19 November 2012

Ghana: Aliu, the Gentleman Goes Home

column

The moment news came through that the former Vice-President had suffered a major heart attack and was fighting for his life on a life-support machine, it was obvious Alhaji Aliu Mahama was only a doctor's decision away from being declared dead.

All the same, when news came through that the Gentlemen's Gentleman had joined his ancestors, tears flowed freely on the streets from Accra to Tamale. Alhaji Aliu Mahama impacted positively on so many people's lives that his passing on has become a major loss to most people in society.

A founding member of the New Patriotic Party, he was one of the party's major financial bankrollers long before he was formally approached by then Candidate John Agyekum Kufuor to partner him to fight for the highest office of the land. In every sense of the word, he was a major force in the party.

Many party faithful attest to the benevolence of the former Vice-President. A successful contractor, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, was a philanthropist, aiding many projects in the north especially. There is the testimony from a woman who approached the former Vice-President and narrated how her child had been sacked for owing school fees and her inability to raise funds.

In the woman's own words, Alhaji called for the child and paid his school fees when the poor boy presented his school bill. In Tamale especially, Aliu Mahama is held in the highest of esteem. He has been instrumental in the changing face of the metropolis contributing both in cash and ideas to expand the frontiers of the city.

A football icon, Alhaji Aliu Mahama was a foundation member of Real Tamale Football Club and was contributing regularly to the funding of the club till his death.

As Vice-President, he launched a campaign against indiscipline and led from the front to rid this society of indiscipline. He did not succeed but he made a tremendous impact on society generally.

Yesterday, Aliu Mahama went home, four years shy of the biblical three score and 10 years. One sad aspect of Alhaji Mahama's passing on is the fact that his 92 year-old mother is still alive. We pray that the Almighty would give the grand old lady the fortitude to pull through, until she also departs this world.

Yesterday, the nation stood united to send the former Vice-President off to his ancestors in a solemn manner. The whole ceremony was like the life of the person himself. Always gentle, with no room for extravagance, in spite of his considerable wealth.

The Chronicle prays that the Almighty would have mercy on his soul. The world, as Shakespeare wrote, is a stage. Alhaji Aliu Mahama has played his role. We hope and pray that the impact Alhaji Aliu Mahama made as Vice-President would be with us for a long time. Adieu Mr. Gentleman. May mother earth sit gently on him.

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