Paul Afoko, NPP National Chairman in a pose with the late R.I Alhassan
The National Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Paul Afoko, has observed that he would be among the many sympathisers to greatly miss the wealth of experience of Rowland Issifu Alhassan, the first lawyer from the Northern Region.
He has, therefore, dedicated his victory at the party’s recently held Tamale congress to the late former Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany describing him as one who was humble, caring and was never afraid to speak his mind.
These attributes, according to Mr Afoko, made him unique among other northern politicians underscoring the need for him to be honoured in a special way, considering his political and professional legacies.
In an exclusive interview with the DAILY GUIDE, the NPP Chairman disclosed that prior to his filing his nomination papers to chair the party; he sought for the blessings of Mr R.I Alhassan.
According to him, he was one of the few elders among the party who supported his chairmanship bid unconditionally and constantly kept in touch, urging him on when things seemed rough along the way.
Recounting his last moments with him, Mr Afoko disclosed that a night after the congress while votes were being collated, he missed a call from the former Counsellor and decided not to return it with the hope he was going to meet him personally and announce his victory to him.
Sunday morning after the thanksgiving service in honour of Mr C.K Tadem, a founding member of the NPP at the OLA Cathedral, the Chairman said he and his team drove directly to his residence where they interacted with him before leaving for their hotel.
Hours later, news went round that his health had deteriorated and had to be flown to Accra for special attention only to have passed away at the 37 Military Hospital, 87 hours later.
The news of his demise according to the National Chairman became something he found extremely difficult to bear considering the close relationship he had with him.
He said the former running mate to the late Prof Adu Boahene in the 1992 elections was a father who represented all he admired in northern leaders and would forever be missed.
The late R.I Alhassan served as a Member of Parliament (MP) for one of the northern constituencies around 1965 and was detained like his other colleagues after the 1966 coup, which toppled Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s government.
Mr R.I. Alhassan, who trained in the United Kingdom as a lawyer where he met an English lady from Cambridge, Janet, his eventually wife, lived in Accra before eventually retiring to Tamale.
Janet, with a strong passion for education, established the Alhassan Gbanzagba School in Tamale.
The deceased was the uncle of Mr Mohammed Awal, former MD of Graphic Communications and now CEO of Marble Communications, publishers of the Finder newspaper.
He was a Kumbungu Royal in Dagbon and an elder of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Tamale, who participated in the compilation of the Stolen Verdict, a protest publication of the NPP following what the party considered flawed polls in 1992.
From Stephen Zoure
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