Parliament has eulogized former President John Agyekum Kufuor as a true statesman whose composure, attitude and legacy permeates the very fibre of the Ghanaian society.
Achievements of the former President, the House agreed, is written in gold and would be remembered for the roles he played to get many young people into mainstream politics.
MP for Okaikoi Central Constituency, Hon. Patrick Bowman, who read a statement in commemoration of the 80th birthday anniversary of the former President, noted that under him Ghana witnessed the fastest growth in its history and attained a lower middle-income status by 2006 earlier than the projected 2015.
Hon. Boahmah indicated that GDP growth reached record 9.1% between 2007 and 2008, despite the country suffering effects of the international financial and economic crisis.
According to him, President Kufuor introduced a number of policies that impacted and continue to impact the lives of Ghanaians, which include the health insurance scheme, free maternal care for pregnant women, free school feeding programme and the LEAP as a tool to alleviating poverty.
“Under President Kufuor, agriculture extension services were reactivated and government took over free spraying of cocoa farms leading to Ghana more than doubling her production in record numbers.”
He stated that under John Kufuor, Ghana struck oil in commercial quantities and within three years has become oil producing country, and currently producing more than 200,000 barrels a day and gas to feed the energy sector.
He observed that even in retirement Mr. J.A. Kufuor continues to leave his giant footprints by mentoring the next generation of African leaders through his foundation to equip them with enlightened leadership qualities in all spheres of life necessary to govern Africa well.
The former President, he said, has received several awards and held important positions since his retirement including Global Ambassador against hunger for the United Nations (UN) and was chosen as one of 10 distinguished global leaders tasked to work on the reform of the World Bank and international monetary fund.
Minister for Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Hajia Alima Mahama, contributing to the statement, argued that the former president would be fondly remembered, especially by Ghanaian women for his pro-women policies.
“This is evident in his establishment of a gender Ministry to handle issues relating to women and children,” she stated.
President Kufuor, she said, looked out for people and particularly encouraged many young people to abandon their shells and join mainstream politics.
Member for Madina Constituency, Boniface Abubakar Saddiq, described the former President as a disciplined person and a gentleman, which even earned him the nickname ‘Gentle giant.’
“Mr. Kufuor is a total symbol of the elephant who chartered the political career of many young politicians and touched the heart of many.”
According to him, one of the remarkable achievements of President Kufuor was helping to solve the Liberia and Sierra Leone conflicts.
Minister for Communications, Hon. Ursula Owusu, in her contribution, stated the former President has spearheaded unprecedented interventions that continue to impact the lives of many Ghanaians.
Mr. Kufuor, she said, deserves special commendation for the space he gave women to assert themselves on Ghana’s political terrain.
Deputy minority chief whip, Hon Ahmed Ibrahim, pointed out that many young politicians learnt from Mr. Kufuor and would always habour affectionate memories of him.
“He was not a populist and meant well for the country and therefore carefully thought out all his policies before implementing them,” he said.
The former President, he said, was a true statesman because he knew what was good for the county and pursued policies to fulfill that.
Majority leader, Hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, in his contribution noted that President Kufuor used a human-centered approach in governance that saw him invest so much in pro-poor policies including massive infrastructure development in the education sector, free school feeding, national health insurance and free Medicare for pregnant women among many other policy initiatives.
J.A. Kufuor, he said, has achieved a lot that Ghanaians would remember him by and on behalf of the House wished him a very happy birthday.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanemail@example.com