President joins ex-President Kuffuor to celebrate 80th birthday

Former President Kufour (middle) about to cut the anniversary cake.With him are President Akufo-Addo(second from left),Dr Bawumia(left), their wifes and other dignitaries

Former President Kufour (middle) about to cut the anniversary cake.With him are President Akufo-Addo(second from left),Dr Bawumia(left), their wifes and other dignitaries

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, threw a ball at the Jubilee House on Saturday night to celebrate the 80th birthday of former President John Agyekum Kufuor.

 

The ceremony was attended by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia and the Second Lady, Samira Bawumia, the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye, the Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, former First Lady and Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, among other dignitaries.

 

Former President Kufuor, popularly known as the “Gentle Giant,” or “Kofi Diawuo,” was the Second President of the Fourth Republic from January 2001 to January 2009.

 

He expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the honour done him and thanked all the well-wishers for celebrating him and added that the country should cultivate the habit of celebrating its former leaders in such a manner.

 

“The love and honour makes me reflect and say to myself that perhaps I have done something good. What I am experiencing today, I will say, is a real icing on the cake,” he said.

 

President Akufo-Addo said he and former President Kufuor were both active in the early 1990s in the meetings that led to the birth of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

 

“A true child of the Dankwa-Dombo-Busia political tradition, which the NPP embodies, his period in office, after earlier unsuccessful attempts, as President of the Republic, gave the Ghanaian people, the first full view of the tradition in operation as Dr Busia’s ill-fated party was so short lived.”

 

He said former President Kufuor had established himself as one of the most outstanding statesmen the country had produced and added that in addition to the massive industrial transformation under his administration, many social interventions to protect the vulnerable in the society bore his signature.

 

The National Youth Employment Programme, School Feeding Programme, Capitation Grant, the National Health Insurance Scheme, Free Maternal Care, introduction of Metro Mass Transit, among others, were part of President Kufuor’s legacies, he said.

 

“Undoubtedly, he has been the most successful leader of the Dankwa-Dombo-Busia Tradition,” President Akufo-Addo said.

 

President Akufo-Addo expressed gratitude to the former president for giving him the opportunity to serve in his administration as the Attorney General and later as Minister of Foreign Affairs and indicated that the occupancy of both offices prepared him for his current position as President.

BY YAW KYEI

 

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