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10.06.2005 General News

Selormey laid to rest

Selormey laid to rest

Accra, June 10, GNA - The mortal remains of Mr Victor Selormey, Former Deputy Minister of Finance, was laid to rest at the Osu cemetery on Friday after a burial mass at the Christ the King Church in Accra. The Very Reverend Father Stephen Adu-Kwaning, Parish Priest, led five officiating clergy to say Victor's Burial Mass.

Mourners from all walks of life, including Former Vice-President Professor Evans Atta Mills; Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings, Former First Lady and other top officials of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as well as Parliamentarians thronged the chapel to pay their last respects to their colleague. Mr Selormey died on April 18, this year at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra after a long battle with a cardiac problem. He had been on a pacemaker.

Mr Selormey, together with Mr Kwame Peprah, Former Minister of Finance, were granted reprieve from an eight-year jail sentence on March 3, this year to commemorate the 48th Anniversary of Independence. An Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by the late Mr Justice Dixon Kwame Afreh on April 28, 2003 sentenced Mr Selormey and Mr Peprah and two former top public officials to various terms of imprisonment for their involvement in the Quality Grain Company case. They were charged with conspiracy and wilfully causing financial loss of 20 million dollars to the State in a rice project at Aveyime in the Volta Region.

Mr Selormey and Mr Dan Kwasi Abodakpi also had another case in court. They were being tried on seven counts of conspiracy to commit crime and defrauding by false pretences and wilfully causing financial loss to the state.

Born on December 8, 1946, Mr Victor Selormey was the fourth of seven children to the late Michael Etsevia Selormey and Madam Florence Naami Selormey. He had his early education at the St Joseph's Catholic School at Adabraka, Accra and continued at the St Augustine's Secondary School at Cape Coast.

Mr Selormey later graduated from the University of Ghana with a degree in Economics in 1970. He had a brief working spell with UNESCO in Paris and returned to the University of Ghana where he embarked on a postgraduate course in Applied Statistics. He finished the course in July 1971 and joined the Ghana Civil Service as graduate trainee in the Ministry of Finance. In 1978 he enrolled at the University of Wales in the United Kingdom on scholarship to study for a Masters Degree in Development Economics. He later went to the London School of Economics for his PHD but had to give up the course after funding support was withdrawn. He later took on a teaching appointment as Economics tutor at Stowe Public School in Buckingham and at the Luton Polytechnic.

In 1989, he returned to Ghana to work for the State Enterprises Commission but left there and went into business partnership to set up RABSHOLD, a property development cum property finance company. He was co-opted into the NDC/NCP (National Convention Party) coalition Government in 1992 as Deputy Finance Minister, a position he held until the change of government in 2000. In a tribute read on behalf of Former President Jerry John Rawlings by Professor Mills, he lauded the resilient spirit and patriotism of Mr Selormey. "An outsider to the mainstream NDC revolutionary corps, Victor Selormey's views were refreshing yet grounded in genuine patriotism. He loved debate, he loved creative ideas, and however heated the discussion, he always had a smile," he said.

"As Deputy Minister of Finance, Victor focused on action and performance. With him, projects and programmes did not gather dust. He also generated innovative ideas," Former President Rawlings said. He recalled his innovative works on an inventory he carried out on government acquired abandoned lands; uncompleted government bungalows and acquired properties littered all over the country.

Mr Ofosu Ampofo, National Organiser, in a tribute on behalf of the NDC said the best tribute that could be paid to his memory was to work hard to ensure that his falsely blemished record was restored to its purity. This, he said could be done by making sure that the true story of the Court Digitisation or Court Computerisation project was told, no matter how long it took.

"For us in the NDC, Victor Selormey died a hero. A hero who paid the highest price in his effort to make his country competitive enough to confront the twin 20th century phenomena of globalisation and liberalisation," he said. There were other tributes from Victor's wife, Leona, the children, the mother and other family members.