I remember particularly when he was asked to provide a paper to form the basis for a possible review of the 1992 Constitution, he came within a short period with quite a big document almost fifteen pages long detailing areas of the Constitution which he thinks ought to be looked at for a possible review.
He also did a lot of work on the state funding of political parties, and all of us were richer for the knowledge that he provided. It is sad that as this dispensation of our political history progresses and strengthens as we go along, people who should live as guardians of the process, people who should give us the advice so that we can go through and make ourselves one of the best democracies that we can have in Africa, should be taken away so soon. But as we want them here, so are they also expected up there to perform similar duties. We can only wish his family condolence and hope that as we lay his mortal remains to the ground, the good Lord will take care of him.
May the soul rest in peace. Mr. Speaker, thank you for the time.
Mr. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang
(NPP -- New Juaben North): Mr. Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to say a few words regarding our departed colleague, colleague because he was a member of our party and also a member of our national executive. The man Peter Ala Adjetey was a man of many parts. I had the privilege of knowing him for well over two decades. And I appreciated his qualities both as a politician and as a legal icon, and indeed as a Speaker of this august House.
I have also not forgotten the fact that
as a traditional ruler he took his work seriously. He always brought a sense of purposefulness to any situation that he found himself in. I could say that as Chairman of our great party and as Speaker, he did the best that he could to make sure that the institution that he led indeed live up to expectation. Mr. Peter Ala Adjetey always had the presence in any gathering which stood him out. And when he made contributions indeed they were appreciated by all.
Discipline was his forte, although as a human being sometimes he also faltered. For a long while, we will remember him as the man who indeed tried to streamline the operations of this august House. He was concerned about the security of this House, of hon. Members and was always at pains to ensure that what was right was done. He was always determined to make a positive contri-bution to whatever situation he found himself.
Indeed, Mr. Speaker, I remember him endorsing my submission as an Interim Chairman of the Danquah Busia Club where I submitted that aspiring presidential candidates should pay ¢2 million before they did. One fine Saturday morning, he passed by my house, gave me an envelope of ¢2 million and at the same time gave me another envelope which said “I have withdrawn from the race”. So I asked, why are you then paying? And he said, “So that lest it be said that having endorsed the principle, I have run away from my responsibilities”. I appreciated this and thanked him most sincerely for that.
Mr. Speaker, he said, he had assessed
himself at that time and decided that maybe he could not make it to the number one position, and indeed it is good sometimes you have introspection and assess yourself. That is the advice which he gave to some of us, but which maybe
we did not heed. If we did, maybe we would not have had the number seventeen; either the famous or the infamous number, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker, as Chairman for our great party the first day he attended party executive committee meeting, what he brought was a gavel. So I asked him, “Peter, why this”? And he replied: “So that I can hit the table and call everybody to order”. Maybe he was practising for his role as Speaker of this House by always shouting Order! Order! He was resourceful in helping us keep the party on course, sometimes finding the wherewithal to keep our party going.
Mr. Speaker, I remember very well Madam Ama Busia calling me many a time and telling me, “Hackman, you have to come because Peter is meeting the national officers, and if you do not come he will bully us with his long-winding academic and legal arguments and in any way have an intimidating influence on us. But at the end of the day, if one dared to challenge Peter on any issue he would give in if one had a point to make. Mr. Speaker, although he was austere and sometimes looked quite unfriendly, he had his lighter side also.
I remember this. Mr. Speaker, one day, when I was Foreign Minister, the President was obliged to travel out of the country as a matter of urgency and the Vice- President was also out of the country. So I was given a letter at the Airport -- I was not travelling myself -- to give to Peter. I went to his house and I was told he was at the clinic doing his normal check-up. I insisted on giving him the piece of paper because constitutionally, he needed to have it. So I walked into the room where he was being examined and I said “Mr. Acting President”. He asked: “Really, am I?”. And I said, “Yes, indeed, you are”. I gave the piece of paper to him and he was
full of huge laughter.
Mr. Speaker, I sincerely believe that this man contributed his lot to the advancement of democracy in this country, the advancement of parliamen- tary procedures, but above all in making sure that justice was carried to all. He never shied away from any battle and many a time, he took stances which though not popular he believed passionately were in the right direction and I need not remind dear Colleagues of those things.
Mr. Speaker, he facilitated my work as national treasurer of our party whenever he was called upon to do so. Everything he did, he did with a passion and with excellence including the occasional drink that he had. It was through him that I got to know that there was something called the blue label Johnny Walker whisky. So you can see Mr. Speaker, that when he occupied the seat that you now ably occupy, he brought to it also a sense of propriety, confidence and indeed respectability. It was always a delight to be with him on any situations where he was leading our delegation.
The shock of his passing away was such that quite a few of us were lost for words. We can only hope and pray that the good Lord would appreciate his contribution to this great country of ours and give him a lasting place. I will say that he has left us in grief and sorrow, especially his family, but the good Lord knows best.
I will say that Peter kept climbing, as hon. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu told us, from a humble beginning to become the number three person in this country. So then I say Mr. Speaker, as Khali Gibran said when he gets to the top of the mountain then will he begin to climb. And when death claims his icy lips then will he begin to dance. I know Peter is resting in the bosom of the good Lord and as we pay