The rejection of Dr. Bawumia’s funeral donation of GHȻ 20,000 by the family of the late Wa Imam, Dr. Suleman Mahama Haroon Bakuri, leaves much to be desired (See “Wa Imam’s Family Rejects Bawumia’s Funeral Donation” 3News.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/11/20). We are told that the man who offered the donation, Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice-President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, had paid an official visit to Wa, the Upper-West’s regional capital, on September 7, when the funeral of the deceased Imam was underway but never put in a public relations presence or a courtesy appearance at the venue of the funeral. So, it appears that the Vice-President is being punished or slighted for having failed to honor what might routinely be considered a formality or a pedestrian matter of protocol. So, it would be quite well in order if Dr. Bawumia publicly explained why the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana had so conspicuously failed to commiserate with the family of the late Dr. Suleman Mahama Haroon Bakuri.
It obviously cannot be gainsaid that whatever reasons he might have had for not showing up at the late Wa Imam’s funeral was a major diplomatic gaffe. The Vice-President has an obligation to issue an official statement on this matter, for the simple reason that the Head of the Limanyiri Family, that is, the late Dr. Suleman Mahama Haroon Bakuri’s Clan, namely, Alhaji Issaka Mahama Bawmara, had chosen to inordinately make a public issue and political capital out of this otherwise primarily private matter. But even as a relative of yours truly’s demanded to know, the public equally needs to know the fact of whether an official invitation to the funeral had been extended to the Vice-President, who is himself a Muslim, and/or the Presidency prior to the scheduled date for Dr. Bakuri’s funerary rites. If not, then it goes without saying that Dr. Bawumia had absolutely no obligation, whatsoever, to have put in a presence or shown his face at the funeral.
Which, in essence, would also have definitely departed from established protocol. Either way, the Vice-President would not look good. But, of course, nothing prevented Dr. Bawumia from dispatching an official delegation on behalf of the government, including the Upper-West’s Regional Minister, Mr. Hafiz Bin Salih, to deputize for both the Vice-President and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the President of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana. It well appears that dispatching the Upper-West’s Regional Minister to represent the Presidency, which would have been perfectly in keeping with protocol, would have caused a bit of a problem, since we are also informed that Mr. Bin Salih had had a very public run-in with the late Wa Imam, one having to so with some religious duties that, we are told, Dr. Bakuri had intended or was obligated to perform at the Wa Central Mosque, but from which the late Imam had been prevented from performing.
In all likelihood, the kibosh or injunction placed on the religious duties of Imam Bakuri may have had something to do with the COVID-19 Pandemic, though as of this writing, the reason or reasons why the late Dr. Bakuri had been prevented from performing his religious duties by Mr. Bin Salih had not been publicly reported as, perhaps, the main grievance of the Limanyiri Clan or Family. The preceding notwithstanding, it does not seem to have been advisable for the late Imam and his fellow worshippers or Imamate to have petitioned Jubilee House to run interference or countermand the kibosh put on the late Imam’s attempt to perform the sacred duties of his office, as it were. Such a move would, obviously, have amounted to the Presidency’s unwisely undermining its own authority.
Ultimately, Vice-President Bawumia and the Akufo-Addo Administration have absolutely no reason to feel discomfort over the rejection of the GHȻ 20,000 funerary donation to the Limanyiri Family of the late Dr. Suleman Mahama Haroon Bakuri. Such rejection reflects more on the religious and spiritual credibility and integrity of the Limanyiri Family than it does on the “tardy” donor. I also doubt that like Cain, any prayers that the visibly disgruntled and virulently vindictive Imamate of the late Dr. Bakuri and the Limanyiri Family purport to say or offer on behalf of either Vice-President Bawumia or the Akufo-Addo Presidency would be acceptable in the sight of God/Allah/Nyankoropon. If, indeed, the Limanyiri Family had absolutely no use for Dr. Bawumia’s donation, at least they could have re-donated this quite decent amount to charitable causes.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 11, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]