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Tribute: Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey

Tue, 22 Mar 2016 Source: Kennedy, Arthur

My boss Jake has passed on. He was an extra - ordinary Campaign strategist, a man of unusual candour and a uniter in an era marked by divisions.

He told me he had sworn never to be involved in politics because of the suffering his family endured under Nkrumah-- not just from the government but from others. "My schoolmates taunted me about my dad", he said.

But when he changed his mind and entered politics, he was an extra - ordinary force. He led winning campaigns and was a very effective Minister.

My defining memory of Jake was when there was an outbreak of violence in Tamale during the 2008 campaign. While hotheads were urging escalation, he listened quietly. Then he uttered the sentences that would immortalize him in my my mind. He said, "I did not get into politics to cause pain and suffering. I know first-hand the toll of politics! We need to calm things down". He then directed me to prepare a statement that he edited, with McManu, and read that helped to calm things down.

In a nation whose politics is dominated, too often by meanness, sycophancy and selfishness, Jake was an exception .

May he rest in peace .

May his family find strength.

May we be inspired by the example of his politics.

Boss, safe journey.

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur