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Opinions of Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Columnist: Abdallah, Abdul Matin

Aliu Mahama: The man and his legacy!

" The Ghanaian people offered me the rare honour to serve my country as the Vice President and I did same in all humility and with the guidance of Allah. As I bow out, I entreat that we focus on what binds us than what breaks us. "- Alhaji Aliu Mahama.

The history books of Ghana would be deficiently incomplete without the mention of the personal input and motivations injected into project Ghana by Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the late Former Vice President of Ghana. The quality of life he lived enabled him to embody the ideal of inter-group cohesion, close knitted brotherhood and unity not only in his home regions of the North but also on the Ghanaian national level, to an extent that is perhaps without historical equivalent. It is therefore not the least surprising when in the aftermath of his sudden demise, there have been a popular coalesce of legit demand for the immortalisation of his memory.

Aliu Mahama, by the dint of his industry, blossomed from the part of the country that was at the period inflicted by ruthless indigence. The challenges of the times and how he rose to become a role model to many and an essential commodity to Ghana places Aliu's legacy in a progressive perspective with consequences on collective actions against poverty, illiteracy and disruption of harmony.

Aliu Mahama's influence on the Northern liberation struggle against ethnic violence still remain an inspiration and a reminder to Northerners to adopt human spirit that will enable them forge ahead in the face of disagreement and to reconcile with former adversaries. Many a budding politician draw lessons from Aliu Mahama rare sense of personal sacrifice in the cause of pursuing the collective good and the wellbeing of all. The very life of Aliu Mahama challenged the unfettered grips of illiteracy, poverty and unhealthy ethnic rivalry that characterized many parts of the Northern-halt of the country.

Beyond representing a symbol of peaceful collective action for change and for development, was on merit, actively involved in resolving many conflicts that rocked the North. He initiated many fora for the mediation of issues on conflicts. After democratically stepping out as Deputy President of Ghana in January 2009, he became a venerable elder of the NPP and a statesman whose contribution could not be over emphasise. As chief sponsor of the education of many Ghanaian students, he funded and pushed hard to make the lives of far too many successful men from the North.

The legacy of Aliu Mahama indeed transcends the borders of Ghana. He is a legacy for leadership and humanity as a whole. As a strong advocate for better standard of living for all, Aliu Mahama concern himself with insisting for freedom from the shackles of poverty through the power of education. Aliu Mahama lived a life filled with the belief that education and disciplined life-long learning are the most powerful weapons for changing the world. In his own words, “knowledge/education remains the sole strong conqueror of poverty ” in every human setting.

As we set the grounds to commemorate Alhaji Aliu Mahama, it is important Ghanaians take inspiration from Aliu Mahama’s leadership in the continuum fight for social and economic liberation; and his love of education and discipline as a weapon of change. We should celebrate the life and achievement of this great national icon of peace, harmony and respect for humanity. Indeed, our national values – growing our people, delivering the Ghanaian interest, advancing public good, constantly raising the bar of industry, respecting each other and upholding the highest level of integrity – find expression in the legacy of this towering figure who believed in making a difference than living a mere life.

Aliu Mahama may not have lived in the era of Dr. JB Danquah, Kwame Nkrumah, Paa Grant and others when the struggle for Ghanaian liberation from colonialism was at its peak. However, rising to the challenge of leadership, together with his keen support for education have doubtlessly put Alhaji Aliu Mahama on a pedestal among the pantheon of national heroes.