One of the lead contenders for the yet-to-be-declared-vacant national chairmanship position of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Paul Afoko, has suggested the need for the Tamale Sports Stadium to be named after the late Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, for his contribution to the nation’s development.
“I want Tamale Sports Stadium to be named after him, as a fitting memorial to his contributions to the nation, including football development in the north,” he stated.
According to Mr Afoko, the legacy of Ghana’s longest-serving vice president of the fourth Republic cannot be undervalued, hence the need for the state to honour him accordingly.
In a personal tribute to honour the late vice president, Mr Afoko indicated that “as a statesman who also contributed to the development of football in the Northern Region, the Tamale Sports Stadium could be renamed “Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium.”
Mr Afoko, who was speaking to the Daily Graphic at the weekend, pointed out that as the nation marked the first anniversary of the demise of Alhaji Aliu members of the New Patriotic Party would also deepen the unity within their ranks and bury whatever differences, real or perceived.
He said as the first Muslim vice president and one who went through two terms successfully, Alhaji Aliu’s ideals and call for discipline and cleanliness should be revisited.
Discipline as an endeavour in any organisation, Mr Afoko argued, was very important, and said for any nation to achieve success, there was the need to have a disciplined society.
According to Mr Afoko, Alhaji Aliu also portrayed Ghana as a religious-tolerant country where there was no tension between Muslims and Christians and, for that matter, all other faiths.
“We should continue to hold on to this spirit of tolerance,’’ he urged.
On his personal relationship with Alhaji Aliu, Mr Afoko said “like any relationship, it had its ups and downs,” but pointed out that he learnt a lot from his wise counsel.
He recalled that two weeks before his untimely death, in a private meeting with two other prominent people, “he counselled us on the need for forgiveness, unity, teamwork and the trust in God.”
“He said he had been hurt many times but he had come to a conclusion that for the sake of unity and teamwork, he had to hand over all his hurt to God, and urged us to do the same anytime we found ourselves in a similar situation,” Mr Afoko recollected the vice president’s admonition.
“I want to also urge the nation and the NPP in particular to heed his last words to me,” Mr Afoko said.
A week-long programme has been scheduled in memory of the former vice president in collaboration with his family members, the New Patriotic Party and friends, with support from the government.
The week-long activities started with a health walk in Accra on Saturday, from the Independence Square in Accra through some principal streets and back to the Square.
It would be followed by radio and television documentaries on the life of the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama today. A public lecture has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 13, in his honour.
The lecture, instituted by the Aliu Mahama Foundation, will be delivered by Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, Vice-Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party in the 2012 presidential election, at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Other activities include a nationwide Muslim and Christian prayers and a traditional Muslim final funeral rite known as Adua in Tamale on Sunday, November 16, 2013.
The commemoration will be rounded off with a challenge football match between Real Tamale United and Wa All Stars at the Tamale Sports Stadium on Sunday, November 17, 2013.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana
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