afternoon sleep, for my lessons in politics. Lessons that I never paid for. Lessons that cannot be found in the classroom. Lessons that I so much cherish. Lessons that shaped my political life.
Prof, your loss is not only going to affect your biological children, the people of Wheta traditional area, for that matter, Ghana your beloved country. I can say without any shadow of doubt that your sudden departure will affect me as well.
Prof, you were very interested in moving this country forward. That had always been your watchword. You really articulated how your region, Volta, could be totally transformed.
You followed with keen interest the performance of all the agencies under the Ministry of Transport and made your valuable input where necessary.
I was so familiar with your numbers that I didn’t need to store them on my phone. Your calls were very much cherished. Your good counsel, I very much appreciated and your support was enormous.
Prof, the last call I had from you before you left the shores of Ghana, the message was to tell Kobla that your favourite “plantain cake” was finished from the fridge and that he needed to replenish the stock.
Prof, I did convey the message and we were waiting to deliver the cake on your return. On that fateful Saturday morning, the 21st September, 2013, together with Kobla and Lisa, we discussed you extensively.
Prof, in the afternoon of that Saturday, when Lisa called that there had been a terrorist attack at a Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and that Afetsi, your son, had been shot but they could not locate you, my hope and prayer was that you were safe. I called Captain Kojo Tsikata and we encouraged one another.
I was at the airport in the evening on my way on an official assignment leading Ghana’s delegation to the 38th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) when Sylvanus Tamakloe broke the sad news to me. I have since then not recovered from the shock.
But one thing I can say for a fact is that you have contributed your quota to the well being of the human race and may the Good Lord grant you a Peaceful Rest.
Prof, I will surely follow up on those you left behind, especially Afetsi and Kekeli, you darling baby last.
Prof, Hede Nyuie, Dzudzor le Nutifafa Me!!!!!!!!!!
MRS DZIFA AKU ATTIVOR
MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT