Paa Kwesi is going home today, but which home is he going to, escorted by Marshall music and military drills instead of authentic Asafo drums and acrobatic displays?
How would the ancestors of the newly departed appreciate the martial language to prepare for the grand welcome?
One nephew explained that, as the deputy to the Bole/Bamboi landlord, who like all travelers, rode over the cattle, which are caught on camera drinking from the Black Volta at the bridge separating the south from the north, to take residence at the House built to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of this society, the deceased has to be escorted home by the military.
May the Good Lord keep his soul safely resting in Abraham’s bosom. But whatever reason officialdom contrived to take the Moree-born Ivory Tower gentleman to his grave at the barracks, cannot be compensated for by the lack of cultural norm and tradition, as he bids his final farewell to the beloved, the people in his native homeland will tell you.
The last journey of the young and affable lecturer, who begun taking students through their tutorials at a time when the bald old man with one foot in the grave, was preparing his exit plans from the Ivory Tower, should send a powerful message to all mankind that we are living on borrowed time.
It reminds the bald old man of the story of one particular old man who wept uncontrollably at the loss of his first son. The old man in question told those who came to sympathise with him that the angel sent by the Almighty to his household made a grievous mistake.
Instead of taking him to his maker, the angel mistakenly pointed to his son and cried on the lord to end his miserable life on this earth.
The bearded old man above, I tell you, has his own way of testing the faith of mortals of this earth. Just as the coffin containing the mortal remains of the old man’s dead son was being lowered into the grave, it caught the cloth of the weeping father around his loins and the old man came tumbling by the grave-side.
“Agyei Mewu-o,” he cried in anguish. The incident was a good game for the mourners who laughed their lungs out, in spite of the solemnity of the occasion.
The official announcement that the civilian ex’ Vice-President is to be handed over to his maker at Burma Camp, where orders are obeyed before complaint, is not sitting pretty at the coastal resort of Moree, tugged at the tip of the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District of the Central Region.
The youth of this society are voting with their feet. Some have sworn to ‘unfollow’ the solemn event on state television.
Let it be known that it was here in the small fishing community that a daughter of Eve went into labour and outdoored the bouncy baby boy one Sunday, in the year 1951.
It was in the same 1951 when Osagyefo the ‘Show Boy’ and his cockerel farming adherents won the vote and marched to Parliament House near the old Polo Grounds in Accra, to begin the process that led to independence from colonial rule in 1957.
By the time the young man went to Kwa Botwe , through the Common Entrance system, he had learned enough of the exploits of the great man, for him to decide to follow the exploits of the man who was to become the first Prime Minister of this country and the cockerel symbol that did the trick.
How the booming sound of the gun replaced the Cockerel in the young man’s thinking later on in life, has not been chronicled though.
What is known is that Paa Kwesi’s final resting place would be at the camp from where those who employed the powers of the gun to unveil the Umbrella, conceived the idea.
The coincidence should provide enough background materials for researchers into the birth of the Fourth Republican experiment though.
In the interim, they are fuming with rage at the seaside resort. At the fishing landing beach, where red bands are still being worn in protest against the ban on fishing from next month, thought of marshal music and drill escorting the casket is not sitting pretty at all.
Ordinary folks believe they would have savoured the occasion better if those marching Paa Kwesi to the grave had thought of tracing his final resting place to the town which once hosted the Dutch and Fort Nassau. Nassau is now in total ruins.
Locals say sending the Fanti royal home with authentic Asafo Drums, accompanied by acrobatic displays, would have been a much better means of closing the chapter on the life of one of the most illustrious sons of the land.
The feeling in town is that the funeral should have provided a golden opportunity for dignitaries to learn of the plight of Fort Nassau as a heritage site.
Just for the records… the Dutch first settled in Moree, where they built Fort Nassau as a trading post in the 16th century.
How the old man would have paid his last respect to the former Veep… The choice of the military barracks as the deceased’s final resting place means that those of us living on borrowed times, would not be able to file past the mortal remains of the man who was a lecturer at a time the bald old man was preparing his exit plan from academic duties.
There are those reading meaning into the decision to add military drill to the process of handing the dead to his maker.
The contention in town is that the military angle negates the notion of turning ‘Asomdwee Park’ into a national mausoleum for departed leaders.
When Fiifi kicked the bucket six years ago, those in authority conceived the idea of building a national mausoleum to honour leaders of this society. ‘Asomdwee’ Park was also to serve as a tourist site as well.
So far, only Fiifi has his resting place near the sea at the old Slave Castle. When Aliu was called by his maker, family members objected to the notion of preparing him for eternal rest at Asomdwee Park.
With Paa Kwesi’s body being given military treatment, there is no likelihood of any Presidential material choosing to rest perpetually at the ‘Asomdwee’ Park, which is now in ruins any way.
The conventional wisdom is that the good old Professor of Law will continue to lie all alone.
Problem with double intake lies outside the classroom
The man driving education in this land of our birth is a dynamic young man educated to bring relief to the sick. Now the grandson of Osei Tweretwie himself is dissecting the sick in the classroom with a physician’s knife.
After most classrooms were overcrowded in the Elephant’s first year at Government House, following the alleluia chorus that greeted the decision to allow young men and women sit in second cycle classroom without any cost to parents, those thinking through educational reforms have hit on another bright idea.
From next two months, my grand sons and daughters would experience the semester seasons, long before their tertiary tutorials are due. What this is translating into is that classrooms in most second cycle institutions would never be empty.
It is a matter of one group of grand sons and daughters going to school, while the other batch cools off at home.
Under normal circumstances, it is a perfect means of over populating the classroom. Mind you, it is not every school which would experience the double class intake in a year, though.
Motown, Kwa Botwe, Wegehe, Amanfuo, Presec and the Owass of this world are going to provide double services to this society. A little bit of warning here! Parents and guardians would have to be extra vigilant.
At my age and disposition, I have seen it all. One of the means of making the innovation work for us all is the revival of the library system.
In most cities, towns and villages, the library does not simply exist. The last time I heard of the mobile library moving books was long before retirement confined the bald old academic to his reclining chair.
Those trained to hold books in trust for the public, ought to be kept busy. It is my prayer too that unscrupulous men and women do not let themselves loose on these poor innocent souls. If they do, it would translate into a national tragedy. Thy rod and their staff should not comfort thee on this occasion.
The bearded old academic is making a case for legislation to convict those conspiring to wreak havoc on my poor grand daughters especially. Those misusing their rod and staff ought to rot at Ankaful, Nsawam and other secured places.
The problem of educating the girl-child is itself a very difficult task. Those thinking of bringing the double barrel education calendar into disrepute are warned. Eyes are red!