Members of Parliament (MPs), colleagues, friends and political adversaries have paid tribute to former General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie, after his sudden death aged 71.
Popularly known as Sir John, the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission was said to have succumbed to complications of the coronavirus on Wednesday night while undergoing treatment at the ICU of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
Parliament took about 15 minutes to remember Mr. Owusu-Afriyie, who was described as a “perfect affable” personality by his peers.
Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu said the Ghanaian body politics had lost a man of “immense ability”, who paid his dues to the country through his services and sacrifices
“He was a good friend, a brother and represented his presence strongly in the political space of the country,” he stated and added that the former NPP Chief Scribe was an affable personality who really affected everyone that he came into contact with, pointing out that he was shell-shocked to learn about his sudden demise.
Mr. Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who is also the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, said the exit of Owusu-Afriyie should urge Ghanaians on to be conscious of the existence of Covid-19 (coronavirus) and get convinced that the disease is indeed real.
“At this moment, Mr. Speaker, it is proper and appropriate to pray for the protection of the government of this country, the judiciary, the legislative arm and indeed all public servants who are in various ways discharging their responsibilities towards the development of this country.”
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who expressed his profound sympathies to the family of Sir John and the NPP fraternity, said the country was devastated to lose a “fine man with a good sense of humour, which was always accompanied with a smile even as he jabbed.”
“Mr. Speaker, when he lost his second bid for the NPP General Secretary to Kwabena Agyapong he said that we should fear delegates. I am sure many of our colleagues here will now appreciate his admonishment. And indeed, delegates are to be feared.”
“I am sure we will have another opportunity to eulogize him and his contributions to mother Ghana. Please do accept our sympathies and condolences.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye said Sir John and the NDC General Secretary were the best of friends even though they belonged to different political parties.
According to him, the confluence and relationship of the two men should be an example to all politicians not to hate each other because of belonging to different political persuasions.
“Sometimes our own internal fights show a lot of hostilities and I wish we wouldn’t do it and so don’t on the national plane.”
“That is worthy to say about him (Sir John) and colleague Asiedu Nketia. And may these examples continue to inspire the political hemisphere,” the Speaker said and called for a moment of silence to be observed for the soul of Sir John.