Thu, 08 Feb 2024 Feature Article

Final Roll Call For Major Boakye Gyan

The late Major Boakye GyanThe late Major Boakye Gyan

The year was 1975; I was then a second year law student at University of Ghana, Legon, based in Common Wealth Hall. I was a very vocal, noisy student leader, with leftist idealistic tendencies.

One evening, I had a very unusual visitor, an old Achimotan from Jaman District near Berekum, a tall fair coloured Army Officer, a Captain. He wanted me to be his friend, so that we study law together. He would rely on my notes at lectures.

He introduced me to his best friend, a colleague soldier, Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, also an old Achimotan, a mulatto, chain smoking wild fellow.

The three of us soon became so close that I abandoned my ambition to be a lawyer and enlisted to be a soldier. What a fatal mistake. The two of them staged June 4 military coup, and as a consequence the Military Intelligence arrested me to prison. Rawlings came back, released me, and also arrested me, detained me, and booted me out of the military.

At age 28, I was a retired Captain walking on the streets of Accra all because Captain Boakye Gyan entered my life in Common Wealth Hall in 1975.

I heard in the news that on August 30, 2023 at age 80, Major retired Kojo Boakye Gyan had crossed the river of life into eternity – this is one funeral that God willing I must attend at all costs.

The family fixed the funeral for Friday, January 26, 2024 at the forecourt of the State House and burial at Burma Camp. All that is very well- no need to travel all the way to Drobo in Jaman District, Bono Region.

Reader, as a life time policy, take it from me anytime you decide to attend a program, GO EARLY so that you can get a good strategic place to sit. I got to the forecourt of the State House at about 0700 hours to see soldiers and other officials putting finishing touches to the place.

I was innocently sitting in my car, waiting, when a certain lady came:

“Please, are you Captain Effah-Dartey?” I nodded.

“Please follow me.”
I was led to the raised platform, the top dais, reserved for the No.1 Guest List!!!! Holala!!!

At exactly 8 o'clock, with only a handful of mourners present, the funeral service began – hymns, tribute, bible reading, sermon and the usual liturgy. I took down very interesting notes.

During the reading of the life history of Major Boakye Gyan, it came to light that his father had 56 children and with 8 wives! (He beat the old Egyptian Emperor/Pharoah (TUTANKHAME who had 52 children —according to recorded history….)

Still on his life history, even though he was a catholic and was educated at Opoku Ware Secondary School and later Achimota School, Boakye Gyan chose to call himself 'Jesus CHRIST' or J.C. for short. Later, in life he described himself as 'Ancestral worshiper…'

Rather inexplicably, I noticed that the funeral was dominated heavily by the presence of Christ Apostolic Church International, their mass choir, almost all their Pastors – over fifty in black suit and white clerical, the sermon being preached by their General Secretary.

Conspicuously absent were members old of the old Achimota Association (OAA) to sing their rallying cry 'from Gambaga to Accra….', and also absent was the Retired Commission officers club of the Ghana Armed Forces.

Present among the mourners was the former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, NDC General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, former National Security Minister, Francis Poku, and also present was NDC guru, Kofi Totobi Quakyi, His Excellency Agyenim Boateng of the Council of State and several others.

By 10 o'clock everything was over. The military sounded the last post and after benediction by my name's sake Rev. Lt. Col Effah, four ladies in smart military uniform came to collect the wreaths, and the burial party came to carry the casket into a waiting hearse of the Ghana Armed Forces.

This is one funeral that I decided to follow the burial party to the Burma Camp Military Cemetery to see the internment of Major Boakye Gyan.

I told my driver to drive past El Wak Stadium, hit the Major Mahama Road, rounded his circle, east, to the new Military Cemetery at Teshie. The last time I was there was about four years ago to bury Col Mensah Gbedemah. Reader, I saw so many graves since then, so many with JJ Rawlings tomb set aside at the far corner.

The cadaver was lowered into the grave, earth to earth, dust to dust – another sounding of the Last Post, benediction and guess what – reader, Vote of Thanks by Representative of his Family – Yours Truly, Captain!!!!

All was over, the man who made me to join the Army, the bosom friend of JJ Rawlings, journalist, army Major, spokesman of the AFRC, one-time Acting Head of State of the Republic of Ghana – he is now history.

By Captain Nkrabeah Effah Dartey

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Started: 02-07-2024 | Ends: 31-10-2024