Ghana grieves as the Military sends home one its finest
Accra, June 09, GNA - Major Maxwell Adam Mahama, slain in the cause of national duty at Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region, was on Friday, buried with full military honours.
The funeral, which witnessed an exceptional outpouring of grief, angst and sympathy by the public, military personnel and Ghanaians from various walks of life, brought home unprecedented level the need for Ghanaians to adhere to the dictates of the laws at all material times.
Before 0600 hours, military personnel and civilians alike, lined the road from the 37 Military Hospital, where the body of the deceased had been preserved, some paying their last respects to the fallen hero, and others out of curiosity - trying to catch a glimpse of the goings-on as the hearse left the health facility enroute to the Forecourts of the State House, where the burial rites were held.
As many sat at the forecourts in sombre mood, a black Cadillac Hearse pulled up, accompanied by a ceremonial unit of eight pall bearers, who placed the casket containing the remains of the Major in State for file past.
After the religious ceremonies, tributes and the performance of the final funeral rites by his family, the Military took over the casket containing the body to its final resting place at the Osu Military Cemetery.
As thousands watched, many cried, many eulogised and many stood, mouth agape, bewildered by the unfolding story, which is difficult for the nation to take.
Some silently pondered - perhaps, on the ill fate that had befallen the young officer and regretted that they did not have the power to undo the tragedy.
Alas, the pall bearers lifted the flag-draped casket of the late Major Maxwell Adam Mahama, with buglers sounding the last post, placed the casket in the Hearse for the State drive to the cemetery for interment.
Military personnel, with reversed arms, lined the route from the State House to the Osu Cemetery; the burglars accompanying the ceremonial unit sounded continuously - the Last Post and Reveille- as escort riders displayed ahead of the funeral cortege of military personnel.
It included the top brass of the Ghana Armed Forces and other Security Services, State Officials, the family of the deceased, also including former President John Mahama, and sympathisers who strode in line with solemn slow march tunes rendered by a joint Military/Police Band.
At the Osu cemetery, the pallbearers drew the casket from the Hearse and placed it on the grave, where military buglers sounded the Last Post amidst the booms of a 21-gun salute by a detachment of soldiers.
After final prayers, the body of the Major was lowered into the grave to start his journey into the world beyond.
Major Mahama commanded a detachment of army troops that was assigned to the Upper West Denkyira District, as part of a wider operation to clamp down on illegal mining.
According to reports, the officer had gone on his early morning physical training in civilian clothing, jogging along the Diaso-Denkyira Road, when he was lynched by a mob, who allegedly suspected him of being an armed robber because of a side arm that he carried for his protection.
His corpse was also set ablaze.
The incident has infuriated the military and civilians alike, drawing wide condemnation of the emerging culture of citizens flouting the law with impunity.
The Government has since vowed not to spare any efforts in ensuring that every individual who took part in the dastardly killing of Major Mahama face the law.
The security agencies have been working round the clock to bring the perpetrators to book.
Some 34 persons have since been arrested.
President Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), acting on the advice of the Chief of Defence Staff of the GAF, post-humously promoted the then Captain Mahama to the rank of Major.
He also directed that a monument be erected in his honour, and a fund of GH¢500,000 be instituted to cater for his family, with the President making a personal contribution of GH¢50,000.
Major Mahama left behind a wife and two children.
He was born on November 1, 1985 in Bole to Captain Dennis Mahama Adam and Veronica Bamford.
He was the first of three children to the couple.
He enlisted into the Army and entered the Ghana Military Academy on 6 October 2005, as part of the Regular Career Course intake 47.
After 22 months of training, he was commissioned into the Ghana Army on 7 September 2007 as a Second Lieutenant.
By Ken Sackey, GNA