President J .A. Kufuor yesterday asked that the life and achievements of the late Professor Emeritus Albert Kwadwo Adu-Boahen, one of Africa and Ghana's eminent historians, should inspire the current generation of politicians and the youth of the country to aspire to greater service to the nation.
He said the late Professor's service to the nation in education, where generations on end had been, and would continue to be, nurtured on his textbooks, endeared him to many in Ghana, Africa and the world at large.
In a tribute read by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Kwamena Bartels, at the state funeral held for Prof Adu-Boahen at the forecourt of the State House in Accra yesterday, President Kufuor said the Professor's principled and exemplary political career stood him out as a statesman.
The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Ebenezer Sekyi Hughes, the Immediate Past Speaker, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey, the First and the Second ladies, Mrs Theresa Kufuor and Hajia Ramatu Mahama, respectively, attended the funeral.
President Kufuor described the late Professor as “a great social being who used marked traits of fearlessness, outspokenness and a deep commitment to democracy, a great sense of humour and love of nation to establish himself as a strong personality who left lasting impressions on people who encountered him.”
In politics, he said, Professor Adu-Boahen took positions derived from convictions could not be shaken by fear or self-interest.
“He distinguished himself as an academic of the first order in the field of history,” President Kufuor said.
In advocacy for respect for human rights, the President told the mourners, Professor Adu-Boahen attained a historic stature in Ghana by his constancy over the past four decades.
President Kufuor reiterated that the famous Danquah Memorial Lectures which Professor Adu-Boahen delivered in 1988, titled, “The Ghanaian Sphinx – Reflections on the Contemporary History of Ghana, 1972 -1987”, lent credence to his stature.
“He used the occasion to assail 'the Culture of Silence' which had gripped the nation in the long period following the unconstitutional overthrow of the Third Republic,” he said.
President Kufuor said it was in recognition of Professor Adu-Boahen's years of meritorious services that the nation accorded him a state burial.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rev Dr Yaw Frimpong-Manso, in a sermon, expressed the hope that the life and funeral of the late Professor would bring Ghanaians together.
He said the Presbyterian values of steadfastness and humility were clearly exhibited by the Professor in his life.
“Adu-Boahen stood and fought for democratic governance,” Rev Dr Frimpong-Manso said.
He said Ghana needed people who would, in times of turmoil, speak and sacrifice for the people.
The Moderator said the Word of God was a necessary weapon to deal with intolerance and terrorism, saying, “Let us use the gospel to save Ghana and the word. No more inferno.”
Professor Adu-Boahen died on May 24, this year, after a protracted illness. He left behind a wife and six children.
In 1992, he stood on the ticket of the NPP as its presidential candidate to contest the presidential election but lost to former President J. J. Rawlings.
A founding member of the NPP, he was also a National Executive member of the Association of Recognized Professional Bodies from 1977-1978 and Chairman, the Legon Society on National Affairs, from 1970-1975.
He was also a founding member of the People's Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ) in 1978, Honorary Secretary of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences from 1983-1985 and Founder and Interim President of the People's Movement for Freedom and Justice in 1990.
On the academic front, the late Prof Adu-Boahene was appointed the Head of the History Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1967 and rose to become a Professor in 1971. In 1990, he became a Professor Emeritus.