Benjamin Mensah, GNA
Accra, June 30, GNA - Speaker of Parliament Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye, with the Leadership, and some Members of Parliament were on Friday afternoon at the Ridge residence, in Accra, to commiserate with the family on the sudden death of former Vic e President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur.
The former Vice President was reported to have collapsed at the Air Force Gym early Friday and was rushed to the 37 Military Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The news of the death was received with shock across the country as there had not been any report of the 67 year old former Vice President of Ghana from August 6, 2012 to January 6, 2017.
The sitting of the House, which starts at 1000 hours, had to be had to be delayed till well after 12 noon as members of the House, in state of shock discussed the demise of the Vice President, who was also a former Governor of Ghana Central Bank and former Deputy Minister of Finance.
Some Members on the Minority Side of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were earlier at the residence.
As the House sat, is discussed the sad news and observed a minutes silence in memory of the late Vice President, extolling his virtues of humility, patriotism, affableness and sense of humour.
It was after the adjournment of sitting, that the Speaker, some members of the Leadership and some members of the House visited the family, in line with Ghanaian tradition “to find out if the news was true.”
At the House, the delegation was welcomed Nana Sam Brew Butler, former Chairman of the Ghana Football Association, who acted as family spokesperson, in the company some stalwarts of the NDC including Nana Ato Dadzie, former Chief of Staff at the Presidency under the Administration of former President JJ Rawlings and Mr Bede Zedeng, Deputy National Director of Elections among others.
In a brief speech, Prof Oquaye, who is also former Head of the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, recalled knowing late Vice President at the University, where the late Amissah Arthur worked as Teaching Assistant and Lecturer at the Economics Department.
“He was a student of promise,” Prof Oquaye said, adding that being appointed as Teaching Assistant was evidence of respect and intellectualism.
Also, the late Amissah-Arthur was Special Assistant Former Secretary and Minister of Finance Dr Kwesi Botchwey, where he worked behind the scenes to fashion out economic policies.
Professor Oquaye eulogised the late former Vice President for his humility and hard work that propelled him to higher public service as Governor of the Bank of Ghana and later Vice President.
“We are shocked; may God keep him,” the Speaker said.
Majority Leader, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and MP for Suame Osei Kyei- Mensah Bonsu said the death of the late Vice President was a loss, not only to the NDC, but the entire nation.
He said the Parliament was rather preparing itself to observe Martyrs Day, and never expected to have such shocking news on the same day.
He was full of praise to the late second gentleman for being a unifier, active participant for growing Ghana’s democracy, his sense of humour and friendship, adding that he was peaceful and humble.
“He exhibited a character that unified the nation,” he said.
“May God wipe the tears of the family and the nation,’ the Majority Leader added.
Chief Whip of the Minority Alhaji Mubarak Muntaka, prayed for God to strengthen the family.
Nana Butler expressed the appreciation of the family to the delegation and said Parliament would be well informed on the funeral arrangements.
The Speaker later signed a Book of Condolence memory of the late Vice President.
Among the personalities who visited were Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Member of the Parliamentary Service Board; Mr Mathew Nyidam, Deputy Majority Chief Whip; Mr Moses Anim, Second Deputy Majority Chief Whip; Mrs Comfort Doyoe Cudjoe Ghansah, Second Deputy Minority Chief Whip; and MP for Salvelugu Mr Abdul-Samed Muhamed Gunu.