President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has urged Ghanaians, especially the academia, to strive to carry the torch Professor Francis Allotey lit in the study of Mathematics and Physics.
In a tribute to the late professor, read on his behalf at the pre-state burial service, at the forecourt of the State House, President Akufo-Addo called for the training of many young people in the mode of Prof. Allotey.
Prof. Allotey would be buried on Saturday at his hometown, Saltpond.
“It was the wish of the late Saltpond boy that many people will embrace the study of Mathematics and Science education, as a result, he always inspired young people to take to the learning of Mathematics and Science,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo described Prof. Allotey as a patriotic citizen and a great scientist, whose knowledge and service was sought after across the whole world.
“He could have offered his services to other countries for higher financial gains but he chose his country over other gains. If we were to do a list of persons for a Science and Technology Hall of Fame, there will be no doubt in anybody’s mind that Prof. Allotey will make it to the top of that list,” he said.
The solemn pre-burial state service attracted people from all walks of life, particlarly, those from the world of the sciences, who gathered to pay their last respects to the Saltpond boy,who gave the world the soft X-ray spectroscopy, which established the principle, widely known as the Allotey Formalism.
Amid solemn hymns from the Ghana Armed Forces Band, the filing past of the remains of the strikingly humble genius, began at 8a.m.
President Akufo-Addo led the mourners, including the Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye. Also present were former Presidents John Agyekum Kufuor, Jerry John Rawlings,and John Dramani Mahama.
Other mourners, representing the Council of State, the Legislature, Judiciary, other state institutions, the Diplomatic Corps, academicians, the hierarchy of the Ghana Armed Forces, traditional authorities, Alumni, as well as family members and friends were at the service to honour the academic gem, who had been invariably described as ‘irreplaceable.’
First Ghanaian full Prof. in Maths
A Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Emeritus Prof. Albert K Fiadjo, said the late Prof. Allotey was the first African to study at the Mathematics Department of Princeton University.
He stated that while in Princeton studying Mathematical Physics for his doctorate degree, Prof. Allotey developed the universally acclaimed and world renowned Allotey Formalism Theory.
He explained that through intrepid research and complicated mathematical calculations, Prof. Allotey was able to prove that electrons jump into nucleus only after the nucleus has had an effect called “resonance scattering” on it.
Prof. Allotey was the pioneer in Computer Science Education at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and the first Ghanaian Full Professor in Mathematics at the KNUST.
Chairman of GAEC
Professor Allotey chaired the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission on seven different occasions and a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Group of 12 Experts, which advises on nuclear weapons, a member of the Scientific Council of the world renowned International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and Founder of AIMS in Ghana, among other brilliant accomplishments.
The Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, in a homily, urged all to lead an exemplary life and never lose touch with the ordinary person.
Prof. Allotey passed on at age 85 and was survived by four children and 20 grandchildren.