Shakespeare’s inimitable language, in the mouth of Mark Anthony, during his celebrated funeral oration for Julius Ceasar, captures the relationship I had with the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama: “He was my friend, faithful and just to me.” Dependable friend, faithful colleague, just leader – the attributes of Aliu Mahama.
Today, November 16, 2016, marks three years of the death of Alhaji Aliu Mahama – a day when Ghana lost a patriot and dignified public servant.
Indeed, the first of his faith in our history to occupy the high office of Vice President of the Republic, his conduct in that office was a credit to all Moslems, and, indeed, to all Ghanaians. Proud Dagomba, he personified the best traits of the Ghanaian character – honest, patriotic, responsible, tolerant.
It is not often that the New Patriotic Party takes someone to its collective heart so wholeheartedly, but the late Alhaji Aliu Mahama managed to charm most people in the party.
We met some twenty four years ago in Tamale when I was busy helping to organise the expansion of the Danquah Busia Memorial Club in preparation for the formation of the New Patriotic Party. He had an open house for all and sundry, especially for adherents of our common tradition.
I recognised, from the outset, his deep attachment to the values and principles of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition – the values of fairness and opportunity, commitment to individual freedom and human rights, respect for the rule of law and the principles of democratic accountability, and confidence in a dynamic market economy as the best vehicle for generating prosperity for the mass of our people.
The cordial relations between us survived even our competition for the leadership of the party, and lasted till the unfortunate end. Three years on, I still feel a deep, personal loss.
On this day, and on behalf of the entire membership of the NPP, we pledge to work to keep the Aliu flame alight. To his widow, Hajia Ramatu Aliu Mahama, and the family, we pray for Allah’s continued strength for them. I am certain Aliu will have a smile on his face knowing that his son, Farouk, has named his new-born 2-week old son Aliu Mahama, in his honour.