Samira Bawumia and Rebecca Akufo-Addo chatting as Vice President Alhaji Bawumia looks on. INSET: Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey
Members of the ‘elephant’ family – the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) – yesterday paid glowing tribute to the memory of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the man under whose leadership as national chairman the party first tasted political power under the Fourth Republic.
At a memorial service held at the Ridge Church in Accra and attended by government officials and family members, President Akufo-Addo expressed sadness at Jake’s passing away a year ago.
In a recorded audio, the president, who is currently in Geneva, said, “What’s going on is the biggest gap for me personally in our victory of 7th December, 2016.
“It had always been my expectation that the victory, which I was sure one day will come, would be one I would share with the man whom I knew from the very beginning of my life and with whom I’ve stayed friends all through, but they say ‘man proposes and God disposes,’” he said.
President Akufo-Adoo underscored, “This fine man, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, was a huge figure and stalwart of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition.”
He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the wife and children of the deceased and “all of those he embraced and loved and fathered. My condolences go to the New Patriotic Party that continues to experience his absence. We will always miss him.”
From the Ridge Church, leadership of the party moved to its headquarters at Asylum Down, Accra, where tributes were read in honour of the fallen party hero.
Present were the widow Jake left behind, Esther Obetsebi-Lamptey, and party chieftains, including Acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay and his colleague Acting General Secretary, John Boadu, among others.
Party faithful were also there in their numbers to pay tribute to Jake.
The late NPP National Chairman passed away on Sunday, March 20, 2016 in London after a protracted sickness.
He served as Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations in the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor between 2005 and July 2007.
Before then, he was Minister of Information (2001–2002) and Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City (2002–2005).
He was the National Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the 2000 presidential election.
Jake also served as a Chief of Staff in the erstwhile Kufuor administration.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu