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03.02.2006 General News

Kufuor pays last respects to Oyeeman Wereko-Ampem

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Amanokrom (E/R), Feb. 3, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday led a high-powered delegation to pay their last respects to Oyeeman Wereko-Ampem II, a renowned economist, statesman and traditional ruler whose body has been lying in state at Amankrom in the Eastern region, since last Wednesday.

Included in the delegation were the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Speaker of Parliament, Mr Ebenezer Begina Sekyi-Huges, Professor Adjei Bekoe, Chairman of the Council of State; Mr Joseph Henry Mensah, the Senior Minister; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Foreign Minister and Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence.

The others were Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports; Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang, Water Resources, Works and Housing Minister; Mr Allan Kyerematen, Minister of Trade and Industry; the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah and Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister.

President Kufuor resplendent in a traditional mourning cloth, filed past the body of the late chief immediately on arrival at the funeral grounds after which, he exchanged greetings with Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III, Okuapehene, Nana Adutwumwaa Dokua, Okuapehemaa, the bereaved family and other mourners amidst traditional drumming and singing of dirges. The Government in a tribute read by the Senior Minister, acknowledged the immense contribution made to the country's development by Oyeeman Wereko Ampem. He devoted his time and energy to the University of Ghana, Legon of which he was the Chancellor.

He also in his 30 years reign as Amanokromhene and Gyassehene of Akwapim Traditional Area, provided enlightened leadership and served as a catalyst of the role of chiefs in national development.

Mr Mensah noted that generations would pass but what was important was to leave behind an enduring legacy and tradition for the nation. There were also tributes from the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Busumuru Kofi Annan, UN University Centre in Tokyo, the University of Ghana, Accra Hearts of Oak and Accra Academy, his alma mater as well as friends and associates in Kenya, Lebanon, Switzerland, Australia, London and several other local and foreign institutions and organisations.

Busumuru Annan said: "I am deeply saddened at the news of the tragic death of my friend Oyeeman Wereko Ampem.

"Oyeeman served his country long and well as a statesman and a public servant, a man of letters and as a widely respected traditional ruler. I also recall, with appreciation, the good work he has done for the United Nations over the years.

"Ghana has lost an outstanding son and all of us who had the privilege of his friendship will always remember his warmth and generosity of spirit."

Busumuru Annan said, "To his wife and children, the bereaved family as well as the people of Amanokrom, Nane and I extend our deepest condolences and best wishes."

The Right Reverend Dr Yaw Frimpong-Manso, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana in a pre-state burial service, said Oyeeman was a selfless Christian and development-oriented chief, demonstrated that leadership was service and served his nation and community creditably well.

His affable character won for him admiration of all and brought peace and stability to his community.

He said it was important for all leaders to learn from his example and recognise that peace, unity and tolerance were key to development. The Moderator said one danger that could wreck the development and progress of any institution, church or organisation was disunity and appealed to political leaders and supporters to avoid actions and rhetoric that could disturb national peace.

He said Ghanaians wanted to live in peace and not in chaos and anarchy.

Oyeeman Wereko Ampem, who was the Chancellor of University of Ghana, the nation's premier University, Gyaasehene of Amanokrom and an accomplished Business Executive, died on November 26, 2005 at the ripe age of 75.

In recognition of his exemplary contribution to the nation, he was awarded the Grand Medal of the Republic, Civil Division. He also served as former Chairman of Barclays Bank, Ghana, Chief Patron of Accra Hearts of Oak, Chairman of Lintas Ghana Limited, an advertising company and Former President of Achimota Golf Club. Oyeeman would be buried on Sunday. President and Vice attend Oyeeman Wereko Ampem II funeral Amanokrom (E/R), Feb. 3, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufour and his Vice, Alhaji Aliu Mahama on Friday paid their last respects to the late Oyeeman Wereko Ampem II, Amanokromhene and Gyasehene of Akuapem Traditional Area at Amanokrom.

The President and his entourage later participated in a pre-burial service organized for the late chief. The mortal remains of the late Oyeeman Ampem, who was known in private life as Emmanuel Nii Noi Omaboe had been laying-in -state at the Manko Aba Ahenfie, the Chief's Palace of Amanokrom since Wednesday and would be buried at Sunday dawn.

Among the President's entourage were the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes, some Members of Parliament, Ministers of State, Members of the Council of State, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah and his Deputy, Ms Suzana Mensah and some District Chief Executives from the Eastern Region. In a tribute read on behalf of Government by the Senior Minister, Mr J. H. Mensah, he observed that, an enlightened leadership from the traditional authorities could make an enormous contribution to the national development of the country.

He said as at now, the constitutional ideas on the issue of the role of the traditional authorities in governance of the country was still in a fluid and unsettled stage.

Mr Mensah said the life and accomplishments of Nana Ampem should serve as a catalyst to stimulate some fresh thinking on the role of the chiefs in the governance and the national development of the country. He said the President want to honour the late Oyeeman Ampem, so that through him, honour the army of mostly unsung heroes who, as public servants, helped to bring up Ghana through five decades of triumphs and achievements, as well as trials and tribulations, for the country to get to where it is today.

"President Kufour wishes to re-affirm and give a sure confidence to all of Ghana's public -spirited citizens and officials that indeed, the nation does appreciate their contributions. Let us all continue to believe that Ghana is worth both living and dying for," Mr Mensah observed.

In a sermon, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso called on political leaders and their sympathizers to refrain from activities and rhetoric's which could disturb the peace and unity of the country. He said it was only peace and unity which could ensure development and ensure that the citizens of the country achieve their heart desires.

Rt Rev. Dr. Frimpong-Manso called on the political leaders to learn form the service and humility style of leadership which the late Oyeeman Ampem provided which made him to win the heart of all who worked with him.

Later the President presented two cartons of schnapps, five cartons of Stout, ten cartons of beer, ten crates of minerals and a cash of 20 million cedis to the bereaved family. The Members of Parliament presented five million cedis and two cartons of schnapps, while the Speaker of Parliament personally presented five million cedis and two cartons of schnapps. The Eastern Regional Co-ordinating Council also presented five million cedis to the bereaved family while the Members of the Council of State made a donation of one carton of schnapps and one million cedis to the bereaved family.

The late Oyeeman Ampem left behind a wife, Mrs Liticia Omaboe, four children and 11 grand children.