Baah-Wiredu's Death: NPP suspends campaign
Accra, Sept. 25, GNA - The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has suspended campaign for the day in honour of Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who passed away in a South African hospital on Wednesday.
The NPP National Chairman, Mr Peter Mac-Manu, said all NPP flags should also fly at half-mast.
Mr Mac-Manu, who is on the campaign trail in the Western Region with Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flag bearer, said to honour the late Mr Baah-Wiredu, he had ordered all NPP offices across the country to be closed for today.Nana Akufo-Addo has also suspended his week-long campaign in the Western Region which began on Tuesday following the sudden death of Mr Baah-Wiredu. He told a news briefing at Sefwi-Wiaso on Thursday that the party received the sad news with shock. "It is a big blow to the party and the nation as a whole," he said. Newspapers on Thursday mourned the sudden death of Mr Baah-Wiredu with glowing tributes from the public and across the political divide. They also carried photographs of the man who was described by various people as humble, affable and hardworking. "Gone" was the headline of the Daily Graphic, which said "Baah-Wiredu, 56, is no more".
The Graphic had a memorable photograph of Mr Baah-Wiredu holding a briefcase with a Ghana flag stuck on it, as he went to parliament to present the 2008 budget.
The newspaper also devoted two pages of 10 colour photographs to the late minister showing various activities he was involved in. The Ghanaian Times' headline read: "Baah-Wiredu is dead." while the Daily Guide said "Baah-Wiredu is gone" and the Statesman's lead story had the headline, "Baah-Wiredu passes away".
The Chronicle for its part said "Huge pall hangs over Ghana at Baah-Wiredu's death."
Many Ghanaians with tear-stained eyes, shocked and in sorrowful mood are yet to come to terms with the sudden death of Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, on Wednesday, after a short illness. The mood of the grief-stricken staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning was amply displayed when Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, Minister of State at the Ministry who while wiping tears from his eyes, said: "We are deeply shocked and in sorrow by the sudden death of Baah-Wiredu.
"We are waiting for details of the cause of his death. All of us are deeply shocked and hope his soul would rest in peace."
Dr George Y. Gyan-Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, was shocked and loss for words on the death of his boss. The Office of the President in a statement signed by Mr Kwadwo Mpiani, Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs said "The Government announces with deep sorrow and shock the death of Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who passed away on Wednesday in a South Africa hospital after a short illness."
President John Agyekum Kufuor, when informed in the US about the death, expressed shock and requested that his condolences be extended to his elderly mother, wife, children and the rest of the family. Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama described the death as a terrible experience for Ghana.
"It is a sad day for the country," he said, during a meeting with US Ambassador, Mr Donald Gene Teitelbum at the Osu Castle. Vice President Mahama described Mr Baah-Wiredu as a good man who was also his personal friend.
Mr Teitelbum expressed the condolences of the US on the death of Mr Baah-Wiredu.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings expressed "deep shock" and in a statement said Ghana had lost a dedicated son. "Throughout his political career he exhibited an element of humility which is lacking within our current political dispensation and which endeared him to his colleagues and political opponents alike," President Rawlings intimated.
"My heartfelt condolences go to his family for such a loss," he said.
Professor John Evans Atta Mills, flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), described as a great shock the death of Mr Baah-Wiredu, "who was humble, respectful and great achiever". "It is a great loss to the nation, Ghana," Prof. Mills told the Ghana News Agency.
Prof Mills, who said he was shaken by the news of the death, added that Mr Baah-Wiredu was one of his students at the University of Ghana. "He was one of the brilliant students and I was not surprised he excelled wherever he found himself."