It is with a heavy heart that, for the second time in six months, The Institute of Economic Affairs pays tribute to the memory of yet another Statesman. The IEA's contacts with Alhaji Aliu Mahama started with his elevation to the high office of Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana. In all our dealings with him, The IEA found in him, a friend, a staunch believer in democracy and a voice of moderation who could speak across the parapet. He was always at ease, smiling, no matter the situation.
He was affable and chose his few words carefully. He was measured in his ways. We have no doubt in our minds that these qualities are what enabled him to distinguish himself in every field of endeavor that he found himself, be it in politics, private enterprise or sports administration
When The Institute started the West African Political Parties Programme (WARPP) in 2006, Alhaji Aliu Mahama was instrumental in its success. His sage counsel, his behind-the-scenes support, and open doors ensured that Ghana became a shining example in that programme, whose main objective was to bring over twenty political parties across the West African sub-region to share experiential knowledge, network among themselves on issues of common interest, and form a bulwark against democratic retrogression in West Africa.
We particularly remember his hospitality and relevant advice when he received a delegation from La Cote d'Ivoire in his residence, and on a weekend, too. He saw the WARPP as shattering the walls of isolation that had previously stood between West African politicians and political parties, and asked all present to leverage the benefits of the programme to ensure that their citizens enjoyed the true fruits of democracy.
His relationship with The IEA continued till his demise. Indeed, his last public appearance was at first of The IEA's 2012 Presidential Debates in Tamale on Tuesday, the 30th of October, 2012. There, he graced the Debate with his amiable presence as a Distinguished Guest. We were indeed, expecting him at the Vice-Presidential Debate in Takoradi, when we were informed that he had been rushed to the hospital.
In a difficult time like this, our prayers are with the nation and his family. He served his time and he served his nation well.
May the earth lie lightly on his remains, and may God receive his gentle soul into the place of Eternal Rest.