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MY CHIN DROPPED when the news of Sam Okaitey’s death came to me.

In the several years we worked together as Father and Son, Sam hardly showed any sign of a debilitating illness. He never gave me the slightest indication that he was prematurely knocking the gates of his ancestors. It was Bang, like a bombshell.

I came to know Sam Okaitey about five years ago. Government had recognized the Osu ADR as a noble and worthwhile venture, and we were trying hard to do some PR about our ADR as an institution. Later, it turned out that he was related to me. That sense of belonging, coupled with his love to see development at the grass and for which reason, he pitched camp with me, made our relationship more appetizing.

We were trying our best to make families and society at large to appreciate that, for those who cannot afford the costs and pains of going through the conventional processing in accessing justice, there is an alternative in the ADR concept of justice rooted in traditionalism.

Sam Okaitey was one of the few people who saw the need to assist us, project our cause and promote the activities of the Osu ADR under my Chairmanship.

He was a very busy journalist; and stress of work showed on his face each time he had to make precious time to come down and do an errand for the ADR. Sam was my right-hand man in every aspect of PR and Public Affairs that needed to be put in place for ADR; and was always on hand to talk to my traveling schedules.

During the planning stages of my travel to Liberia on invitation by their Government to discuss roles their traditional authority can play in complementing that of political authority, he was up to the task moving up and down to ensure that processes for the travel were all prosecuted. In another instance when I had to attend another programme in the US for traditional rulers, he was again an asset. I don’t know today that I can be without Sammy; and it saddens my heart that a young, energetic, hard working guy like him, should exit the scene when he is a huge asset not only to his State-owned paper, but also his traditional authorities and society at large.

In the several years that I moved along with him, he never complained or disappointed me in one single assignment. Indeed, sometimes he went the extra mile just for my sake, in spite of the fact that he was working in a voluntary capacity.

I understand how Graphic Sports will miss him. For us in the ADR and for me personally as a Father, the pain of having a Son or child departing to eternity, when it is the Father or Parent that should have taken the lead, is shattering.  Indeed therefore, I am shattered.

Finding a replacement for him will be a duty and favour only God can grant me; and I believe that applies to his employers Graphic Sports, his family as well as the community of journalists in Ghana.

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