Sir John Funeral Aftermath: Apologize To People Of Sakora Wonoo Or You Face Our Wrath - Ashanti Youth To Bawumia And NPP
Madam Lawrencia Otoo who addressed the press conference said, "you must immediately and publicly apologise to President Akufo Addo for making him the subject of public ridicule."
Asante Youth Association and Concerned Youth of Asante in the Ashanti Region have launched a scathing attack at the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Vice President Dr Alhaji Mahamadu Bawumia for what they described as a gross disrespect showed to Ashanti traditions, customs and culture by the formers.
The aggrieved Ashanti youth groups stated that they are increasingly getting worried at how funerals of stalwarts of the NPP who passed are turned to political platforms aimed at projecting candidates for the ruling NPP positions and/or presidential hopefuls.
At a crowded press conference held in Kumasi on Thursday, June 10, 2021, by the leadership of the two groups in persons of Lawrencia Otoo, Nana Akua Serwaa and Okyere Darko Ababio, the groups stated that they could not fathom why the NPP would continue to use the funeral grounds to mourn the top personalities of Ashanti Region to project the presidential candidature of the party hopefuls.
Madam Lawrencia Otoo who addressed the press conference on behalf of the two groups pointed out that the most recent of this happening was the unfortunate thing that happened at Sakora Wonoo during the funeral rites of the late former Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission who as a former General Secretary of the NPP, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, exactly a week ago.
Similarly, according to her, another incident also happened during the funeral of the late Dr Amoako Tuffour and the late Mrs Campbell, sister to the former President Agyekum Kufour.
"Members of the media, as Ashantis, we solemnly show much respect during the mourning of our departed. During funerals, our customs and tradition give us the opportunity to ease the pain of the physical separation and to guide the dead into the spiritual world of the ancestors.
"Unfortunately, at the funeral of these persons including Sir John, an illustrious son of our land who served this country and his party with distinction, we could not honour his memory but rather marred the event with very irresponsible behaviour of campaigning in branded t-shirts. In showing respect for the dead and sympathy for the bereaved, one would expect that people rather wear the t-shirt of the demised person," she explained.
Last Thursday at Sakra Wonoo for instance, she noted that groups said they saw the height of this disrespect for Ashanti traditions, when people, numbering over five hundred, were bused and brought to the funeral grounds in T-shirts with the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia printed all over.
According to her, this shameful act, which seems to have contributed to the condemnation from groups such as Occupy Ghana and the Ghana Medical Association, has brought embarrassment not only to the family and people of Sakora Wonoo but to the entire Ashantis and to a large extent President Nana Akufo-Addo, "one of our own whom we have so much respect for. "
She stated that is untraditional and utmost disrespect for the Asante custom and people, on the part of the Bawumia campaign team, to have turned Sir John’s funeral into a campaign platform.
Madam Ababio pointed out that the late Lawyer Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie was a prominent Ashanti who had so much regard for Ashanti customs and tradition.
"Unfortunately we shamefully denigrated him and rather turned the funeral into a campaign activity.
"It's so sad that although the family of Sir John having endured such a painful death suspected to have been caused by COVID, put in place robust COVID-19 protocols to contain the invited guests and prevent a recurrence of their painful ordeal, their efforts were frustrated by organised Bawumia elements who flooded the funeral grounds to rather a campaign," she said.
She asserted that President Nana Akufo-Addo was present at the funeral that attracted top government officials and political party stalwarts, but we are yet to see public condemnation of this act by the Vice President, who is the main beneficiary.
She asked that "Is so unfortunate that a similar thing was replicated at Apegyafie."
She noted that that one will wonder why the Vice President is blamed for the mobilization that has brought so much shame and disrepute to the good people of Ashanti.
According to her, the videos of the bused people at the funeral were first posted by the Press aide to the Vice President, Krobea Kwabena Asante, on his Facebook page.
She indicated that these videos were being circulated on WhatsApp platforms by known officials from the office of the Vice President which goes to confirm our statement that the Vice President knew about it and endorsed the activities from the campaign office.
"It, therefore, came as no surprise when Dr Bawumia whom we expect to know better in the full glare of everybody present endorsed these acts of his assigns by cheering them up in their organised form at the funeral grounds.
"President Nana Akufo-Addo has supervised Ghana’s exemplary fight against the COVID 19 pandemic. However, the irresponsible act by Dr Bawumia and his campaign team has made the President the subject of public ridicule and has opened the floodgates for unnecessary attacks on the president," Madam Ababio stated.
She mentioned that journalists including Sampson Lardy have questioned this President’s leadership. Groups such as Occupy Ghana and the Ghana Medical Association have all called out the President for this act perpetrated by team Bawumia.
Against this background, Madam Ababio called on Dr Bawumia to as a matter of urgency, if he has respects for the dead and Ashantis to immediately apologise to Asanteman, the good people of Sakra Wonoo and the family of Sir John for denigrating his memory during an event which was meant to pay their last respect to him.
She further stressed the need for Dr Bawumia to also apologise to “Apegyafie” for displaying in branded Bawumia t-shirts at the funeral of Mrs Campbell.
"You must immediately and publicly apologise to President Akufo Addo for making him the subject of public ridicule," she concluded.
Freeman Koryekpor Awlesu