Sir John Rides Elephant In Canada

In 2012, when he was General Secretary of the NPP, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie popularly called Sir John, visited the Western Canadian City of Edmonton for the first time in the company of Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and Anthony Karbo. Mr Karbo was then the National Youth Organiser.

That visit set the stage for a love affair between Sir John and NPP-Edmonton. If Sir John was not already a ‘knight’ then, he sure would have been knighted by NPP-Edmonton in 2012.

When the leadership of NPP-Edmonton learnt that Sir John was in the city of Toronto, which is in Eastern Canada, they wasted no time in inviting him over to the West.

That is how between October 15 and October 19, 2015, Sir John came to be a guest of NPP-Edmonton.

Highlights of Sir John’s visit to Edmonton included church visitations, namely the SDA Church and the Church of Pentecost, a courtesy call on the Head of the Ghanaian Community, Reverend Nicholas Ameyaw, as well as a Town Hall Meeting with NPP members, NPP sympathisers and regular Ghanaians wanting to hear some political news from home from the onetime Chief Scribe of the NPP.

Introducing him at the Town Hall Meeting, the Chairman of the Edmonton Chapter of the NPP, Gilbert Adu Gyimah, said that like the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who following her divorce from Prince Charles was stripped of her royal title ‘Princess’ but became fondly known as the People’s Princess, Sir John had become the People’s General Secretary.

Wherever he visited in Edmonton, Sir John typically extended greetings from President Mahama, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Ghanaians back home to his hosts.

As if to emphasise to Ghanaians in Edmonton that politics did not mean enmity, he said that he had actually phoned the wife of the NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, who lives in the neighbouring city of Calgary, to extend greetings and good wishes.

He jokingly added that since he had left his cold weather jacket back home, should there be the need, he might request for a winter coat from his brother’s wife (that is the wife of Mr Asiedu-Nketia). This was obviously a humorous dig at Mr Asiedu-Nketia over the infamous lady’s coat incident in Germany.

Quintessential Sir John
And Sir John did not disappoint. He was quintessential Sir John: eloquent, witty, humorous, engaging, religious and ‘rural’ (aka kokooase). The audience simply loved him. Taking selfies with Sir John took on a whole new meaning.

A wide range of questions were answered by Sir John at the Town Hall Meeting to the admiration of the audience. Other speakers at the meeting included Kwame Abrefah, Chairman, NPP Canada; Prince Sefah, Secretary, NPP Canada and Ben Nartey, Vice Chairman, Edmonton Chapter, NPP.

Dignitaries from the Ghanaian community who graced the occasion included Dr Kwame Boadu, Alhaji Ridwan Musah, Nana Boamah, Ms Charlotte Bonnah, Ms Emelia Coffie, Henry Sintim and Benjamin Ofori.

Earlier during his visit, Sir John also held a conference call with some members of the NPP Calgary community. It was facilitated by the Chairman of NPP Calgary Chapter, Dr David Boadi.

After a very successful five-day visit, Sir John left Edmonton on Monday, October 19 for Toronto. He was seen off by the Chapter Chairman, Gilbert Adu Gyimah and the Chapter Women’s Organiser, Mrs Georgina Abrefah.

Communications Directorate, NPP Canada

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