Three wreaths for Mahama, a thousand tears for the nation
His gruesome, senseless, and dastardly killing at the hands of a marauding mob at the Central Regional town of Denkyira-Obuasi shocked a nation which had for years ignored an ignoble problem – mob injustice.
“A gallant soldier, well trained, living up to the tenets of his training,” was how Parliament in its tribute read by Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, described the late Major Maxwell Adam Mahama.
The young, vibrant, bubbly soldier was stripped, clubbed, stoned, axed, beaten and torched by the villagers in the most brutal, dehumanising, debasing manner.
His killing is largely viewed as a stain on the collective conscience of Ghanaians and rightly so, the government decided to give him a state burial.
“May the tears of his wife and children never be shed by another soldier's family or any other family for that matter,” Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia said in his tribute.
But there is more to it than just the tears of the late Major Mahama’s wife and children.
There was a torrential rain of tears at both the forecourt of the State House where the tortured body of the slain and decorated soldier laid and the homes of millions who watched the funeral service on television.
The soldier has been given a state burial with full honours for the harrowing manner he died in line of duty.
Then Captain Mahama was leading a contingent to ward off illegal miners from the concession of a licensed mining company.
Former President John Mahama and parents of late Major Maxwell Adam Mahama
On Monday, May 29, 2017, his life was snuffed out by fellow citizens who claimed they mistook him for a criminal.
At the State House, his father, himself a retired military captain, Dennis Adam Mahama - normally a strong man - broke down in tears under a minute into the presentation of his tribute.
A family member had to quickly step in and read the tribute, leaving him to sob and fumble for a rag, a tissue or anything that could soak up the tears.
Adam Mahama's mother, Veronica heard in the public for the first time since her first son's death hit the mourners with a tribute that rung out like gunshots. The sobbing broke out into open weeping from total strangers united in the heart by the death of one man.
She opened the temporarily closed floodgates of tears - and let it flow freely. The grieving, sobbing and wailing grew louder and louder.
But with courage and exceptional bravery, Barbara Mahama, wife of the late Major Mahama, stepped up and read her tribute and that of their two sons, Jaiden and Jeremiah.
She regretted that “Jessica never happened,” alluding to their plan to have a daughter who they would name Jessica.
“She would have had the best father on this earth, she would have been beautiful, successful, outspoken like you. Note that she would have taken my hair and my eyes and eyelashes, she would have been tall like you and she would have been adventurous and above all, she would have been a great woman of God,” she a revealed a dream that will now remain a relish.
Vice President Bawumia assured, "We shall try to make restitution no matter how small."
It was Barbara who laid the last wreath. Stronger at the tribute reading, she grew weaker at the coffin. She froze at the draped coffin - a moment longer than the vice-president and John Mahama.
A moment longer than everyone because in the end, she will feel this pain of loss a moment longer than everyone else.
Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com