A Reaction To Emmanuel Sarpong Owusu Ansah’s Impolite Attacks On Most Rev Justice Gabriel Yaw Anokye,
The Catholic Metropolitan Archbishop Of Kumasi; And Archbishop Emeritus Dr Peter Kwasi Sarpong
Re: The Archbishop Of The Catholic Archdiocese Of Kumasi Makes A Scandalous Decision.
I have read in the 26th July 2021 edition of MODERNGHANA.COM, an online media portal, a disparaging, and facts deficient, write-up by one Emmanuel Sarpong Owusu Ansah, who we know and usually call, Kwaku Owusu Ansah. He is a family member of the Ekuona royal family of Mpehi, in Offinso, in the Ashanti region of Ghana; of which I, Nana Kofi Poku, have the privilege of being the Abusuapanin, i.e. the head of family; a position I have proudly held for the past 20 years.
The Mpehi Ekuona royal family is blessed with eminent, and highly respected and resourceful persons as members that include the Most Rev. Archbishop Emeritus Dr Peter Kwasi Sarpong, and his visionary younger brother, Nana Osei Sarpong, who is the chief of Mpehi.
All family members accord me, the Abusuapanin, with great respect, and no one will bypass me to undertake any traditional activity like marriages, naming ceremonies, settling of family members occasional squabbles, and particularly during family members’ funeral observances.
With regards to funerals, upon the demise of a member, our family has established, and follows a convention, which is that, Firstly, I am immediately informed, and then I will go to the affected house to assist in conveying the corpse to the mortuary, for preservation.
Secondly, since it is his wish that he is able to attend all family members’ burials, particularly if they are Catholics, I will consult with the senior most member of the family, Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kwasi Sarpong, to get a suitable date that would be convenient for him. We accord him this priority because of his distinguished status as an esteemed national and international clergyman, and that he being the indefatigable pillar upon which the family leans; and also because, in spite of being in retirement, the Archbishop Emeritus is most often engaged in several activities on weekends.
There has never been a quarrel or a problem or a misunderstanding with this kind of procedure in our family situation, neither before nor since I have been the Abusuapanin in the past 20 years.
I was, therefore, shocked to the bone to read that Kwaku Owusu Ansah had descended too low to overtly disgrace the family, very badly, by his worthless and needless write-up, which he posted on MODERNGHANA.COM, on 26th July 2021, to thoughtlessly and without any comprehension, insult the high office, and the person of the much esteemed Metropolitan Archbishop of Kumasi, Most Rev Justice Gabriel Yaw Anokye.
Kwaku Owusu Ansah is a self-conceited person; and he is consumed by a sense of false pride. His foolish character came to the fore when without provocation or any expressed disagreement with anybody whatsoever, he continued in the said article to insult and castigate his celebrated and monumental eighty eight years old self-made, selfless and well-known and respected uncle, Most Rev Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kwasi Sarpong; the person who looked after him throughout is entire schooling, from the KG to the University, and who sent him to Rome for his studies to become a Catholic priest. Kwaku Owusu Ansah described his benefactor uncle, in the most unsavoury terms, which could only be credited to have come from a demented mind that needs critical examination and urgent surgery for improvement.
It is instructive, and eye opening, to know and understand that the Mpehi Ekuona royal family is not oblivious of the fact that Kwaku Owusu Ansah has a psychological condition. He is suffering from a split personality disorder; and so he lives in a self-delusional world. For example, in the year 2002, he was a seminarian, and was studying in Rome to become a Catholic priest. But because of his overbearing attraction to worldly trappings, Vis a Vis the disciplinary code a good Catholic priest ought to follow, when it remained one year before he was to be ordained a priest, his deceiving personal make-up manifested itself. He faced a self-imposed challenge as to whether he actually wanted to become a celibate priest. He, therefore, grabbed the opportunity, fast, when he had the flimsy occasion to decline to present himself for ordination in the year 2003.
When Kwaku Owusu Ansah was studying in Rome, he insulted and made false and insubstantial accusations against his uncle, Nana Osei Sarpong. He was prevailed upon, by his superior, the then Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi, who is also his uncle, now Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kwasi Sarpong, to apologise to his uncle. Characteristically of Kwaku Owusu Ansah, he disobediently and rudely refused to apologise to his uncle, preferring rather to happily leave the seminary in the year 2002, and straightaway, he went to England to join his brother there.
Since then, Kwaku Owusu Ansah has found himself entangled in a web; and he is still being hounded by his twofold persona, which allows him to live in a self-made world of contradictions. While he thinks he is presently happy and enjoying the freedom of the world, by getting married; he still feels that, even though he opted out of the seminary of his own accord, the Church’s hierarchy ought to have ordained him to become a celibate Catholic priest. And so at the least chance that comes his way, he seizes it to express his indignation against the Church. His behaviour is hinged on his defective thinking that he is, sort of trying to settle a personal quarrel with the Catholic hierarchy.
Events leading to the funeral celebration of his brother, Martin Akwasi Appiah, on 17th July 2021, were carefully and fairly planned by the family that was led by my good self, the Abusuapanin. However, when it was three days to the funeral day, Kwaku Owusu Ansah arrived from England to, as usual, introduce misunderstanding into the whole programme.
Martin Akwasi Appiah, Kwaku Owusu ansah’s brothetr, died on Saturday, 2nd January 2021. I took his body to the morgue, and conferred with the Archbishop Emeritus, and we agreed to bury him and celebrate his funeral on Saturday, 23rd January 2021. However, Kwaku Owusu Ansah and his brother, Kwame Konadu, sent a message to me to plead that if we could postpone the funeral to March 2021, they would come from England to attend. We agreed to their proposal, but the COVID-19 lockdown did not allow the funeral to take place, thus Akwasi Appiah’s body continued to remain in the morgue.
In June 2021, I received another message from the two brothers in England that they would have time to come for the burial and funeral of their brother in July 2021. As usual, I went to tell the Archbishop Emeritus about this message, and I requested for a suitable date from him. He suggested 17th or 24th July. I gave the feedback to the two brothers in London who agreed to the 17th July date. Preparations commenced for Akwasi Appiah’s funeral.
Unfortunately, one week to Akwasi Appiah’s burial and funeral, his uterine sister, Yaa Felicia, also died, after a four-year protracted illness, on Sunday, 11th July 2021; after the Archbishop Emeritus and Nana Osei Sarpong had spent thousands of Ghana Cedis on her to try to save her life. I took her body to the morgue, and I conferred with the Archbishop Emeritus, and we decided that in view of the fact that Akwasi Appiah’s body had remained in the morgue for too long, seven months in all, and that to cut down the period of another prolonged grief, and cost to the family, the family was going to bury the siblings together and celebrate their funerals, also together. After all, in our community setting, it is the same people who would come to Appiah’s funeral who would also come to Yaa Felicia’s funeral.
It is also significant to note that we have had three previous occasions in our family whereby, the family saw the need to have double burials and funerals, on the same day. The first one was for the Mpehi Queen Mother, Nana Ama Serwaah and her cousin, the Mpehi Ankobeahene, Nana Osei Kwame II.
The second one was for an uncle, Kwaku Agyeman and his nephew, Kwabena Annor. And the third one was for two brothers, Kwame Duodu and Frank Akwasi Nyamekye. So we were just following precedent in our family circumstances.
Of course, one or two family members did express their reservations about the double burial and funeral arrangements, but in the long run wisdom prevailed, and so preparations began for the double burial deal. Two graves were dug, two coffins bought, and posters printed and distributed, with the necessary announcements made, etc.
Kwaku Owusu Ansah eventually arrived from England, three days to the funeral day, and suddenly hell broke loose. He did not find it necessary to go and greet his two uncles, the Archbishop Emeritus and Nana Osei Sarong, and his only remaining mother’s sister, Theresa Afua Boahemaa, who is blind and confined at home; or did he bother to come and greet me, the Abusuapanin, so we could brief him on the happenings at home.
In the late afternoon of Wednesday 14th July 2021, I was going to confer with the senior sister of the two dead siblings when, unexpectedly, I chanced upon Kwaku Owusu Ansah in front of the house. Without greeting me, he immediately started to confront me about the plans we had made and he vowed not to allow the two burials and funerals to take place together. He hysterically warned that his word was final. He then went with his nephews to town to remove all posters and made announcements in his name that he was going to organise only Akwasi Appiah’s burial and funeral on the 17th of July. He said to me that if the Emeritus Archbishop would not come to bury Akwasi Appiah alone, there were other priests to do it.
I therefore, went to inform the parish priest that I was no longer bringing anybody for the burial mass as I had previously informed him about the two dead siblings. In our family, when a family member dies, it is my responsibility as the Abusuapanin to inform the head of whichever church the person attends, to request for the burial service.
Kwaku Owusu Ansah describes himself as suffering from “extreme emotional distress”, because the corpse of his brother did not benefit from a burial service in the Catholic Church. But this same person could not help his dear brother, Akwasi Appiah, when he was alive, to make even a subsistence living. However, now that he is dead, he is infatuated with his funeral processes, as if this will bring his dead brother back to life. When the Archbishop Emeritus and Nana Osei Sarpong were spending thousands of Cedis to support his brother when he was alive, and he needed to eat, be in good health, and have a decent existence, Kwaku Owusu Ansa’s priority was in waiting for his brother to die so he could arrange a requiem for him. I, Abusuapanin Kofi Poku, prefer to look after the living than to fight for a burial service for a poor fellow who was neglected by his siblings, when he needed their support most.
Kwaku Owusu Ansah criticises that, the Archbishop Emeritus tries to impose his decisions on the family, concerning family funerals. But he forgets that Akwasi Appiah would have been buried on 23rd January 2021 had he, Kwaku Owusu Ansah, and his brother, Kwame Konadu not pleaded with me, the Abusuapanin, to postpone the burial and funeral to March 2021, which I greed; and which eventually resulted in Akwasi Appiah’s body remaining in the morgue for seven grief-stricken months, an occurrence never before experienced in our family, and which period gave the family real “extreme emotional distress”. So where is the so-called imposition of burial and funeral decisions that are placed on the family members, by the Archbishop Emeritus?
Kwaku Owusu Ansah claims that in Asante’s tradition and customary practices, children are responsible for their mother’s funeral. This is not true. The Abusuapanin is always the responsible person to organise funerals, as I always do, for all members of the family.
Again, he claims a burial cannot take place until after the one week observance. This is also not true. If Kwaku Owusu Ansah could learn to be humble and wise enough, and go to his uncle, the Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kwasi Sarpong, who is an expert on Asante’s culture and customs, for proper schooling, he would quickly learn that until recently, and even in many instances today, every dead person was buried either on the same day, or a day after they died. In the past, there was no means to preserve dead bodies up to one week. Yet after burial, the one week and the funeral, just as the forty days and the one year anniversaries, were all harmlessly, perfectly, and culturally observed.
Kwaku Owusu Ansah, in his pretence to love his dead sister, Yaa Felicia, advocates for a befitting separate burial and funeral for her; but in reality, he and his siblings, hated her to the core. They did not want to have anything to do with her, when she was alive. They actually accused her of being a witch. And indeed three days to her death, when she was lying in agony on her sick bed, and she requested for a wheel chair, which the Archbishop Emeritus presented through her senior brother, Kwabena Acheampong to give her, he took the chance to try to extract a “confession” from her sister before she died! Therefore, Kwaku Owusu Ansah and his siblings never bothered about their sister, Yaa Felicia’s welfare. While the Archbishop Emeritus and Nana Osei Sarpong spent an enormous amount to look after her, Kwaku Owusu Ansah never sent GHC 1.00 to support his sister when she was alive and in dire need. Yet upon her death, he is fronting for a “befitting” one week observance and a “befitting” funeral for her “dear” sister. Will these bring her back to life?
While the Archbishop Emeritus and Nana Osei Sarpong supported Akwasi Appiah on weekly bases for several years, for him to be able to attain the ripe age of sixty five years, when he died; Kwaku Owusu Ansah, who is London based, and portrays a posture of a well-off person, could only give his brother seed capital of GHC 200.00 [two hundred Ghana Cedis] to buy and sell powdery mice poison, by the dusty roadside, at Kokote in Offinso. So what is Kwaku Owusu Ansah’s motivation in offensively insulting and castigating everybody over the dead body of a brother, Akwasi Appiah, that he never cared about when he was alive?
For this reason, Kwaku Owusu Ansah’s malicious attack on Most Rev. Archbishop Justice Gabriel Yaw Anokye, the Catholic Archbishop of Kumasi, is just unfortunate and greatly regrettable. Therefore I, Abusuapanin Kofi Poku, and the Ekuona Royal Family of Mpehi, completely dissociate ourselves from it. Kwaku Owusu Ansah spoke for himself and only for his evil-minded and bigoted selfish interest. We therefore, sincerely apologise to you, Archbishop Anokye; and at the same time, we plead with you to support us to also apologise to the caring and strong pillar of our family, Archbishop Emeritus Peter Kwasi Sarpong, for the filthy language his wayward nephew, Kwaku Owusu Ansah, has inexcusably rained upon him. We can be certain that Kwaku Owusu Ansah will live to regret his pig-headed attitude, in the future.
Nana Kofi Poku
Abusuapanin of Ekuona Royal Family of Mpehi
Mobile: 024 427 9387
Email: [email protected]
P. O. Box KS 4248