You will be remembered as an honest, fearless man who was deeply concerned about ordinary people and had an awesome love for humanity.
You appreciated people with modest lifestyle and were appalled by profligacy.
You were human just like anyone of us. You did not claim to be perfect as you had your flaws too.
Papa J, you were a great listener who paid attention to little details.
A man of your stature, who governed this country for 19 years as a military ruler and a civilian President granted me, an ordinary citizen, a listening ear for close to one and a half hours? Wow!!
When I received the sad news of your sudden demise, I kept on praying to God for another news saying it was a hoax.
My curiosity made me dash to your Ridge Office to ascertain the facts but alas! All that I heard was that it was true.
It would be naive on my part to erase you from my memory all too soon because of how you touched my personal life and the lives of millions of Ghanaians in our contemporary times.
I recalled with nostalgia on 4th June 2012 when I received a text message from you around midday inviting me for a meeting following my call to you some few weeks earlier. It was after we had met in traffic at 37 Military Hospital.
Our meeting which lasted almost one and half hours discussed concerns about your relationship with President Mills at the time. I also expressed my reservations about the formation of the National Democratic Party (NDP), and why you should not play any front role in your wife’s party. You gave some reasons why your wife’s party was formed but, my persistent and aggressive appeal to your conscience/emotions made you quickly place a call to Hon Kofi Adams, your Aide at the time for us to have an urgent meeting on the subject matter.
I can never forget you, Papa J, even in a hurry due to the footprints you left in my life.
You will forever remain cherished and loved. I also know and believe that what will make you fulfilled is for the party you founded, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to be stronger and united. Your wish is to see the NDC uphold your greatest legacy to Ghanaians, by upholding and adhering to the principles of social justice, probity and accountability at all fronts to erase this chronic nepotism and national corruption that you stood against.
Due to the opportunity and hearing you gave me, a flame has been lit, and I promise to be bold, to uphold and defend the 1992 Constitution, which you gave to us, with all my strength and might even if it will cause my life. Indeed, “when Eagles are silent, parrots make lots of noise.”
The shock of your sudden demise will energize many young men and women to rise to meet the challenges of our times. Ghana and Africa need new leaders with your traits.
I promise to rise up to the challenge and to ensure we reclaim your vision and values.
I promise to ensure your contribution to Ghana, Africa and beyond would be preserved for the next generation.
I want to say “God bless your soul and grant you the peace you deserve”.
To those that love you, who knew you so well, you were iconic and a hero.
In-state of great sadness, solidarity and a strong spirit of camaraderie I bid you farewell.
Dzudzo le ntifafame!