23.05.2006 General News


23.05.2006 LISTEN
By Erastus Asare Donkor

Thirty four Choiristers who lost their lives in last week's fatal accident at Akropong Junction in the Ashanti region, have been laid to rest.

After a requiem mass held for them and administered by the representative of Pope Benedict the XVI in Ghana, the Apostolic Nuncio, the Most Rev. George Kocherry, at the Abuakwa Catholic parish today, the bodis were released to the bereaved famillies for burial. The 34 were choiristers drawn from the Abuakwa parish of the Catholic church and its outstations who were to sing at the funeral of a late priest of the church.

The caskets containing the bodies of the 34 choiristers, were laid in state at the parish's premises where hundreds of people gathered to pay their last respect. Members of the bereaved famillies, friends, sympathisers and members of the Abuakwa Catholic Parish clad in black and red outfits, wailed as they teamed around the bodies. The police and military personnel present had a hectic time controlling the teaming crowd. In a message from the Pope, the Apostolic Nuncio, the Most Rev. George Kocherry, conveyed condolences from the Vatican and the Abuakwa parish and called on the church to institute measures to forestall future occurences.

The Archbishop of the Kumasi Archdiocese of the Catholic church, the Most Rev. Peter Akwasi Sarpong, called on the general public, the security agencies, and drivers to ensure the strict observance of traffic regulations, without it he said there will be anarchy and chaos. He charged the judiciary, to issue out stiffer punishment to drivers who flout these regulations to serve as a deterrent.

Most Rev, Peter Akwasi Sarpong, pleaded with the bereaved families not to see the tragedy as a loss but an entry of the departed souls into the kingdom of God. As he put it,"suffering and evil are not necessarily, the result of sin." He announced that the archdiocese has set up an endowment fund to be known as the Abuakwa Parish Choir Disaster Fund, to solicit funds for the dependants of the deceased.

The Minister for Chieftancy and Culture, Mr S.K Boafo who represented the President, Mr John Agyekum Kufour, called for safety on the roads. He presented 34 Million Cedis on behalf of government to the bereaved families whiles the Atwima Nwabiagya District Assembly also presented 12 Million Cedis. Present at the Mass Funeral were, the MP for Atwima Nwabiagya Constituency, Hon. Owusu Bio, the MP for Oforikrom Hon. Elizabeth Agyeman and a host of some Ashanti Chiefs.

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