Drama at MP's one week rites: Constituents break eggs, pour libation to invoke cureses on killers

TEARY eyes dominated the one week rites for late Member of Parliament (MP) of Abuakwa North, Mr J.B. Danquah-Adu in Accra yesterday, but the event was not without controversy.

While the formal ceremony, graced by dignitaries, including the Vice -President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, the 2016 presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Addo-Danquah Akufo-Addo and almost all those who matter in the NPP, was in  progress,  a number of people from the Abuakwa North Constituency of the late MP turned the funeral ground into a place where they invoked curses on people, who they alleged, killed the legislator.

Some of the constituents holding eggs and schnapps trooped to the funeral grounds sprinkling the drink to invoke deities in the Abuakwa area to deal with all those who have a hand in the death of the MP.

The NPP legislator was stabbed to death at his residence at Shiashie at  East Legon in Accra on February 8, 2016.
Curses

“No justice, no peace, no peace” the group from Akyem Tafo and its environs  chanted as some of them rushed  to perform their ritual near  the stand  a framed photograph of Mr Danquah-Adu had been placed for the one week funeral celebration.

It took the National Youth Organiser of the NPP, Mr Sammy Awuku and other party functionaries to gently usher the group out of the main funeral grounds.

After they were escorted out, it  did not stop the leader of the group, a man dressed in a black smock and togas, with a big red cloth wrapped around his neck, and holding a pot covered with a red cloth, to break the eggs and pour  libation to invoke deities to deal with the culprit.

About an hour after they were persuaded to move from the main funeral groups, the members of the group returned under the leadership of the man who later identified himself as Thompson Oduro to state what he described as their message to the nation.

“If the truth does not come out, there will be no peace. He was a husband of widows and the father of orphans. He was everything to us in Abuakwa North, Okyeman and the country.

“Evil people conspired to kill him. We summon anyone involved and anyone who bears false witness in the death of J.B, we summon you before all the water bodies in Okyeman. We summon you before all the water bodies in Ghana,” he said in Twi to cheers from the crowd.

Although one person had been arrested in connection with the  murder and had confessed to the crime, Mr Oduro said the group had no confidence in the police investigations so far.

While asking for the burial of the late MP in his hometown, he also said the party in the constituency would ensure that Nana Akufo-Addo had 90 per cent of the votes.

Mourners and widow

Among the mourners was the widow of the late MP, Mrs Ivy Danquah-Adu. Flanked by two women who took turns to console her, she sat quietly, with her hand buried in her black cloth. Tradition would not permit her to shake hands.

With a white handkerchief in her hand, she occasionally wiped her face. Except a few head nods to those around her, her only other body movement was to tap her bare feet, occasionally, to the brass band music.

Although a sorrowful moment, the event was full of colour and a display of the best Akyem culture.
A group of Kete dancers, dressed in colourful kente clothes, twisted and turned to the sound of the drums, occasionally, drawing cheers and applause from the crowd.

Although Nana Akufo-Addo arrived to a rapturous welcome, it was the Okyeman Apagyahene, Nana Asante Bediatuo, who stole the show.

Nana Bediatuo who arrived in the company of Barima Kwaku Duah, Okyehenenanahene, could not resist a few dance steps.

Having temporarily hanged his legal gown, and attired in regalia fit for warriors, his dance steps were calculated and drew wild applause. His body gestures and facial expressions, managed to get a nod and a smile from the widow, probably the only one for the day.

The arrival of the embattled Chairman of the NPP, Mr Paul A. Afoko, also brought the event to a standstill.

Tributes                                                
Writing in the late MP’s book of condolence, Mr Amissah-Arthur paid his tribute. “This is one crime that is impossible to explain. The motive is lost to almost everybody. All we know is that it has terminated the life of a promising man. A career has been cut short. Ghana is the loser.

“We sympathise with the family and pray that they will be able to carry on. May J.B. Danquah rest in peace,” the Vice-President wrote.

A three-time failed presidential aspirant of the NPP, Mr John Alan K. Kyerematen, described the late MP as an enterprising entrepreneur.

“Looking at what J.B did for his constituents, I think he is a good example of what young professionals can do to support the development of the country, if they go into politics.

“One outstanding thing about him was that he was able to relate to everybody in spite of their political allegiance. That is what we need in the politics of our country,” Mr Kyerematen said of the departed legislator.

The MP for Okaikoi Central, Mr Patrick Yaw Boamah,  told the Daily Graphic that the late MP was the voice of the private sector businesses in Parliament.

“He was such a fine gentleman. His death would create a vacuum in parliament for the private sector,” he added.

Among the NDC MPs who graced the occassion were the Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament, Alfred Agbesi, MP for Builsa North and the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Antwi Bosiako-Sekyere.

Writer’s email: seth.bokpe@graphic.com.gh


Fact sheet
* JB Danquah-Adu, a chartered accountant, would have been 51 in July this year.

* Mr J.B. Danquah won the Abuakwa North Constituency parliamentary seat in 2004 and served as Deputy Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs in the John Agyekum Kufuor administration.

*He was out of Parliament from 2009-2012 but returned in 2013.

* In Parliament, he was part of a 19-member Special Budget Committee chaired by the Majority Leader.

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