The late Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama has been promoted posthumously to the rank of Major, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.
President Akufo-Addo made the announcement when he visited the residence of the late soldier at Burma Camp yesterday on the occasion of the one week observance of the death of Major Mahama.
He was accompanied by the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo; the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen; the Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul; the Minister of National Security, Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, and the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba.
The President signed the book of condolence and said he had agreed to the suggestion by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lt General Obed Akwa, for a monument to be erected in honour of the fallen soldier at a location to be announced to remind Ghanaians of the event of May 29, 2017.
A memorial trust fund with a seed money of GH¢500,000 has also been set up by the government to cater for his wife and children, President Akufo-Addo announced.
He also donated GH¢50,000 from his personal resources to the fund to be managed by past and present government officials.
The President also announced that there would be a state burial in honour of Major Mahama at the State House on Friday.
He said a Board of Trustees would be put in place to manage the fund and named some of them to include Mrs Grace Bediako, a former Government Statistician, Mr Seth Acheampong of the NPP Majority and Mr James Agalga of the NDC Minority.
President Akufo-Addo said he was aware that no amount of money would replace Major Mahama but the seed money was the State’s show of support to the family in these trying times.
He consoled the wife of Major Mahama thus: “You married a good man, a noble person, who stood for the nation at the cost of his life. When even his life was under threat, he decided not to use the gun but to reason with the people who were determined to take his life.
“Ghana owes such a person a great debt of gratitude and so far the outpouring of grief from all corners of the country is indicative of how Ghanaians are touched by your husband’s death”.
President Akufo-Addo said he would be out of town on an overseas trip during the burial of Major Mahama, saying “I will be with you in spirit”.
The President said he hoped to be in Ghana on time for the Thanksgiving service.
He said the least he could do was the personal donation he had extended to the family, giving an assurance that “my doors are opened to the family anytime they need my help and that of the government”.
Sorrow and emotions
Meanwhile sorrow and emotions took the better part of dignitaries, friends and former ministers of state who trooped to the residence of the late Major Mahama yesterday to join the bereaved family to observe the one week rites of the slain soldier.
In accordance with some of the traditions of the bereaved family, the wife, children, mother and grandmother began weeping for the loss of their beloved relative at dawn.
The mother of the deceased army officer, Mrs Veronica Bamford-Addy, who had travelled outside when the incident occurred but had returned, could not hold back her tears.
The relatives were later joined by dignitaries, including former President John Dramani Mahama, former Fisheries Minister Sherry Aryittey, former Attorney-General Betty Mould Iddrisu, former Foreign Affairs Minister Hanna Tetteh and former Deputy Tourism Minister Dzifa Gomashie to commiserate with them.
The wife of the deceased, Mrs Barbara Mahama, and her mother-in-law, Mrs Bamford-Addy, both cried and consoled each other.
It is often said that men do not usually cry openly, but the one-week rites of the slain military officer was one occasion when men were openly seen weeping.
The immediate past Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshall Samson-Oje, who was joined by other military officers at the one week rites, is said to have broken down immediately he stepped out of his vehicle.
According to the family spokesman, Mr Zakaria Sakara, the burial service for Major Mahama is scheduled for Friday, June 9, 2017, at the Military Cemetery at Osu.
The funeral rites would continue on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the residence of the deceased behind the Arakan Barracks at the Burma Camp followed by a thanksgiving service on Sunday, June 11, 2017.
That would be followed by additional funeral rites at Bole and would end at Tumu in the Upper West Region.
Mr Sakara expressed appreciation to Ghanaians for their show of support and assistance which had overwhelmed the family, adding that for the past few days, visits from various groups, dignitaries and well-wishers had kept the family going during these difficult times.
He said Major Mahama’s demise was a national affair now and the whole country had shown solidarity to the family for which they would forever be grateful.
Meanwhile, the Denkyira Traditional Council has performed a special pacification and purification rites after the murder of Major Mahama.
The chiefs expressed outrage at the barbaric killing of Major Mahama.
The Krontihene of Denkyira, Odiamono Twum Barimah, who led the purification rites, said the pacification and purification rites might even cause suspects on the run to surrender themselves to law enforcement agencies.
He said the traditional leaders visited the crime scene to perform rituals to ask for forgiveness from the gods, as well as neutralise any curse that could be visited on the people following the gruesome murder.
Exactly a week yesterday, the nation was stunned by the gruesome murder of Major Mahama when video clips of the barbaric act went viral.
Major Mahama, who was heading a military detachment near Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region, met his untimely death when some residents of the area accused him of being an armed robber and lynched him on Monday, May 29, 2017.
The officer was on operational duties at the Alaska C&G Mining Company at Amenase Forest, near Diaso in the Central Region.
He was said to be jogging when some residents accused him of being part of a robbery gang that stormed Denkyira Obuasi the previous day.