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22.03.2007 General News

Mighty Oak Falls

Although it is said that what one person has done, another can do, the fact of life is that each person is unique.

That is why we think that the sudden demise of Madam Hawa Yakubu would create a vacuum, although there are others who can do what she did.

While it is true that politics catapulted her into fame, she would be better remembered for the cause of charity that she pursued in order to bring joy to needy persons, to the extent that her house was never silent.

Madam Hawa Yakubu was a woman who refused to be intimidated and always forcefully but politely put across her viewpoints, and was prepared for whatever criticism that followed.

Indeed, in the First Parliament of the Fourth Republic, Hawa Yakubu provided the only meaningful dissent to parliamentary discourse when the other parties which competed against the National Democratic Congress boycotted the parliamentary election against the background of allegations of vote rigging in the presidential poll.

That Ghanaians from all walks of life and across the political divide are grieving over her untimely death demonstrates the fact that she made an appeal to humanity beyond partisan considerations.

There were many who felt that if there was one woman who had the nerve to test the waters and brave the storm as the first Ghanaian elected woman president or vice-president, Hawa Yakubu would have been that pioneer.

But alas, that cannot be since the icy hands of death have been laid on her. However, whether alive or dead, Hawa Yakubu must be an inspiration to Ghanaian women such that they would never be daunted about the fact that Ghanaian politics is “dirty” and therefore not the terrain for women of worth and dignity.

Hawa Yakubu proved that although the path was strewn with thorns and thistles, those who went into politics to serve their people, but not to lord it over them or enrich themselves found comfort and solace.

There is joy in politics, as it enables individuals to impact on the development and well-being of the people more purposefully.

Through politics, Hawa Yakubu brought her love for the people to bear in her actions and was very instrumental in mobilising resources for the empowerment of women.

She indeed believed in the conviction that any society that did not take into account gender equality was endangered, and never hid the faith in giving women the positions that they justifiably deserved.

In the words of the historian, what Hawa Yakubu was, we are now, what she is now, we shall one day be. But in all these, we must be reminded by Henry Fielding's words, that “Honour and shame from no condition rise, Act well your part, there all the honour lies.”

Hawa Yakubu played her part so well that her death is being mourned by all. Thus indeed, by her demise a mighty oak tree has fallen.