Ghana: A Nation Of Necromancers -Worshippers Of The Dead!

Feature Article Kyedomhene of Ekumfi Asaman, Nana Enyimfua III urged the presidency to facilitate the release of the autopsy report of Atta Mills
JAN 23, 2024 LISTEN
Kyedomhene of Ekumfi Asaman, Nana Enyimfua III urged the presidency to facilitate the release of the autopsy report of Atta Mills

Suddenly the airwaves were saturated with news of the president of the republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, calling for the release of the autopsy report of one of his predecessors, President Atta Mills, who died in office in July 2012.

Yes, almost twelve years ago!
This was how one media captured it: “…He described the demand for the report as a legitimate request that should be heeded. Mr Akufo-Addo said these when the Odomaa Clan of Ekumfi, accompanied by former presidential spokesperson Koku Anyidoho paid a courtesy call on him at the Jubilee House.

During the interaction, the Kyedomhene of Ekumfi Asaman, Nana Enyimfua III urged the presidency to facilitate the release of the autopsy report after raising concerns that they were yet to receive the report after 11 years of his demise.

Mr Anyidoho also told President Akufo Addo “There was no autopsy report that we saw, not me. One of the siblings, the MP for KEEA, Samuel Attah Mills, in one of the various radio interviews trying to shoot down my importance in the scheme of things, said he was given the autopsy report. How true, how untrue, I don't know.”

In response, President Akufo-Addo said “Our late former President was my friend, I knew him way back in Legonwe were at Legon together the same year at the Legon Hall.

“I can't understand why up till now you haven't received the autopsy report. It should be part of the official documentation, and it should be part of the public record.

“We will have to find out how to proceed on that, but it is a legitimate demand for wanting to have.”

Prof Atta Mills died on July 24, 2012, at the 37 Military Hospital three days after his 68th birthday.”

The Republic of Ghana is a funny country. Lie is agony in a hospital and few of your family members will find the time to visit you. Fewer will care to send you money to buy drugs. Your friends will suddenly find better employment for their time than to pay you a visit. Let the cold hand of death descend on you and suddenly you will become the center of the most lavish of attentions.

As I wrote in my article, “Ghana: Sending Relations Home in Style”, which formed a chapter in my book, Africa: It Shall Be Well:

“... Funerals are big, very big business in Africa. For reasons that remain largely incomprehensible, Africans put lots of premium on organizing lavish funerals.

No one can say that we Africans are not funny animals.

In years past, we used to pride ourselves on our strong sense of community. In those foregone days, our extended family system was the envy of the world. We truly cared for and catered to every member of our society.

Alas, today, we have abandoned the practice of taking care of members of our family.

Nowadays, far be it for us to take proper care of our relations when they are alive. And heaven forbid that we show concern when they are sick. As they lay on their sick beds, we will have every reason not to visit them. We have become too ‘civilized’ to bother ourselves with thinking beyond our nuclear (immediate) family. But as soon as these relations die, we scramble to give them ‘befitting’ (of what, we never ask) burials.

At the expensive funerals, we organize for relations that died in penury, we go into great debt to provide food the likes the deceased never tasted, and we procure expensive drinks with price tags like telephone numbers. We will buy expensive caskets for the person who probably died sleeping on a mat, and we will hire the biggest and longest limousines to chauffeur the dead who rode only in trotros (matatus in Kenya and molues in Nigeria) in their entire life.

So like the good people we are, every weekend we abandon all and troop to our villages to send relations away with great fanfare. It is not uncommon for families to go into huge debt in order to provide a lavish funeral for departed relatives they didn’t care for.

In some parts of Ghana, many enterprising people have turned themselves into “Funeral Consultants.” They take charge of organizing funerals on behalf of indigent families with the expectation of making a profit from donated money.

At these funerals, we consume too much food and drink more liquor than is good for us. We dance ourselves silly and fornicate like the ancient people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Fueled by enough ethanol to launch Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles, many will get into their vehicles and drive themselves into their untimely death, necessitating more funerals.

Africans put a lot of stock in giving departed relations funerals they think to befit the departed, and will sufficiently wow neighbors and become the envy of friends for a long time...” -

Whichever we try to dice it, it’s quite sad that of all the problems that currently beset the country, the country’s CEO found the time to receive a delegation asking for an autopsy report!

The Chief of Ekumfi did not lead his people to ask the president for a share of the paltry national cake so that he could improve his domain with its woebegone look! No, he was not there to beg the president to build a factory or two so that his people could be gainfully employed. Of all the problems besetting the Ekumfi area, nothing was more pressing or more dear to the heart of the Chief than to travel all the way to the presidential office to seek an autopsy report!

And we pretend not to know why we in Africa are regarded as butts of jokes across the world!

This brings us to what yours sincerely have consistently advocated: to make meaningful progress, Ghana, no, make that Africa, must first build very Strong States. The States must be strong enough that no centrifugal force(s) can compete with it, or contest its authority. The state must also be equipped with strong and well-structured institutions that do not rely on the whims and the caprices of officeholders.

Why do we not ask ourselves why, after almost seventy years of self-governing, we still do not have the structure in place where citizens can get a common autopsy report?

Sadly and unfortunately, our people, including the educated ones do not see anything wrong with the president of the republic being dragged into issues like an autopsy report.

The president of the republic is vested with Executive authority, the constitution also empowers him as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana, he appoints the police boss, the Inspector General, were he so minded he could have asked the IG or other relevant agencies to furnish him with whatever information he desires without dragging his exalted office into a controversial nonissue!

The president’s Chief of Staff ought to tell us why valuable presidential time is allowed to be wasted on issues that should never command presidential attention.

Ghana faces so many critical challenges that the trivialization of the presidency must be discouraged!

PS: 1 Samuel 28.5:
5 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled.

6 And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

8 And Saul disguised himself and put on other raiments, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up, Samuel.

12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up, and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered I am sorely distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbor, even to David.”