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Opinions of Thursday, 28 February 2008

Columnist: Obeng, Mensah Richard

A Great Tree Has Fallen - Professor Andam is Gone!

It has been said that Men die but once, and the opportunity of a noble death is not an everyday fortune. It is a gift which every noble spirit prays for. An individual whose aim was to assist in the development of a nation, if left to the wishes of human, should not die at a tender age, but when life was planning; death was laughing at it. Besides the wish of humans is not the wish of God and death. The greatness of most great men is seldom felt in their life time; but their great works are reflected in the background during their eternal rest.
Humanity, especially well meaning Ghanaians was thrown into a state of despair when the unexpected news, Prof Andam’s passing was released into the atmosphere on the fateful Friday, 14th December, 2007. Death finally succeeded in laying its icy-hands on the noble professor. Indeed, even inanimate objects were not only very motionless and flabbergasted but also felt great sense of irrecoverable loss. Some of us still find it very difficult to accept that Prof. Andam is dead. The truth however is that that spectacular technocrat and God-fearing man have really joined our ancestors in the spiritual realm. The scientific luminary and icon has unexpectedly departed from the midst of the living. Indeed death has robbed us of a precious gem. Indubitably, a great tree has fallen; the nation has lost an achiever, a fearless, candid, lucid, sympathetic, charismatic, the down-to-earth and a God-fearing man. Oh! A BIG ‘GIANT’ is gone.
Professor K. Andam did not only transform the institutions he lead but also touched scores of lives in a positive way. Space will not allow us to tabularize the numerous reforms and infrastructural developments Prof. Andam’s administration accomplished on KNUST campus and beyond. In spite of the above, posterity will not forgive us if we blindly refuse to point the most noteworthy and novel policy of Prof - the less endowed senior high school admission programme. This affirmative action programme was introduced by the ‘Geat Iroko tree’ to facilitate the admission of students from the senior high schools with poor academic record, especially those located in the remotest areas of the country. Through this human face policy thousands of youth who would never have make it to university in this day of avowed fee-paying syndrome and strict admission requirements; have now found joy for their souls. These students will no doubt serve as sources of hope and inspiration to their family members and prepare a brighter future for their descendants and several generations that will come after them. This exemplary paradigm is something that all our leaders should take a lesson from- their decisions should embrace the needs of the poor, vulnerable and the downtrodden in society. Prof. Andam! Indeed is an impressive hero. He has truly illustrated that one does not become great by doing extraordinary things but by doing ordinary things extraordinary.
Prof. Andam’s unexpected death once again affirms the biblical truths that, ‘to everything there is a season …a time to be born and a time to die’-Ecclesiastes 3:1-2. For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living (Romans 14:7-8). We therefore have consolation in the LORD that Prof. is resting in the bosom of God. He has completed his tasks. Though you are gone, we will always reflect on your great works and priceless service to humanity. REST PEACEFULLY.

Obeng Mensah Richard, Faculty of Law, KNUST;

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