Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Sunday morning, joined thousands of Ghanaians, in Tamale, to pay tribute and celebrate the life and legacy of the late Alhaji Roland Issifu Alhassan, who passed away after a short illness on the 14th of April, at the 37 Military Hospital, Accra.
Delivering a brief statement at the “Adua”, held at the residence of the late Alhaji R.I.Alhassan, Nana Addo explained that all lawyers called to the bar during his time regarded the late Alhaji R.I Alhassan “as a legend of the legal profession.
Nana Addo said that his first encounter with the late Alhaji Alhassan occurred when, as General Secretary of the broad based People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), he elicited the support of R.I Alhassan in the “NO” Campaign during the UNIGOV referendum of 1978, which ultimately brought about the downfall of the Acheampong military government in 1978, and the restoration of multi-party democratic rule to the country in 1979.
Describing him as “a man of principle and fairness,” Nana Addo recounted two instances during his tenure as Attorney General and subsequently as Minister of Foreign Affairs when advice given to him by the late R.I Alhassan impacted positively on his life and career.
“The Nation and Party have lost an extraordinary man,” Nana Addo added. He expressed his condolences to the family and urged them to stay strong in these trying times.
The ceremony attracted a high powered delegation from the New Patriotic Party, led by party chairman, Mr Paul Afoko, who was accompanied by some of his national officers; Government, led by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu; the People’s National Convention led by its party chairman, Alhaji Ramadan; and the Convention People’s Party.
Tributes were read by his wife, children, former Members of Parliament in the Third Republic, the NPP and Government.
The late R.I Alhassan became the first ever lawyer to hail from the Northern Region.
He was the MP of Chereponi in the Northern Region in 1965, which he remained until the coup d’état in 1966. In the late 70s, he joined the Popular Front Party led by the late Victor Owusu and stood as MP in Tolon in 1979 and was duly elected Member of Parliament.
He was also the leader of the opposition at the time of the 1981 coup.
In the early 90’s he invited the members of the Danquah-Busia club to meet in his house to discuss party politics, which was the beginning of the formation of the NPP. In 1992, he was elected as Vice Presidential Candidate of the NPP, led, at the time by Prof. Albert Adu Boahen.
When the NPP won the 2000 elections, under the leadership of President Kufuor, the late R.I Alhassan was appointed Ghana’s Ambassador tto Germany from 2001 to 2006.
He remained active in politics and was appointed as NPP Regional Campaign Chairman in the North in the 2008 elections. He was also the Chairman of the Council of Elders of the NPP for the Northern Region. Even during illness, he was consulted and resolved many party issues.