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Opinions of Thursday, 17 October 2013

Columnist: Haruna, Mahama

An unsung heroe of Bole-Bamboi politics passes on

Politics is full of unsung heroes and on the occasion of the FINAL FUNERAL rite of the late Raymond Abudulai Bakari (RA) of Bole which will take place on Sunday 20th October 2013 at Bole, I wish to use this writeup to draw the attention of Ghanaians to a politician who propelled and plotted the ascendency of President John Dramani Mahama in Ghana’s politics. Indeed when the political history of the Bole-Bamboi constituency and for that matter Ghana is written, the name of RA should occupy a very important place. RA was a very successful politician who groomed and nurtured politicians and today, they occupy responsible positions in Ghana. Some of these politicians are the current Member of Parliament (MP) for Bole-Bamboi Hon Alhaji Akati Saaka and His Excellency President John Dramani Mahama. By 1996, a certain wind was blowing across Bole. It was a wind of change. At the dawn of 1996, the people of Bole realised they needed to elect a Member of Parliament whose voice will resonate in the walls of parliament and as well champion their cause for change.

Realising this RA was the first to welcome President Mahama when he declared an interest in becoming the MP for Bole-Bamboi. The late RA became the campaign coordinator and chief strategist for President Mahama in the NDC parliamentary primaries and the general elections of 1996.

Before this, many thought a relatively unknown John Mahama then working at the Japan Embassy only wanted to try his luck and perhaps position himself for future elections in Bole, but RA who had a vision said President Mahama was the best for Bole. At a time many believed President Mahama had no dogs’ chance in becoming the MP for Bole, the effective strategy and good message from his campaigners led by RA made sure he carried the day. As part of the message, RA is said to have told people President Mahama would become a great politician if he was elected MP and it has come to pass

The late RA was born on 1st April 1942 in a village called Kunfugsi in the Sawla- Tuna Kalba District to Kpongiriwura Issifu Bakari and Jilinkon wurche Adama Hawa.

He was enrolled into the Bole L/A Primary school in September 1952 by his Uncle the late E.A Mahama who happens to be the father of His Excellency President John Mahama.

The late RA proceeded to the Bole Middle School in September 1958 and completed in September 1962. He was one of the privileged few to get to that level during his days.

RA first worked as a Revenue officer in Kusawgu in the Central Gonja District and later moved to Bamboi in de Bole District. From Bamboi he was transferred to Sawla now in the Sawla-Tuna Kalba District. He finally moved to Bole where he worked as a Revenue Officer and was at a time awarded the best revenue collector in the District. He later on became Accountant for the then Bole District Council.

RA later went on voluntary retirement to enable him participate fully in politics. He became a member of the Popular front Party (PFP) in 1979. After his party the PFP failed to win the 1979 General Elections, he went into full time farming. He was a very successful farmer and a time became the Bole District Chief farmer and the Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut Farmers Association in the Bole District.

At the advent of the Fourth Republic the late RA became a founding member of National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Bole area. He was indeed one of the brains and architects in the formation of the party in both the Bole-Bamboi and Sawla- Tuna-Kalba constituencies in 1992 and became the organiser of the party from 1992 to 2008.

One notable attribute of RA is that he was a very peaceful man and was always the first point of call when disputes arose be it in his family or politics.

RA stepped down from active politics in 2009 due to ill health.RA was also a private contractor local. He was the CEO for RAYBAK ABDULAI construction, a group that worked on a number of projects in the Bole District.

The late RA left behind two wives, nine children and 24 grandchildren.

May His Soul Rest in Perfect Peace. By Mahama Haruna