A man whose selfless devotion to public service, whose acts of good, endeared him to many.
Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, has left his mark on a generation of Ghanaians who hungered for democracy and good governance in the affairs of our nation, a generation whose hopes and aspirations dwelt on the ideal of a just and fair society, where individual liberties, equality of opportunity, and prosperity would flourish.
Jake was a man who excelled at his craft. He had a distinction that is increasingly rare in the politics of our nation – dignity, truthfulness, a high sense of purpose -and a unique ability, arguably unparalleled – to package a message and make the complex simple and easy for all to understand!
The fields of our nation’s history, are well harvested by the many great men and women who have gone before us. Jake was born into a pre-eminent political family, his father being one of Ghana’s “big six”. We will remember Jake in many ways as an heir to a political tradition that blazed the trail of Ghana’s independence, and one whose own forays into our contemporary politics, advanced the dream of our forebears, and left a mark worthy of the courage, bravery and the high expectations they set.
Jake was a teacher, a mentor, a strategist and master tactician. He, in many ways encapsulated the essence and values of the NPP – a man whose acts in high office, and achievements as National Chairman and Campaign Manager of our Party, bear testimony to all he represented.
Those who had the honour, indeed pleasure to know this decent man, deeply ache at his passing. He was an honest and selfless man who was passionate about public service and who fought to see the welfare of our people improved.
He led our Party to two electoral victories, as Presidential Campaign Manager, but that accolade, was never one of which he would boast. His electoral campaign successes were born out of skill… the human touch! He rose to the office of National Chairman, but in this, he was most approachable. Always one to call to commiserate one’s loss, one to meet a need, one to share and stretch a helping hand, one to encourage!
I vividly recall when I was elected Chairman of NPP UK, he was among the first to call from Ghana with his congratulations and good wishes! Unlike many, he had a poignant message, one deeply steeped in the wisdom that only he could muster. His advice to me focused on the task ahead, the need for a leadership that would make unity of purpose our goal. He recalled the role NPP UK has played in the history of our Party,and urged me to continue to uphold the pre-eminence of NPP UK among external branches, and to seek to make a difference.
We can still hear his voice of reason over the cacophony of noises that have flooded the “airwaves” of our national political debate. We will miss his calmness, his wisdom, and his cool head! He was a unifier! He resolved conflict by always looking for a common cause. Always looking for the good, for reason steeped and rooted in the values and traditions of our Party.
My last meeting with Jake, was a chance meeting at Kotaka Airport. I was returning to London, and he and Auntie Ester were travelling to Johannesburg. We sat in the lounge and chatted, reminiscing, while occasionally discussing the finer details of what it will take to win the coming elections. Simple, yet potent and deep truths – the very currency of Jake.
We cannot know what the future holds. What we can do is to live this life with purpose, to bear fruit, fruit that will abide.Jake has gone home now. He is gone, leaving those who knew him with enduring memories of the good he did, the light he shed on so many, the hope he projected. He kept our hope alive, and delivered in his contribution to our goal of building a strong Party, and a prosperous Ghana!
We share in the loss of Auntie Ester, his dear wife, and the entire family, and mourn with them. The NPP has lost a leader. The nation has lost a statesman. Another gentleman of Ghana’s politics, has gone to rest.
The light of Jake’s life that has shone on our political landscape for three decades is a light that has gone out of our lives. Yes there is darkness today, but his was no ordinary light. His light will continue to shine in the lives that he sowed in, his wife, Auntie Ester and family, the many he mentored, the fruit he bore! For that light he represented, stood for values that endure–love, democracy, individual liberty and freedoms, and above all, a light that represented truth and selflessness in public service!
May God bless the soul of Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.
By: Michael Ansah
Chairman, NPP UK
All Saints Church ,London, 2 April 2016