President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has joined several Ghanaians, including Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia and former President John Dramani, to express their condolences to the family of the former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, who passed away at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on Wednesday.
The NPP has also directed that all party flags at its offices be flown at half-mast for the next seven days in honour of its former General Secretary, who was popularly known as Sir John.
President Akufo-Addo says he received the news of the death of the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission “with great shock and deep sadness.”
In a post on social media yesterday morning, President Akufo-Addo wrote: “Indeed, the disbelief and grief expressed by many at the news of his death are testimony to how people, in and out of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), felt about him.”
Describing the late Sir John as a passionate devotee of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition, as well as an outstanding stalwart of the NPP, President Akufo-Addo said he affected positively every person with whom he came into contact.
“He was truly unforgettable, and our party and government owe him an immense debt for his work and commitment. My wife Rebecca and I extend our deepest condolences to his entire family. Sakora Wonoo has lost a valiant son. He will be widely missed.
May the Good Lord bless him, and give him a peaceful place of abode in His Bosom until the Last Day of the Resurrection when we shall all meet again,” the President said.
Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, in a post on his verified Facebook Timeline, indicated that he last spoke with the former General Secretary of the NPP on Tuesday.
“I have learnt with sadness the passing of Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu-Afriyie aka Sir John, former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party and Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission. I spoke with Sir John only yesterday but little did I know that was our last conversation.
Sir John was a good man who truly paid his dues to the Party and Ghana. I will miss him,” Dr Bawumia’s post read.
Former President John Mahama, for his part, described the late former NPP General Secretary as an “intriguing politician.”
“He was a feisty and intriguing politician who brought lots of interesting moments to our political discourse,” he said.
“My condolences to the family of our dear brother, and my good friend, Sir John, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie. I also extend my condolences to the entire New Patriotic Party (NPP) family for this painful loss,” Mr Mahama said.
A statement issued by NPP’s General Secretary, John Boadu, said the party received the news of Sir John’s passing with “profound shock and disbelief”.
“The party is indeed saddened by his passing, and accordingly, extends its condolence to his immediate family particularly his wife and children for this incalculable loss,” said the release.
“The NPP equally commiserates with his close associates in the party as well as workers of the Forestry Commission and indeed the rest of the nation for the loss of such a great national asset,” it added.
As a mark of respect in honour of his memory, the NPP has asked that all party flags at its national headquarters and in the respective regions and constituencies be flown at half-mast for the next seven days.
“May the soul of our dearly departed find comfort in God’s bosom and may the family he left behind and indeed all of us in the party and beyond find fortitude to bear this great loss,” John Boadu said in the statement.
Mr Owusu Afriyie, a lawyer by profession, who had been in private practice since 1981, served as General Secretary of the NPP between 2010 and 2014.
He was a product of Bekwai SDA Secondary School and Konongo Odumase Secondary, both in the Ashanti Region.
He was a political science graduate from the University of Ghana and obtained his LLB from the same university.
He previously worked at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) as a Deputy Chief Executive Officer, in an acting position, during the Kufuor administration and also as head of Legal Services.