President John Dramani Mahama has said that Mrs Theodosia Salome Okoh, who designed the national flag, will never be forgotten because of the significant role she played in giving Ghana an identity and a symbol of pride.
He said the national flag, as an integral part of the country, would be a constant reminder of the brain behind the design, thus creating a perpetual memorial for Mrs Okoh, who passed away on April 19,2015.
The President made the remarks when he visited the family of Mrs Okoh to commiserate with them on her death. He also signed a book of condolence, which had been opened in her memory.
He was accompanied by Mr Julius Debrah, the Chief of Staff, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, the Minister of Communications, Nana Oye Lithur, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, a Minister of State in charge of Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnership.
President Mahama said it was indeed a sad moment not only for the family, but also the nation as another important national icon had been lost.
"It is sad that we have lost Mrs Okoh, but we can be proud of what she achieved and be consoled that she would never be forgotten as anytime we see the national flag, which has become a source of pride, we will remember the significant role she played in the country," President Mahama told the family.
The President said though he was friends with her eldest son, Mr Kwasi Okoh, an unfortunate incident drew him closer to Mrs Okoh, who, he said, became “my friend.”
"It was the incident of 2013, when the Accra Mayor tried to rename the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Stadium after the late President J.E.A Mills. Being who she was, she expressed her displeasure strongly, and thankfully when I led a team to apologise to her, she, truly like a mother, was receptive to our apology and that started off a friendship between her and me," President Mahama said.
Mr Okoh, who spoke on behalf of the family, said they were deeply touched by the gesture from the President and were also grateful that government intended to play a role in the funeral of their mother and relative.
He also indicated that no date had been fixed for the funeral as the family intended to officially inform the Presidency and then liaise with the Office of the President to choose a convenient date.
Mr Okoh said although saddened by the loss of their matriach, the family was consoled by the fact that she 'died peacefully without any struggle or pain.'
"She had been sick for sometime and was in hospital. On the day of her death, we had surrounded her and were chatting with her on her hospital bed. After a while, we realised she had turned her head away and when we checked, she was gone and she laid down so peacefully.
For his part, the Chief of Staff said the government would announce the role it intended to play in Mrs Okoh’s funeral once it had been officially informed about her passing.
The fourth of eight children to her parents, Mrs Okoh, who died at age 92, is survived by a sister, Dr Mrs Leticia Obeng, the first female scientist in Ghana, and brother, Mr K. Asihene, who lives in the United Kingdom.
Source: Graphic Online