Dr Mensa Otabil has eulogised the late William Ofori Atta as a “pristine” Christian, who never got himself sullied even while in politics.
Preaching in church about Christians prevailing as the “salt of the earth,” even when they find themselves in corruption-riddled circumstances, Dr Otabil told his congregation at the International Central Gospel Church on Sunday January 31 that: “In my opinion, one of the greatest Christian witnesses I know in our political world was a man called William Ofori Atta; people call him Paa Willie. I got to know him in the 70s as a Christian and then he got into political life, but his testimony was just pristine, nobody, nobody could point an accusing finger at him. Paa Willie, in the Christian world and in the political world stood way up there,” Dr Otabil said of him.
“He was salt to the earth. A man I deeply respected. I remember when our church was very young at the Baiden Powell Memorial Hall, he was getting to the end of his life, and for some reason – I don’t know why he was doing it – but he was going round churches and he came to see me, as a young pastor and he says: ‘Young man I’ve heard good things about you. What you are doing for God, some of us started, now it’s your turn, keep it up.’ He was so full of encouragement. Just about a few days later, he died.
“…In politics, he still maintained his testimony, so, a few years ago we built and institute in Central University and named it after him because people must know that there are people, who do the right things, they may not make money, but they show us that we can be salt to this earth; that we can enter the den of corruption and be salt, we can enter a place where everybody is doing the wrong thing, and do the right, and that is what we must do in our generation. Not just show up in church, but show up in the world, participate in the world, prevail, be the salt to the earth, be a testimony that through you, Christ will be honoured and elevated,” the motivational preacher said.
William Ofori Atta was a founder member of the United Gold Coast Convention but later became the leader of the United Party, which opposed Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP.
He was detained by the Nkrumah government during the first republic under the Preventive Detention Act. During the second republic, he served as Minister of Education and then Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Progress Party government of Dr. Busia.
He was an active member of the People's Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), which campaigned against the 'Union Government' concept by General I.K. Acheampong, then Head of state of Ghana and Chairman of the Supreme Military Council (SMC).
After the fall of the SMC, he stood for president in the 1979 presidential election on the ticket of the United National Convention, coming third with 17.41% of the popular vote. Eventually, he became chairman of the Council of State for the Third Republic.
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