The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, Monday led a delegation of former Speakers of Parliament and other dignitaries to commiserate with the immediate past Speaker, Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye, on the passing of his wife, Major Alberta Oquaye (retd), at his residence at Haatso, Accra.
Mr Bagbin was accompanied by former Speakers, Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo and Edward Doe Adjaho.
Other dignitaries were the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson; the Clerk-to-Parliament, Cyril Nsiah, and the Head of Speaker’s Office, Richard Acheampong.
Also at the event were a constitutional expert and statesman, Prof. Nana S. K. B. Asante, and the Chief Executive of the Ga East Municipal Assembly, Elizabeth Kaakie Mann.
Mr Bagbin said it was gratifying that Prof. Oquaye and his family had the opportunity to stay by the side of his wife and did everything they could, both home and abroad, to give her the best medical care.
“If at this time God has decided to call back his beloved daughter, we can only say thanks be to God,” he said.
Mr Bagbin commended his immediate past predecessor for “standing beside his dear wife” during trying times, saying “truly, I have learnt a lot from the show of unparalleled love to a dear one”.
Support of Parliament
He touted how he, as Deputy Speaker, learned so much under the feet of Prof. Oquaye from 2017 to 2020, especially in how to manage the House.
“Your record and legacy are there for all to see,” he said to his predecessor, and expressed the support of the entire Parliament and other former Speakers towards a befitting “resting place to our dear one”.
“We want to assure you that the whole Parliament will be with you, and we will together not mourn but celebrate the life of our dear one,” he said.
Prof. Oquaye said it had never happened in the history of Ghana that a former Speaker of Parliament, Mrs Bamford-Addo, would work with two Deputy Speakers for the first Deputy Speaker to succeed her and thereafter a Second Deputy Speaker to follow.
“So, we are really grateful as a family on your hearing of this matter and coming,” he said, recalling how Speaker Bagbin had very good relations with his wife.
Prof. Oquaye said his late wife also had good relations with former Speakers Mrs Bamford-Addo and Mr Adjaho.
Who was Major Oquaye?
Major Mrs Oquaye (retd) passed away soundly on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at her residence at Haatso, Accra.
Her personal physician, Prof. Oquaye and other close family members were present when she passed on. She was 88 years old.
She enrolled in the Ghana Army as a nurse (GH 767) after training in the UK as a nurse/midwife, and training at the Ghana Military Academy.
Her considerable experience from England impacted positively on her performance, and she served the nation in Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale and Accra.
She worked in the theatre of the 37 Military Hospital, in the midwifery department and ended her career as the in-charge of the Special Officers Ward where every Head of State, at any given time, has a reserved suite.
On August 2, 2013, at a special military ceremony, she was given The Outstanding Military Nightingale Award for her services to the nation and the military.
On retirement, Major Oquaye (retd) served in India as the spouse of then High Commissioner of Ghana.
When they returned home, the husband was appointed Minister of State.
In her last four years in the public light, she was the versatile wife of the Speaker for the Seventh Parliament.
She was the escort of the present Queen Consort of England from Kotoka Airport when she visited Ghana with the present King Charles III in November 2018.