THE MORTAL remains of the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu were on Saturday interred at his hometown, Asante Akim Agogo.
The interment took place on a portion of land bought by the late Minister at Agogo for the purpose of constructing a library block for school children in the town but he could not live to fulfill his dream.
Members of the family explained that the remains were interred on the plot to serve as a remembrance of the love the late Minister had for the people of the area.
The Agogo Township, prior to the burial, was thrown into a state of mourning particularly on the arrival of the remains.
The continuous wailing of the 90-year-old mother of the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu aggravated matters, especially when the old woman threatened to take her life, saying the pain she was going through was too much.
Madam Yaa Atiapa, in a sorrowful mood, pleaded with the people around her to offer her some pills to swallow so that she could end her life as the pain she was going through was beyond her control.
The old lady made the statement after hearing of the arrival of the mortal remains of her dearest son. Her actions threw the thousands of mourners who had thronged the town last Friday into a sorrowful state.
The old woman lamented that although she knew she had some more time on earth, “it will be far better if I end my life right away”.
Madam Atiape who kept throwing her hands in despair lamented that she should have died for her son to bury her and not vice versa.
Thousands of people from all walks of life thronged the Agogo Presbyterian Park to pay their last respects to the late Finance and Economic Planning Minister.
Mourners started filing past the body as early as 4.00am till 10.00am.
The atmosphere at the funeral however took a dramatic turn when Nana Akufo-Addo, presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and members the NPP campaign team arrived at the funeral grounds as some party supporters cheered them shouting the party's songs whiles others started dancing the famous 'kangaroo dance', momentarily forgetting that they were mourning.
In a sermon, Rev. Samuel Kwaku Fosu, Methodist Bishop of Effiduase, urged Ghanaians to learn to be humble both in the presence of God and their fellow human beings as that is the wish of God.
He reminded the mourners of how God sweeps men away in the sleep of death like grass that springs up in the morning and by evening, it is dried and withered.
Later in the afternoon, after the burial, President John Agyekum Kufuor, accompanied by the First Lady, Theresa Kufuor and some state officials stormed the funeral grounds.
As tradition demands, the President, led by the Ashanti Regional Minister, E. Owusu Ansah, exchanged pleasantries with the Paramount Chief of Agogo, Nana Akuoko Sarpong.
Personalities present at the funeral included members of the Council of State, members of the Diplomatic Corps, staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), revenue agencies, as well as executives of media houses among others.
President Kufuor made a cash donation of GH¢10,000 to the wife and children of the deceased and later gave the mother of the late Finance Minister GH¢ 2,000 when he called on her at her house.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu, who died in a South African hospital on September 24, was liked by all and the announcement of his shocking death saw numerous tributes coming from friends and loved ones.
Glowing tributes were paid to the late Minister by the people of Agogo who said they had known and lived with him from infancy, as well as students from his alma mater, Kumasi High, and the Methodist Church among many bodies.
They all described the late Baah-Wiredu as affable, hardworking, and humble.
Describing the death of the late Minister as sudden and shocking, the students of Kumasi High pledged to emulate their mentor.
The atmosphere once again got charged as people could not control their emotions when Military men carried the mortal remains of the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu into the hearse.
The late Baah-Wiredu, 56, was born in Asante Akim Agogo. He started his secondary education at the Kumasi High School in 1967 and obtained his GCE Ordinary Level Certificate in 1972. He had his sixth form education at Prempeh College, also in Kumasi and proceeded to the University of Ghana in 1974 where he obtained a B.Sc in Administration (Accounting option).
He then studied a four-year course at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1985.
Mr. Baah-Wiredu worked in various positions with the now defunct Ghana Airways and the Volta River Authority, and also as a senior consultant on computer systems and as finance manager at Ananse Systems.
He was a partner in Asante Wiredu and Associates, an accounting firm, prior to being an MP, and later became a Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in President Kufuor's government in 2001.
From Stella Danso & Emelia Ennin Abbey, Agogo