The National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Paul Afoko, yesterday reiterated his pledge to members of the party that he will do everything legitimately possible to return the party to power by winning the 2016 general elections, even at the peril of his life.
Mr. Afoko reaffirmed his commitment to delivering victory for the party when he read a tribute on behalf of the NPP at an “Adua” held in honour of the late Alhaji R.I Alhassan, the party stalwart who partnered the late Prof Albert Adu Boahene as the running mate in the 1992 general elections.
The funeral was held at the private residence of the late Alhaji Alhassan, at Sagnarigu, near the old Tamale Airport in the Northern Region yesterday.
An emotional Paul Afoko stated that he was indebted to the late R.I Alhassan for the “unconditional support” he gave to him when he indicated his decision to run for the National Chairman position of the NPP.
According to the NPP National Chairman, the best tribute he can offer the late Alhaji R.I Alhassan is to make sure the NPP recaptures power from the National Democratic Congress in the 2016 elections.
“I will make sure that the NPP wins power in 2016 even if it kills me,” he stressed.
Mr. Afoko explained that his last encounter with the late R.I Alhassan took place on the very day he was elected National Chairman of the NPP at the recent Tamale National Delegates’ Conference.
“Little did I know that 8 hours after sharing this news with my father, he would join our ancestors,” a sorrowful Paul Afoko said.
He extolled the spirit of selflessness exhibited by the late NPP stalwart when he joined others like the late Adu Boahene in the struggle for the return of the country into multi-party democracy.
“The late R.I Alhassan did not enter politics for fame, wealth or power. He went into politics to serve. He was full of God’s love and commitment and radiated these qualities wherever he was and to whom he came into contact with,” Mr. Afoko emphasized.
The NPP National Chairman urged the nation’s politicians to take inspiration from the selfless public life of the late Alhaji Alhassan and rededicate themselves to nation building, challenging them to wean themselves from the perception of entering politics to amass wealth at the expense of the suffering masses.
He described the late party stalwart as a man who “was full of service blood and commitment,” adding “he related equally to whoever he worked with and to whom he came into contact with.” He further described him as a gem of the north whose lifestyle should serve as a guide to all politicians.
The 2012 NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, said the late Alhaji Alhassan would forever be remembered for his contribution to building Ghana.
Nana Addo described the late R.I Alhassan as a fearless statesman who served in various capacities to move the nation forward, especially within the Ghanaian legal framework. According to Nana Addo, Ghana needs such patriots to consolidate her democratic credentials.
He commended the former Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany for passionately responding to national duty on bipartisan lines, adding that his contribution to the success of the previous Kufour administration could not be underestimated.
Touted as the first northerner to be called to the Bar, the late R.I Alhassan was the Chief Patron of the New Patriotic Party in the Northern Region. He died at the 37 Military Hospital on April 15.
A high powered NPP delegation led by the national Chairman, Paul Afoko, Nana Akufo Addo and Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia attended the funeral. Also at the funeral was a government delegation led by the Northern Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Mohammed Muniru.