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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Columnist: Quaye, Nii Otu

A Modest Tribute to Uncle Peter

The Honorable Peter Ala Adjetey, a well-deserved forebear that now belongs to the Ages, is an exemplary Ghanaian whose services and profile should be revered and emulated by us all.

Coupled with his motivational and interpersonal skills, his creative and can-do approach presented him as a uniquely dedicated, energetic partner under the Fourth Republican Constitution. His efforts to introduce and project significant reforms to enhance the delivery of justice in Ghana have been unsurpassed.

The old saying teaches that the "Lord Gives and Takes Away" and that there is nothing one can do to stall God's plans when He sounds that Blessed proverbially soothing Heavenly Siren. Yes, the "taking" is always painful and, yes, the magnitude of its effect is often immeasurable. But some "takings" are more deleterious, and Uncle Adjetey's is no less. He embodied a heart full of grace, a soul animated by love for Ghana, and a personality full of admiration and loyalty. His demise would, indeed, wrought on us an irreplenishable vacuum because he stood up to all challenges?oth his own and those of the country. Only a very few people have the intellectual abilities and moral and political prowess to replicate his example. Let's all honor him and pray asking the Lord not only to give him an everlasting peaceful rest but also to comfort his family and imbue in us?the Ghanaian citizenry left behind?the grace to humbly follow his selfless examples by exhibiting true love, loyalty and spirit of unity for our Country.

It is often said that if you do not have anything good to say about the bereaved, you should not say anything at all. Some, unfortunately, have said a few negative things about the Honorable Ala Adjetey. Yes, they cannot and should not be stopped from expressing themselves. However, please, please, please, show some restraint and respect. In your critical comments, you have to be mindful that, in so far as we are all human beings, none of us can be perfect or absolutely beyond reproach. Thus, no matter how good we are, we are all liable to reflect some flaws. Peter is no exception to this truism. Thus, the important thing to do in any constructive critique [which should be the exception rather than the rule in a situation like this] is to look at the person's contributions in their entirety and see whether his good deeds outweigh or are outweighed by the bad ones. The Hon. Adjetey's cited flaws are minuscule relative to his massively towering achievements as his good deeds, some of which are discussed in this modest piece, far outweigh any negatives attributed to him.

Remarkably, Peter's efforts to obviate or suppress tribalistic tendencies in Ghana were unparalleled. At the time when there was a huge divisive and destructive gab on tribal lines, with the Ashantis predominantly on the UP's now NPP's side, and the Gas, the Fantes, and the Ewes etc., veering to the CPP [or now the NDC], Peter stood solidly tall to the challenge, fearlessly defying the odds by crossing the carpet and harmoniously and eminently serving the entire country with dignity as the First Speaker under the Fourth Republican Constitution. His solo but admirable and objective neutral and harmonizing voice, commanding limitless respect from all the divide, fostered unity in the country. Even when he was prematurely and unceremoniously replaced as the Speaker, he never showed any resentment. Nor did he succumb to any vengeance or divisive tendencies. Instead, as the dedicated and loving son of our dear country, he continued to serve the country and his party objectively and selflessly with all his might. These clearly are distinctive marks that should be treated as indelible in our life as a country. Let's all emulate them.

But Peter's services are not resonated solely in politics. His contributions to his traditional community and the Ga society at large are equally immaculate. When the Government failed to use Labadi land for the purpose for which it was taken and earmarked under the eminent domain law, Peter, single handedly with great loyalty to the Labadi Stool and people and respect for the Ghanaian governmental system, took up the honorable fight to vindicate the rights of his community.

As a lawyer, Uncle Peter was one of a kind. He practiced law and dispensed justice like no one ever did. He was an icon and yet humble in his articulation of what the law is. His unwavering commitment to his colleagues and the practice of law has been inspirational to all. His skills and integrity as an advocate of fairness continue to serve as the model. He taught politics and law effectively both in his professional political life and as an unadorned member of the Ghanaian community. He was most distinguished and highly respected in and outside of the country. In and through him, Ghana projected a sense of dignity that we should all be proud of.

There should be no doubt that he has left rare enriching, enviable foot prints, and admirable legacy that would register him fully and indefinitely as an icon in our history.

At this moment when he parts with this world for eternity, let's do the noble and honorable thing and eschew any form of ingratitude and betrayal: Let's wish all friends and well-wishers strength in the knowledge that he made a difference in our lives; Let's always remember his wisdom, professionalism, deep commitment, compassion, loyalty, and sense of unification, using them to motivate us in our efforts to achieve perfection. Finally, and most importantly, let's humbly ask the Good Lord not only to give him an Everlasting Peaceful Rest but also to fill us [all Ghanaians] with the Grace to serve as uncorruptly and selflessly as he did; to trumpet the towering democratic ideals that he embodied and imparted; and to do our best to honor his memory in our national developmental efforts.

In the true sense of fostering unity for the country, let's grace this solemn occasion by reciting our National Anthem:

God bless our homeland Ghana And make our nation great and strong, Bold to defend forever The cause of Freedom and of Right; Fill our hearts with true humility, Make us cherish fearless honesty, And help us to resist oppressors' rule With all our will and might evermore.

With my most hearty condolences.

Peter Rest In Peace and Long Live Ghana, our Motherland!