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06.01.2005 Politics

Aliu makes history as first Veep to earn two terms

Aliu makes history as first Veep to earn two terms
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Accra, Jan. 6, GNA - When Vice President Aliu Mahama takes the Oath of Office as Vice President on Friday for a second term, his name goes down into the political annals as the first Ghanaian Vice President to earn a double term.

Already, he has made history as the first Muslim to reach the highest political office of the nation.

Ghana, which has had a chequered history of military and civilian regimes after independence in 1957, had its first Vice President in 1979, when Mr Joseph W. S. De-graft Johnson was sworn in as Vice President with Dr Hilla Limann as President in the Third Republic.

Mr Kow Nkensen Arkaah became the second Vice President of the land in 1993 under the Fourth Republic when Ghana reverted to constitutional governance after many years of military rule. Mr Arkaah had a troubled tenure, as his relationship with President Jerry John Rawlings was fraught with controversies.

President Rawlings, consequently, replaced him with Professor John Evans Atta Mills as his running mate in 1996 to serve his second term. Vice President Mahama was born in Yendi on March 3, 1946 to Mahama Ali, Chief of Zongo at Yendi, who died in 1965, and Mariama, was one of his four wives.

After briefly attending an Arabic school, the Vice President continued his basic education at the Yendi Local Authority Primary and Middle Schools.

He continued at the Government Secondary School, Tamale for his Ordinary and Advanced level Certificates from 1960 to 1967 and proceeded to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) from 1967 to 1971 where he obtained a BSc Degree in Building Technology. Vice President Mahama started his working career at the Bolgatanga Regional Office of the State Construction Corporation (SCC) as an Engineer, Construction from 1972 to 1975.

He was promoted to Assistant Regional Manager and posted to the Koforidua Regional Office of the SCC from 1975 1976. He also held the position of the Regional Manager in charge of the Northern Region, Tamale, from 1976 to 1982.

Having a keen interest in farming, the Vice President took advantage of the rice boom in the 1970s and invested in farming. When the local rice business hit difficulties, he diverted to livestock farming.

In 1982, Vice President Mahama fulfilled his life-long dream by successfully establishing his own civil engineering and general construction firm - LIDRA Limited - and became its Managing Director, until he became the Vice President in 2001.

With a great interest in social service, he became the Chairman of the Northern Regional Contractors Association in 1996 and held the position until the December 2000 electioneering period.

Vice President Mahama is an Alumnus of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) where he obtained two certificates from the Institute in Project Planning and Management and in Leadership.

His support for local governance made him a Councillor of the Yendi District Council in 1978 and an assembly member of the Tamale Municipal Assembly in 1990. He chaired the Economic Development Committee of the Tamale-Louisville Sister City Committee.

Additionally, Vice President Mahama served as Board Chairman of several secondary schools in the Northern Region, including his alma mater the Tamale Secondary School and Tamale Business Secondary School. He is married to Hajia Ramatu, a Teacher, with whom he has four children- Selma, Farouk, Fayad and Halim.

In his spare time, the Vice President loves to read, watch soccer and play badminton.

He is a founding member of the Real Tamale United Football Club.

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