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16.11.2021 Feature Article

Settlement Of Accounts

Settlement Of Accounts
16.11.2021 LISTEN

Dateline – Thursday 4th November 2021 time check close to midnight. I was lying on my bed in my Kasoa abode, unable to sleep because of an insoluble problem should I go to Berekum or not?

In May this year, one of the richest men in Berekum father of my biological nephew died and the family fixed Saturday 6th November 2021 for the burial and funeral. I wrote a tribute for him and I psyched myself to travel to Berekum for what is expected to be a grand celebration of my brother in law.

I was told that two old ladies in the family were gone and the funeral was jointly planned for 6th November. I remember that as MP for Berekum one day I attended SEVEN funerals on the trot, so attending two funerals is mince meat.

Then in late October the mother of my Personal Assistant who has worked with me for thirty years and still on my staff died and the family fixed the burial and funeral for Saturday 6th November!!!!!

Very well. Let me go to Berekum on Saturday 6th November to bury my brother in law, pass through the old ladies funeral and dash back to Accra to attend the Thanksgiving Service for my staff’s dead mother on Sunday. Let me go in style, sing my personal anthem “Ma'twen Awurade Anim” and so on.

Just before closing from work this Thursday evening I had a phone call- the six months long planned funeral for my brother in law cannot come on – why? High Court Injunction!!!

In our culture, when a person dies, the coffin is to be provided by the children. The man had 16 children and 13 of them living outside Ghana have contributed and bought an ultra luxurious casket to bury their father. Three of them said no, their father should be interred in a simple Moslem style wooden coffin – so, Court injunction!!!!

But hang on – the two so-called old ladies were not just old ladies – they were royals of the famous Nana Yaw Woro Family of which I am head, and the radio stations in Berekum were all blowing my name as the Principal Chief mourner!!!

Very well. Let us continue with the original plan – go to Berekum, concentrate on the old ladies funeral, leave after 5pm for Accra and next day go to Winneba as planned.

With this road map sorted out, I dozed off.

Friday 5th November. I left Accra close to midnight got to Berekum about 06:00 hrs drove straight to the Family House, inspected the corpses of the two old ladies, aged 101 and 98 years then went to my house to freshen up and by 07:00 hrs, I was seated at Biadan School Park, venue for the funeral.

The burial service started – Methodist liturgy biographies, tributes then sermon by the Diocesan Bishop of Sunyani – Rev Daniel Tannor. His sermon was SOLID – just ten minutes, reader, very spell bound. All of us were absolutely quiet, throughout – each one of us meditating on the piercing words of the Bishop, delivered in very clear Akan language – the title was SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS!!!!

And Jesus told them a parable. A certain rich man before travelling gave working capital to his three workmen and after a while he returned and called each one of them to settle accounts. What did you do with the money I gave you?

Each one of us has been given different attributes and each one of us will definitely die either today or tomorrow and we will have to settle accounts with God. There will be no lawyer there to defend you and whether you die together or you are buried together in mass graves, you will ALONE give account on how you spent your life on earth – no amount of prayers by any Pope Bishop Apostle or Archbishop can save you – after death that is it – settlement of accounts.

You can choose to go on call yourself whatever, go on cheating, stealing, lesbians, gays, corruption and you will settle accounts!!!

After the burial service the funeral rites followed almost immediately with the music maestro KWADWO ANTWI in attendance.

I don’t know whether it was a funeral or a cultural fiesta or just a celebration – but honestly I thanked God that I was alive to be part of what was going on. Five hours flew past just like that, and darkness fell. Now!!!

I heard some commotion behind me – when I turned, it was the bombastic arrival of Her Excellency Mrs. Asomah, member of Council of State for Western Region, escorted by four fully armed policemen in combat uniforms with walkies talkies and things. Her Excellency, wife of Commissioner of Police Nana Asomah (retired) was wearing some

white top over some long skirt looking simply gorgeous. A very noisy group of NPP ladies were all over her.

Not long after her arrived another Council of State member, His Excellency Mohammed Tahiru, Northern Region who took the whole place by storm, escorted by a superb dancing cultural group – reader, you can’t just take your eyes off them, amidst the firing of loud sounding musketry by traditional warriors in the Excellency’s entourage!!

There was so much happening at the same time that at one point I did not know where to focus my attention.

The Bono Regional Chairman of the NPP the controversial Abronye led a 200 man delegation of NPP constituency executives drawn from all over the region, and also in attendance was the NPP MP for Berekum East, my nephew, professional law student Hon. Nelson Kyereme.

After several announcements by the MC, the band, led by Kwadwo Antwi broke out with my song “m’atwen Awurade Anim” and reader, come and see – the school park including the Council of State Member Mrs Asomah!!!

A group of NPP dancing girls, in various shape and sizes came to where I was sitting as Head of family and I had to dole out something to shove them away!!!

Then somebody took the microphone and sounded a warning – everybody should clear from the main field – NANA DORMAAHENE is coming President of the Bono Regional House of Chiefs Justice of the High Court……. reader, for fifteen solid minutes we were all looking at the entrance as the MC kept on rolling out appellations of Nana Dormaahene.

Finally some ten women, each of them dressed in red. Cover cloth over black skirts with some raffia around their shoulders stormed the grounds, followed by very wild looking traditional warriors oh, reader, chieftaincy is nice!!!

With all of us standing Osagyefo Oseedeeyo Agyeman Badu arrived in a simple red cloth with headgear, leading a delegation of over one hundred men!!!!

When it was about 6pm, I told my family queen mother seated next to me that I was leaving for Accra so that I can attend the thanksgiving service of a personal staff who

has worked with me for 30 years.

“But you can’t go, Captain – we have to decide on the installation of the new Biadahene tomorrow, from our family.”

Reader, I froze. How do I explain this to my staff? I came to Berekum with a hiring car for only one day, I did not bring any luggage. I put in a long distance call to my father-

In-law’s daughter in Accra.

“Gloria, the family wants me to stay tonight for an emergency issue tomorrow. Can you represent me at Godwin’s mother’s thanksgiving service tomorrow in Winneba?”

“I won’t go, Captain. You have to choose between the women of Berekum and your staff of thirty years -”

“Oh, Gloria?” (To be continued)

By Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey

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