by SETH J. BOKPE
Hundreds of mourners have converged on the Forecourt of the State House in Accra to bid farewell to the late Major Maxwell Adam Mahama, the military officer who was murdered in a mob action at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region.
The funeral, expected to be heavily steeped in military tradition, is the difficult end to the short but decorated career of the rising military officer who was lynched at Denkyira-Obuasi while leading a military detachment providing security for Alaska C & G Mining Company at Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District in the Central Region.
His brutal murder stunned the nation and awakened it to the overlooked matter of instant justice that has claimed many innocent lives.
The government is organising a state burial for Major Mahama and the military will put up a display in honour of one of its finest young officers.
Officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) yesterday rehearsed at the Forecourt of the State House.
Canopies were up in readiness for the funeral as of Thursday.
As part of activities by the military, over 200 soldiers will line up the streets leading to the State House and the Osu Military Cemetery.
Additionally, in conformity with military tradition, a detachment of 14 military men, constituting an honour guard, will fire three volleys from their rifles as a sign of last respect to the deceased, who joined the GAF after studies at the Ghana Military Academy (GMA) at Teshie on October 6, 2005.
Major Mahama’s casket will be draped in the national flag, which will be folded later and presented to his wife as an honour for keeps and in remembrance of the passing of her husband while he was serving the ‘colours’, as military tradition demands.
His sword and his cap will be placed on his coffin to signify his position as a commissioned officer of the GAF.
He will be buried in a special coffin provided by the GAF.
As part of events lined up to bid Major Mahama farewell, a vigil was held by the military at the Arakan Barracks Officers’ Mess yesterday.
The body of Major Mahama will be moved from the 37 Military Hospital to the Forecourt of the State House at 6 a.m. today for filing past, to be followed by a burial service at 9:10 a.m.
Afterwards, there will be a procession to the Osu Military Cemetery for interment. Final funeral rites will be held at the Forecourt of the State House immediately after burial.
A thanksgiving service is slated for the Lighthouse Chapel International, North Kaneshie, at 10.30 a.m.on Sunday, June 11
Final funeral rites will be held again at Bole from June 13 to June 15 and Tumu from June 16 to June 18.
Then a Captain in the military, Major Mahama was lynched on May 29.
The nation was shocked by the gruesome murder when video clips of the barbaric act went viral on May 30, 2017.
He was accused of being an armed robber and lynched.
Events after his death
May 31, 2017
President Akufo-Addo condemned the ghastly killing of Captain Mahama and promised the late military officer’s family that the perpetrators would be brought to book.
Five suspects who were picked up as part of investigations into the lynching of Captain Mahama were sent to Cape Coast in the Central Region.
On that same day, the police retrieved the pistol Captain Mahama had on him at the time he was lynched. The pistol went missing after his killing.
The following day, soldiers were dispatched to Denkyira-Obuasi for initial investigations and to retrieve the remains of the slain soldier.
June 1, 2017
Former President John Dramani Mahama asked Ghanaians not to politicise the murder of Captain Mahama who, incidentally, happened to be his nephew. His appeal came days after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) had suggested in a statement that President Nana Akufo-Addo must be held responsible for the incident.
President Akufo-Addo suspended the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Upper Denkyira West, Daniel Apiannin, over insensitive comments he made concerning the murder of the military officer.
Following public condemnation and anger at the DCE’s comments suggesting that Captain Mahama was protecting illegal Chinese miners, the President suspended him and asked the Central Regional Minister to provide a report on the DCE’s conduct to enable him (the President) to determine whether or not the DCE should be sacked.
June 1, 2017
Members of Parliament (MPs) condemned the murder of Captain Mahama.
The legislators called for speedy investigations, trial and punishment of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
June 5, 2017
President Akufo-Addo promoted Captain Mahama posthumously to the rank of Major.
The President made the announcement when he visited the residence of the late soldier at Burma Camp during the one-week observance of his death.
The government set a memorial trust fund with seed money of GH¢500,000 to cater for his wife and children.
President Akufo-Addo donated GH¢50,000 from his personal resources to the fund to be managed by past and present government officials.
The President also promised the erection of a monument in honour of the fallen soldier.
June 5, 2017
Thirty-four people alleged to be involved in the gruesome murder of Major Mahama were greeted with hooting and insults by a large crowd during their first appearance at the Accra Central District Court.
By June 7, a total of 44 people, including six women and a 12-year-old child, had been arrested in connection with Major Mahama’s murder.
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