President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed shock over the sudden death of Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John.
Mourning the former General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in a post on Facebook, the President lauded Sir John for his outstanding contributions to the party and government.
He described the deceased as a passionate devotee of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition and strong defender of human rights as a lawyer, proud, faithful adherent of the Christian Adventist faith which earned him considerable renown.
“The disbelief and grief expressed by many at the news of his death are testimony to how people, in and out of the NPP, felt about him.
“Energetic, ebullient, jovial, with an exceptional sense of humour, and possessing a limitless store of folktales and proverbs, he affected positively every person with whom he came into contact.
“He was truly unforgettable, and our party and government owe him an immense debt for his work and commitment,” he stated.
The President extended deepest condolences to the entire family of Sir John saying that “he will be widely missed.”
Meanwhile, Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, in a tweet, paid tribute to the deceased, saying “Sir John was a good man who truly paid his due to the Party. I will miss him. Rest in peace my good friend.”
He expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family adding that “I spoke with Sir John only yesterday but little did I know that was our last conversation.”
Mr Afriyie passed on at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital after a short illness on Wednesday evening.
He reportedly succumbed to coronavirus while undergoing treatment at the Intensive Care Unit of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital.
In a related development, the NPP has directed that all party flags at its offices are to be flown at half-mast for the next seven days in honour of the former General Secretary.
A statement issued by General Secretary of the party, John Boadu, said the party received the news of Sir John’s passing with “profound shock and disbelief”.
It described him as a party kingpin by all standards. “The party is indeed saddened by his passing, and accordingly, extends its condolence to his immediate family particularly his wife and children for this incalculable loss,” the statement added.
Former President John Mahama described the late General Secretary of the NPP as “a brother and a good friend” as well as a “feisty and intriguing politician who brought lots of interesting moments to our political discourse.”
He sent his condolences to the family of the late Sir John and the ruling NPP.
Sir John has become the second government appointee after Mr K. K. Sam, former Sekondi-Takoradi Mayor, to have died of the deadly disease.
Currently, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Carlos Ahenkorah and Campaign Manager of the NPP, Peter Mac-Manu, according to reports, have been detained at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital due to the disease.
BY TIMES REPORTER