Ambassador Tia, a political Colossus, is gone!

It was a Palm Sunday morning on March 24, 2024, at about 7:00am when Eugene Tia, son of Ambassador John Tia Akologu, called me on his cell phone from Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, where he is working. After exchange of pleasantries, the son said, “Uncle Matthew, it appears you do not know what has happened.”

In replying, l asked “what has happened where?” He said, “Your brother is no more.” “What! How? I exclaimed in disbelief. Even though I had no reason not to believe the information given to me by “our son”, I had a difficulty accepting the message as true.

The close relationship be­tween Ambassador Akologu and I earned me various titles, many said he was my brother, others said I was his friend, yet others said I was a confidant, special assistant, secretary, among other titles.

But, who do I say Ambassa­dor Akologu was to me? Am­bassador Akologu was indeed a brother from Duusi, a farm­ing community in the Talensi Constituency of the Upper East Region, born in Gambaga in the North East Region. I was born in Zaare in the Bolgatanga Mu­nicipality, capital of the Upper East Region.

Ambassador Akologu and I met in the early 1980s, discussed issues of common interest and challenges, and had moved together forward in unionism until that fateful Sunday, March 24, 2024, when the good Lord separated him from me.

He was a seasoned journal­ist with in-depth knowledge in his profession. As a journalist myself, l discussed the news presented on radio, television, online and in the dailies.

He was not only a master of his field, but also a politician with rich experience, whose activities improved the wellbeing of the people.

Ambassador Akologu was the people’s man and believed in the spirit, letter and tenants of the 31st December Revolution launched by late President, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings, under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) regime.

As a result, he joined the Upper East Regional Secretari­at of the Peoples and Workers Defence committees (PDCs and WDCs). The name was subse­quently changed to Committee for the Defence of the Revolu­tion (CDR).

By virtue of his profession as a journalist with wide range of expertise and experience from the Information Services De­partment (ISD) and the Ghana News Agency (GNA), he was appointed Head of Press In­formation and Education (PIE) Departmentof the Regional CDR Secretariat.

Per his mandate, he organised seminars, workshops, symposia and other fora across the region to educate the people about the aims and objectives of the revo­lution as well as the policies and programmes of the PNDC.

During this period, people who identified with the revo­lution were called cadres and were addressed as comrades. No wonder Ambassador Akologu was popularly known and called comrade John Tia or comrade Tia.

Having served in this position for some years, he was appointed the Bolgatanga District Co-or­dinator of CDR. As part of his mandate, Comrade Tia educated the people on the significance of the revolution via the various CDRs.

He imbued in the people the spirit of communal labour to execute projects and clean up ex­ercises to meet the development needs of the communities.

Comrade Tia’s love for educa­tion was obvious as hepersonally led the people of Nungu in his constituency to undertake com­munal labour for the construc­tion of a three-unit classroom block, all to promote education.

Additionally, he engaged and paid pupil-teachers to teach school children, all from his personal salary until the school was absorbed by the Ghana Ed­ucation Service (GES). Yes, the people would always remember him for helping to bring educa­tion to the community.

In 1985, Comrade Tia, with the revolutionary spirit burning in him, was seconded to the Up­per East Regional Public Tribunal as a Panel Member, a position he held until the transition into constitutional rule in 1992.

When the country was ush­ered into multi-party democracy, and the Electoral Commission (EC) opened nominations for the presidential and parliamentary elections, Comrade Tia expressed interest in contesting the Talensi Constituency seat on the ticket of the National Democratic Con­gress (NDC).

Humble and accommoda­tive as the cadre was, he met three prominent personalities of the area to discuss his political future.The stalwarts were Mr Lionel Molbila, PNDC Regional Secretary, Mr D. D. Balaguyetime, Managing Director of the de­funct Meat Marketing Board and Mr E. K. Daran, Head Master, Bolgatanga Secondary School (Big Boss) (all deceased).

Comrade Tia told the meeting of his intention to contest the Talensi seat on the ticket of the NDC and was soliciting their advice, to which they gave him their blessings.

They advised him to inform the paramount and divisional chiefs about his intention to contest the seat. In other words, to seek permission to rally the support of people under the jurisdiction of the traditional rulers.

As if to test the grounds, Comrade Tia visited every nuke­and cranny of the constituency, and he was, indeed, overwhelm­ingly welcomed by the people.

He was the sole candidate for the NDC at the close of nomination, and finally won the 1992 parliamentary elections and became Member of Parliament (MP) for Talensiconstituency from 1993 – 2013.

He was the second longest serving MP in the region after Mr Cletus Apul Avoka, who would be ending his sixth term as MP for Zebila (Bawku West) in 2025.

Apart from serving on the Public Accounts and Foreign Af­fairs Committees of Parliament, Comrade Tia became the Deputy Whip, Chief Whip and Deputy Majority Leader.

He was also in charge of salary and emolument negotia­tions of MPs, a role he played to the admiration of his colleagues during his 20-year period in parliament.

Comrade Tia was appointed Minister of Information under Professor John Evans Atta Mills, and in1996, under the Presidency of Mr John Mahama, he was appointed Ghana’s Ambassador to Cuba.

His appointment, many believed, was as a result of his revolutionary background, philosophy and beliefs that were aligned with the Cuban Revolu­tionary government.

Recently, Comrade Tia was selected Member of Council of Elders of the NDC. He was in Accra for a meeting that endorsed former President Mahama’s nomination of Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the December 7, 2024 general election.

In view of his expertise and rich experience in salary negoti­ations and emoluments for MPs, he was invited alongside other MPs to a meeting organised by the current government to re­view emoluments of appointees under article 71. At the gather­ing, he was reported to have said “the public has misconstrued the payment of ex-gratia to MPs.” In fact, this was the last public or national assignment he performed for mother Ghana.

The relationship between my brother and I, which lasted for 44 years, would remain fond moments. The brotherhood grew from strength to strength, and it was sleep that separated us.

A big baobab tree has fallen, and a vacuum has been created that may be difficult to fill. The people of Duusiand Talensi, the Upper East Region and Ghana as a whole have lost an institu­tion and an asset.

I believeComrade Tia would be remembered for his hard work, care, love and revolution­ary spirit, and sacrifice for the people, who he shared his salary and legitimate earnings with.

My brother is no more. I am devastated, deflated and empty­with nobody to move with both in Bolgatanga and Accra. I am finding it difficult to accept that my brother is gone to eternity and never to be seen again.

May God Almighty guide and direct me to accept his will.

May his soul be accepted in the hands of the Lord.

“Yelgare-Kolog Dayoa Pasonga” – meaning Son of Akologu rest in peace.


Show More
Back to top button