Parliament on Thursday eulogized longtime US congressman John Robert Lewis, a member of the US congressional delegation to Ghana in 2019, who succumbed to cancer on July 17, 2020 at age 80.
In an elegy, after statements by the Leaders from both Sides, and contributions from Members, Speaker Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye epilogued the tributes, and said, “Like Ghana, incidentally, the peaceful civil rights movement in the USA has a Big Six, as they are well known in the United States of America, of whom Dr Martin Luther King stood tall.
“The last of the Bix Six on this earth, John Robert Lewis, will be buried today. May he rest in perfect peace,” then followed by a minute’s silence by the legislators in memory of the deceased.
“May the soul of the John Robert Lewis, and all of the Big Six, and the faithful departed”.
First Deputy Speaker Joseph Osei Owusu recalled having met with the late US congressman in Ghana’s parliamentary chamber and at a reception in honour of the delegation, and later at a programme in the US, observing the respect and love the late lawmaker, described as the “conscience of the congress” of US.
“He was eulogized, he was respected and was loved,” Mr Osei Owusu said, and extolled the virtues of self-sacrifice and forgiveness of the late Lewis.
He attributed the late Lewis’ respect to his deep commitment to a course, and not responding to violence in the face of provocative acts to himself and his civil rights group.
Mr Osei Owusu advised all public office holders to learn the trait of forgiveness and moving on in life to maintain the peace of the nation.
Furthermore, the First Deputy Speaker recalled how the late Lewis and others reacted when George Floyd, a black American man killed last May by a police officer Derek Chauvin,who knelt on Floyd's neck for nearly eight minutes.
Mr Osei Owusu described how Lewis and a team, clothed in Ghanaian handmade kente cloth, knelt down to echo the last words of George Floyd, ‘I can’t breathe.”
He said the wearing of the cloth was indication of Lewis’ commitment to his African roots.
Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah, Deputy Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources and Mr Ras Mubarak, MP for Kumbungu, also noted that three former presidents of the US were attending the funeral of the late congressman, and praised him for his quest to have equality within the citizenry in America.
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