President John Agyekum Kufuor and his wife, Theresa, last Saturday joined members of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and family members to pay their last respects to the late Samuel Best Ennin, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the GJA.
He was murdered by two unknown gunmen at a drinking spot in Kumasi on February 9, this year.
Led by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Emmanuel Asante Owusu-Ansah, and his deputy, Mr Osei Asibey Antwi, the President and his wife, together with other government officials, arrived at the funeral grounds at 3:45 p.m. to join hundreds of mourners who had already gathered at the KCC Park at South Suntreso to mourn one of the most dedicated and committed journalists.
Prior to their arrival, a burial service had been held at the KCC Park. The body was later conveyed to Biribiwomanmu, near Jacobu, for burial.
The funeral turned out to be a mini durbar and a TV crew from Taiwan, which is in the country for a documentary on Ghanian culture and tradition, took advantage of the situation to shoot the various activities of the funeral.
President Kufuor donated ¢3 million to the bereaved family and ¢7 million to the children and wife of the deceased journalist as his contribution to their upkeep, with the NPP also donating ¢4 million and ¢6 million to the family and children respectively as their widow's mite.
The Asante Akim North Chairman of the NPP, Nana Adu Asabere, who addressed the gathering on behalf of President Kufuor, described the late regional chairman as an illustrious son who contributed immensely to the sustainable development of the NPP in particular and the country as a whole.
He said the President in particular was very fond of Ennin because he remained committed to the NPP since the Danquah-Busia period and never turned his back on issues that affected the effective development of the party.
Describing the death of Ennin as a great loss to the state, his immediate family members and the profession he belonged to, President Kufuor said the contribution of Ennin to the democratic dispensation of the country was also not in doubt, hence his presence at the funeral grounds to show his appreciation to the work of the deceased journalist.
He said it was for the same reason that his wife, Theresah, also joined him to Kumasi to mourn with the GJA, family members of the deceased, as well as his friends and sympathisers.
Earlier, the Ghana Commercial Bank had donated ¢10 million as seed money for an endowment fund to support the children of the deceased. The Valley View University, which organised a vigil for the late Ennin in Accra, also donated ¢600,000 as their contribution for the upkeep of Ennin's children, while the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, which waived the six -weeks mortuary bill of the deceased, also donated ¢500, 000 for the children's upkeep.
The GJA, which organised the funeral, donated ¢2 million to the family and children of the deceased while the Private Newspapers Publishers Association of Ghana donated ¢10 million to support the endowment fund of the children.
Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, who arrived at the funeral grounds just after President Kufuor had left, also donated ¢2 million and organised a dinner for all journalists who attended the funeral.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo, Papa Owusu Ankomah and Mr Kwamena Bartels also donated ¢2 million each as their contribution.
Story by George Ernest Asare