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General News
MPs mourn Hawa Yakubu 3/22/2007
Accra, March 21, GNA - Parliamentarians on Wednesday showed solidarity with the late Madam Hawa Yakubu, a former colleague and First Vice-Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), who they described variously as a "colossus", "political star" and "mentor," saying she would be surely missed at such a critical period of Ghana''s development. In separate interviews with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of Wednesday''s sitting, which saw every single member donning a red cloth on the arm, neck or head, they expressed sadness and regret at the loss, saying the nation would be the poorer.

Madam Hawa Yakubu was elected to Parliament in 1992 as an independent candidate for Bawku Central and made a significant impact in her contributions to several issues, including amendments to the Criminal Code and other changes to protocols on women and children in Ghana and the sub-region.

Ms. Christine Churcher, NPP member for Cape Coast, said "a political star has fallen and I dare say that it would be very difficult to replace such a character.

"She was someone who towered above all of us and showed a strong will in all that she did. She knew what she was doing, worked towards it and also knew where she was going in all instances."

Ms Churcher described Madam Hawa, who was also a former member of the ECOWAS Parliament, as someone who spoke her mind and faced whatever difficulty was on her way with courage and tenacity.

She said, Mad. Hawa had the sense of attention to details, "especially during elections where she would call your mind to issues that you might have forgotten in the event of meeting your deadlines". Ms Theresa Tagoe said the death of Madam Hawa was a shock and great loss, not only to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but to Ghanaian politics in general.

Mr. Mahama Ayariga, NDC-Bawku Central who beat Madam Hawa for her seat in 2004, said it was a great loss to the Bawku Central Constituency. "We considered her as a mother, despite our political differences."

He described her as kind and generous to all she came across. "She was someone we all admired and took inspiration from." Recounting his relationship with Madam Hawa, Mr Ayariga said during his campaign for the seat, "we usually met along the way and she would say, ''my son, why do you want to take the seat away from your mother?'' I then replied ''I do not want my mother''s neck to break, hence I want to help her''."

As a politician, Mr Ayariga noted, Madam Hawa sold the Bawku Central Constituency so well that it became a household name. Mr Ayariga said her influence would continue to shape politics in the constituency for many years to come and wished that she had stayed longer to play that crucial role she was destined to play in national politics.

I hope the good Lord will guide her children and provide them with the needed support since she loved her family so much. Mr Joseph Henry Mensah, former Senior Minister, said it would be difficult to single one thing that she did as she got involved in so many things and did them so well.

"She was a rigorous politician who made significant contributions to the life of Parliament and the party," he noted.

"It is surprising how long ago it had been as a young activist in the United National Convention (UNC) when she was involved in negotiating unification of the old UP front before elections in 1979." When one considered her combined role in Ghana''s Parliament and the ECOWAS Parliament, Mr Mensah said, "you could see how strong and versatile she was."

She commended the woman who came to be described as the "Iron Lady" preferring to lay down her Ministerial office as Tourism Minister to serve in the ECOWAS Parliament where she made positive contributions. Mr Mensah said news of her arrival in Accra recently gave him the impression that she had recovered from her illness, and expressed his deepest regards and condolences to the bereaved family. Madam Hawa died in a London Hospital on Tuesday.

Madam Yakubu, a native of Pusiga in the Upper East Region, was born in Tarkwa in the Western Region on March 24, 1948. She had four children, two sons (Felix and Derek) during her first marriage to Mr Amadu Ayebo and two daughters (Amanda and Dieudonne) during her second marriage to defunct Nigeria Airways pilot Hodge Ogede. Felix passed away in 2000.


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