Nene Amagatcher, Chairman of this auspicious event and
President of the Ghana Bar Association;
Prof. Kwesi Yankey, President of Central University College
Prof. Emmanuel Adow Obeng, Vice-President (Academic Affairs)
Mr. Blankson, Vice President (Finance & Admin), Central University College
Professor Ken Attafuah, Director of the William Ofori Atta Institute for Integrity
Senior Members of Central University College
Roland Akosah – Thank you for your poem and tribute to Paa Willie
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is always such a challenge to speak on a Paa Willie platform because he is such a towering figure of virtue. One feels like a true Pretender to dare to be here. This is especially accentuated by those of us who grew up knowing him from our primary school days. Prof. Steve Adei has described him as the best President Ghana never had and says this of him:
- He was a man of many accomplishments but uncharacteristically humble
- He was a true Ghanaian but uncharacteristically de-tribalized
- He was an astute politician but uncharacteristically ethical, incorruptible and broad-minded
- He was a Christian but uncharacteristically non-denominational and without hypocrisy
- He was one of the six founding fathers of modern Ghana but uncharacteristically unassuming so that to date he is the only member of the Big Six yet to be honoured by the State – it did not happen in NPP time but just maybe it will happen in an NDC time if only to crown these centenary celebrations. I challenge the NDC government to do the right thing!
- He was one of the most persecuted politicians but uncharacteristically forgiving and loving towards his opponents.
- He was one of the best educated leaders of his generation. The first senior prefect in Achimota School and later a Cambridge degree, but he knew no pride and felt most at home with rural folk
- He was a royal among royals but uncharacteristically made himself a servant of all
So it is this man that Central University has found fit to honour with an Institute, even as we still wait for the State to honour the last member of the Big Six. PNDC had 11 years to do it, NDC has had 12 years, and NPP had 8 years. It is a mystery to me how Paa Willie continues to be neglected. We celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2010 and it was essentially a privately sponsored series of activities. Government’s contribution was underwhelming, I heard a couple weeks ago that President Mahama promised a new statue for our first President Nkrumah, I will encourage His Excellency to remedy this injustice and honour Paa Willie, more than 25 years since his death and some 100 years since his birth.
The man, Paa Willie, was many things to many people, personal experiences and encounters from people like Dr. Otabil being encouraged in his formative years by a surprising visit from Paa Willie; Dr. Adadevoh being picked up as a student from Legon for a program in Accra, his work in the Okyenhene’s palace; Headmaster at ABUSCO; his heroics as Foreign Minister and Minister of Education and Sports, and also as Chairman of the Council of State. Let me not forget his leadership and pioneering roles at Scripture Union, Maranatha College, GILBT, COF and Accra Chapel at Korle-Bu.
This is the second lecture in the series that Prof. Attafuah has programmed. Her ladyship Georgina Wood gave the inaugural lecture on October 8, 2012, with two months to go to the 2012 elections. Her very prescient topic was “Integrity, Elections and Democratic Governance in Ghana”. Read more…