“A nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for. And it is better for people to ask; ‘Why was a statue not built in honour of someone; rather than for people to ask, ‘What has this person done to merit the building of a statue in his honour’”.
These rhetoric questions are meant to stir our minds and imagination on the mystery of life and death, our actions and inactions that drain our brains and visit pain on our hearts in moments like this. I feel a feeling, which I feel you all feel. A feeling of great loss and pain at the departure of our Constituency Chairman for North Dayi, Lt Col Nathaniel Koku Kpikpitse.
Mindful of the saying that, “ A nation that does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for, the Leader of the NDC, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, in consultation with the National Executive Committee, organised a ceremony at the NDC Headquarters at Adabraka in Accra to honour the surviving Founding Members of the NDC on the 10th of June 2016.
The Founding Father of the NDC, Former President H.E. John Jerry Rawlings, Lt Col Nathaniel Kpikpitse, Founding Member for North Dayi; Hon John Kojo Gyapong, Founding Member for Akan; Madam Felicia Logoh, Founding Member for Central Tongu; Mr Vincent Gasor, Founding Member for Akatsi South; and Mr Sylvester Oboisah Mensah, Founding Member for Nkwanta South were part of the line-up survivors who were invited to receive awards.
The late Lt Col Kpikpitse was presented with an award, which included an amount of GHc 5,000.00 and a citation signed by the National Chairman, Sir Dr Kofi Porturphy, dated 10th June 2016 and reads:
“Being a Founding Member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), your efforts, commitment and dedication to service, provided the visionary leadership which brought into being a revolutionary political force that has since become the largest political party in the body politic of this country. Your untiring effort over the years has contributed immensely to the provision of an enabling environment which has spearheaded Ghana into a pillar of democracy in Africa. In recognition of your bold contribution to the NDC, the entire membership of the party celebrates and salutes you on this special day”
As indicated in the citation from the National Chairman, late Lt Col Kpikpitse was one of the most dedicated and most mature Chairmen we have had in the Region since the inception of the party in 1992.
The military training that he had, had provided him with enough dosage of discipline to comply with the social democratic principles and values of the party with great respect even under very trying circumstances.
He stood for, fought for and died for values and principles like integrity, accountability, egalitarian treatment of all persons, modesty in the exercise of power, empathy for the under privileged, bearing pain on behalf of those he led and selfless commitment to his calling as a soldier and a cadre.
When and wherever cadres stood, Lt Col Kpikpitse was outstanding. When others were outstanding, he became the standard for measuring performance.
The late Lt Col Kpikpitse, by any stretch imagination, was human. And like all human beings, he had his personal shortcomings and frustrations in managing people. He was somebody who spoke his mind clearly, firmly and passionately. He had a highly pitched, diminutive, but sharp voice, which he deployed to call a spade a spade and not a big spoon anytime his judgement or opinion was sought.
This forthright characteristics of his, often brought misunderstanding between him and other people, who did not have the benefit of his military training or his revolutionary discipline. This was because he was quickly and easily misconstrued as being unduly assertive and domineering by his colleagues and subordinates.
Lt Col Kpikpitse’s long years of constituency chairmanship, saw him navigate the stormy sea of political programmes and activities within and beyond his Constituency and the Volta Region.
Some of these political engineering activities he keenly participated in, included (but were not limited to) the following:
• Monitoring and reporting on the registration and exhibition of voters registers by the Electoral Commission across various elections since 1992.
• Organisation of outreach programmes in various Branches to educate party members on topical issues.
• Conduct of Branch Audits before Constituency and Regional Delegates Conferences.
• Conduct of branch and constituency level elections
and the prosecution of party membership drives.
• Participation in Regional Conferences as and when the need arose
or when circunstances so prescribe.
• Taking custody of and contribution of party logistics and other materials.
• Settlement of disputes between and among party members
to promote peace and harmony within the party.
• Representation of the party in Court, on Committees, at funerals, weddings, out-doorings, and other social functions.
• Discipline of those who breached peace and tranquility within the party.
Lt Col Kpikpitse, the party you stood for and sacrificed so much for, hereby salutes and pays you its last respects.
If we proceed to build a statue in your honour, nobody would ask, “What has Col Kpikpitse done to deserve a statue being built in his name”.
If we do not build one, it would be legitimate and understandable for anyone to ask, “Why was a statue not built to honour the memory of the man who did so much for his party and nation”.
We pay this tribute in your honour with mixed feelings. We are sad because you are gone. You departed on 24th June 2016, exactly two weeks after you were honoured by the NDC in Accra. But we are proud because you fought a good fight. Even though involuntary follow of tears has betrayed us, we do not mourn you as people who have lost hope. May God Almighty grant you perfect peace. Fare thee well Lt Col. Nathaniel Koku Kpikpitse.