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Mahama: Jake served his nation well

ake, as he was affectionately called, died aged 70, in a London Hospital on March 20, 2016 after a short illness.

President pays tribute

President John Dramani Mahama was on hand to pay his last respects and extol Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey’s illustrious life in an emotional tribute.

The tribute, which was read on his behalf by the Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, encapsulated the refined life of Jake, both as a politician and shrewd advertising man.

“Jake remained my brother and friend notwithstanding the fact that we belonged to the opposite (political) sides and we had disagreements,” he said.

President Mahama said as a human being, Jake had his high and low moments but suffice it to say that he served his nation well.

He prayed that even as Ghanaians mourned the departed political heavyweight, all would remember that unity and peace should permeate all facets of national life.

NPP fully present

The NPP was fully represented at the service with the party’s presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; his running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and national leaders in attendance to bid their former compatriot farewell.

Also present was former President, J.J. Rawlings and his wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

Conspicuously absent was former President John Agyekum Kufuor whose 2000 successful election campaign was managed by Jake.

Jake also served as Chief of Staff and Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City in the Kufuor government.

Body arrives
The body arrived at the funeral grounds, which was draped with the colours of the NPP, at 8.40 a.m. in a hearse, followed by about 20 vehicles.

Six pallbearers carried the casket from about 100 metres away to the centre of the forecourt where the casket was opened for family members and other mourners to pay their last respects.

Family members were the first to view the body and many, including the widow, Esther, could not hold back tears as the Winneba Youth Choir sang the Christian Hymn, “Now thank we all our God,” written by Martin Rinkart.

Based on the wishes of the late politician, mourners generally wore white outfit.

Entry into politics
Jake did not find himself in politics by chance. His father, Mr Emmanuel Obetsebi-Lamptey, was a political colossus – a member of the ‘ Big Six’ that pioneered Ghana’s freedom from colonial rule.

The others were: Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr J.B. Danquah, Mr Edward Akufo-Addo, Mr William Ofori-Atta and Mr Ebenezer Ako-Adjei.

Sermon
The burial service was officiated by a three-member clergy led by Reverend Cannon John Antonio Nelson of the Anglican Church.

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