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General News Thu, 25 Sep 2008

Baah-Wiredu's Death: Tributes

Accra, Sept. 25, GNA - Mr. K. B. Asante, a statesman, on Thursday paid glowing tribute to the late Finance Minister, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, saying he was a great African democrat. He told a gathering at the launch of an organisation that seeks to deepen the process towards free, fair and transparent elections in December that, "as we seek to consolidate our democracy we need to acknowledge that we have lost a great African democrat in the person of Mr Baah-Wiredu".


He therefore led the gathering to observe a minute of silence in the honour of the late minister.


Mr Baah-Wiredu died on September 24 in a South African hospital after being admitted for an ailment.


His death has come as a shock to the nation and drawn glowing tributes from the presidency, business community and both sides of the political divide.


Mr Asante said Africa did not have too many democrats and so when one fell he needed to be given the due recognition.

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"I am not a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), but I can tell you that the few times I have met with Mr Baah-Wiredu in forums, he portrayed himself as more of a unifier than a partisan person," he said.


Mr. Frank Ocran, former Executive Director of State Enterprises Commission and now with GIMPA, noted that Mr Baah-Wiredu had always been a unifier, adding that his funeral should be the bridging point towards a free, fair and truly democratic election in December.


He said the fact that the whole nation was in a state of mourning was enough testimony of the late minister's unifying qualities. "I first met him when he was the Accountant at Ghana Trade Fair some years back and even as far back as then he portrayed himself as a very committed professional and a great politician as well," he said. He noted that, it was unfortunate that in our culture the greatness of people was only noticed when they died, saying that Baah-Wiredu deserved more recognition than he ever got both as a public servant and as minister.


Mrs Victoria Awua-Mensah, Executive Director of the newly launched UNITAS Foundation (UF), which is dedicated to educate Ghanaians in the run-up to the December polls to ensure a violence-free vote, said she worked under Mr Baah-Wiredu when he was minister of Education.


"My projects have been thrown out of gear because of his demise in that he was still an integral part of my projects until his death," she said.

Source: GNA
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