Last respect for PV Obeng
PRESIDENT JOHN Dramani Mahama yesterday joined several mourners to bid farewell to the late Paul Victor Obeng, former Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission.
PV, as he was fondly called, who died of cardiac arrest on Saturday,
May 17, this year, will be buried at Akrokerri, his hometown, in the Ashanti Region after the final funeral rites today.
The funeral and non-denominational burial service of the late politician and businessman was held on Friday at the forecourt of the State House in Accra. It was led by Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Accra, Most Rev. Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle.
The service was attended by high-profile personalities in the political circles, including former President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings; former President John
Agyekum Kufuor; Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and Chief Justice Mrs. Georgina Wood.
The mortal remains of PV Obeng arrived in a coffin at the forecourt of the State House at about 7:30 am.
The coffin was opened for about an hour for family members and close associates to file past the body and pay their last respects before it was closed for the Archbishop to begin the requiem mass.
Tributes from his wife, children, family and President Mahama, were read at the burial service.
In a tribute read on his behalf by the Minister for Communications, Dr. Omane Boamah, President John Mahama described the late astute politician as a ‘tireless public servant, unifier, nationalist and an accomplished man.’
He said PV provided support and pieces of advice to various politicians in the country, irrespective of their political affiliations, social, economic or geographical locations.
President Mahama said PV Obeng would particularly be remembered for his contribution to the governance system of his (Mahama’s) administration, especially in the organization of the recent Senchi Economic Forum.
‘Ghana has lost a tireless, selfless and generous public servant.
My administration has lost one of the most dependable fountains of wisdom. Our great NDC party has lost one of its selfless anchors,’ President Mahama observed.
Former President John Rawlings also maintained that PV was ‘one of the nation’s adept and captivating minds who gave so much of his energy and strength in helping the country’s successive administrations to find solutions to problems in some of the most trying times in the nation’s history.’
He said PV’s immense contributions by way of suggestions he offered during the 1979 revolt contributed to lowering the anger in the country.
‘Though our departed brother wielded a lot of authority, his humility enabled officials at all levels to consult and work with him. He had an indefatigable nature, almost always ready to work and never too tired to assist,’ Rawlings said.
Former President Kufuor said of the late PV Obeng, ‘He was a man of immense intellect and fortitude whose attributes showed in whatever enterprise he found himself.’
He said either, in the performance of his profession as an engineer or in politics – where he gained national prominence – PV excelled.
‘Whether you liked him or not, you could not deny the dexterity that he brought to bear on affairs of the governments he served.
‘It was this that convinced me to retain him as Chair of the Ghana Investments Promotion Centre and also awarded him
Order of the Volta, one of the highest civilian honours in our country, during my tenure as President’, the former President underscored.
Delivering a sermon, Most Rev. Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle said the late PV Obeng lived a good life which is worth emulating by all.
He said the deceased lived quality life of selfless service to the nation, adding that he gave his best in whatever he did and consequently won the hearts of many.
‘We thank God for the number of years PV Obeng lived. He worked for unity and consensus building in politics,’ Rev. Palmer- Buckle said, urging young men in politics to emulate the departed politician.
The late P.V Obeng, who was born on 19 August, 1947 to James Obeng and Mrs. Mary Obeng, died at the age of 67.
He was the chairman of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Council and the Chief Consultant and Chairman of OB Associates – a public and private sector consulting firm – and also the chairman of Ghana Agro and Food Company (GAFCO). He served in his capacity as Chairman of many other entities.
BY Cephas Larbi
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