The colour was either red, black or both and the degree of despair sparkling in the eyes of mourners was one that could not be fathomed.
Some faces were waxed in pain and a few eyes puffed―struggling to hold back grief. Even the weather at a point understood the situation―for it suddenly went grey and foggy just like the emotions of the mourners.
This is how best the PUBLISHER could describe the first day of former vice president, Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur’s funeral.
Men Don’t Cry
General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) party, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, was amongst the few who could not hold back their tears.
General Mosquito lost his grip over his tear ducts as tears burst down his immobile face.
After gaining composure, he confessed: “After I file past the former vice president, it dawned on me that indeed he is no more.”
According to Mr. Nketia, men are not expected to cry but to heal his soul, he just had to release his emotions.
Eulogising the late Veep, the NDC scribe said he would remember him for three things―his time consciousness, humility and eye for details.
“Amissah-Arthur always said the devil was in the details, so whenever you gave him a job he made sure he went through it to the minutest detail,” general mosquito recalled.
He therefore admonished that Ghanaian politicians learn from the life the former Veep lived.
The lifeless body of the Late Amissah-Arthur had yesterday been laid in state at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) ahead of his burial service today.
Many Ghanaians including influential politicians, security personnel, civil servants among others congregated at the venue obviously to pay their last respects to the Maestro.
The event was slow in the morning leaving attendees to wonder what had prevented many from trooping in.
The huge red and black tents covering the hundreds of unoccupied chairs seemed discouraging.
But by noon, the story appeared to have changed as big wigs began their gallant entry.
The triumphant entry of the Minority in Parliament was one that could not be ignored.
NDC Big Wigs Tributes
Almost everyone had something beautiful and succinct to say about the deceased.
For Kofi Adams, NDC’s National Organiser, Amissah-Arthur has been called for angelic duties in heaven following the good life he lived.
“Position could never change who Paa Kwesi was and no one can ever point a finger at him to say that he was an arrogant person.”
“It’s a lesson to us all that no matter the level God takes you to, do not lift up your shoulders. You can live your life as a politician and not be corrupt,” he added.
Former Mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije said Ghana has indeed lost a great man and it was a great tragedy for the country.
He called that the former Veep was instrumental in the ending of the shift system in public basic schools.
Yaw Boateng Gyan, former National Organiser of the NDC bemoaned how swift Ghanaians were in forgetting the dead and asked that same must not be done to the late Veep.
“When the person was alive, we followed him with motorcades and then after he’s been buried, we forget that the person even existed.
Go and look at what has happened at the ‘Asomdwee Park and you’d ask yourself if Ghana is a country worth dying for,” he lamented.
Low Turn Out
It was no hidden secret that members of the leading New Patriotic Party (NPP) had not turn up in their numbers but it was more perplexing the number of NDC sympathisers that were present.
But defending his fellow members, Mr. Asiedu Nketiah said because of the arrangements that had been made for the funeral, they did not want the masses to come in their numbers.
“We asked some of them to stay back so they don’t overwhelm the place with their presence and maybe cause problems. We just have to respect the wishes of the family,” he said.
Nonetheless the hundreds that had trooped the AICC, were clad in the party’s paraphernalia to make them identifiable.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Accra Regional Police Command, DSP Gifty Afia Tenge, said there are enough security arrangements in place to ensure a successful event.
She however entreated attendees to put the best of cooperation and general comportment.
Security personnel stationed at the foyer ensured that cameras were not taken into the area where the late vice president had been laid.
By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ firstname.lastname@example.org