Sunday, July 29, 2018


By William Yaw Owusu
Saturday July 28, 2018

Wife of departed former Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur yesterday exploded when she launched scathing attack on her husband’s enemies who pretended to be friends.

A tribute delivered by Matilda Amissah-Arthur to pay her last respects to her departed husband at his funeral in Accra yesterday set tongues wagging.

At the solemn ceremony held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), the former vice president’s widow took the distinguished audience by surprise when she launched a tirade on her husband’s ‘detractors’ in the course of reading her tribute.

Husband’s Detractors 
In what can be interpreted as shaming her husband’s detractors, Mrs. Amissah-Arthur appeared to express ‘surprise’ that such characters were there mourning the late vice president after treating him with scorn in government.

The attack, according to insiders, was directed at particularly the NDC apparatchiks, who did everything to frustrate him when he served as a vice president.

“Over the last few weeks, I have been amazed at the number of people who have come to show us love and I asked myself is this Ghana? Are all these people in Ghana? Because the maligning, the lies, the treachery, the wickedness, the deliberately (sic) changing things so that they could look better than others, the mischievousness… I ask myself is this Ghana? I ask myself is this my own husband that people have come to pay tribute to?”

False Accusations 
She fired: “And today, I ask the same question: did people really know my husband? Did they take time to know him better? The false accusations, the lies, the maligning, did they know him?”
“My dearest, me, your children- Kwesi, Maame Boatemaa, Yaw, Akyere; your grandchildren- Emily, Kwamena and Eliana- we knew you and we know you,” she said, adding “and we know you are a rare gem, and we treasure you and we are very proud of you.”

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur said “a thousand tears won’t bring you back. I know because I have cried. But I know you made your mark in this country and beyond. And you touched many lives and those who cared to know you, those who cared to give you time to prove yourself know what a rare gem you are. So I pray that your memory will impact and empower generations.”

She moved from the pulpit where the microphone was positioned and could be heard saying “as I celebrate my husband, I stand in front of the Lord today and with a song in my heart and an outstretched hands, I say to you Lord, to you be the glory!”

Mrs. Amissah-Arthur’s outburst appeared to have been done extempore because those portions are not contained in the beautifully prepared 135-page brochure of the late Vice President.

Immediately she launched into the tirade, the television cameras zoomed on former President John Mahama, who appeared to be wearing long a face at the time.

He was seen covering his face with a white handkerchief.

President Akufo-Addo, flanked by his Vice, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and top government officials, were at the conference centre to pay their last respects to the late former Vice President, aged 67.

Former Presidents; Jerry John Rawlings, John Agyekum Kufuor and John Dramani Mahama, who reportedly flew in from Zimbabwe where he was on Commonwealth election duties, were also there to mourn Mr. Amissah-Arthur.

Members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to which the deceased belonged, were there in their numbers so were other political parties, diplomats and religious leaders.

Many distinguished personalities were also in attendance.

The heads of security agencies, academia among others, were also not left out.

Glowing Tribute
Vice President Dr Bawumia, who read President Akufo-Addo’s tribute, said the late Vice President was “the definition of a gentleman. His character and disposition was a soothing balm in the tempestuous waters of Ghanaian adversarial politics.”

“He has imprinted his mark on the Ghanaian political landscape in a manner that requires telling for another generation.”

The Vice President said, “From the Economics Department of the University of Ghana and the Anambra State College of Education, to the consulting rooms of the World Bank, to the Ministry of Finance, to the Bank of Ghana and to the Jubilee House, you have traversed some of the most important institutions of our nation and we are grateful to the Almighty for bringing you our way.”

Former President Mahama, under whose tenure Mr. Amissah-Arthur served as Vice President, said his deputy never boasted about his accomplishments, saying “he was practical not rhetorical. He simply let his achievements and accomplishments speak for him.”

“It came as no surprise that as we all worked together, Ghana achieved the record of being the fastest growing economy in the world with inflation pegged at a single digit for one of the longest periods in our nation’s history. It is a record that has stood till this day.”

Former President Kufuor said “the late Vice President was obviously a person of distinction and true gentlemen. As far as I can recall, not once did Paa Kwesi talk without civility. He carried himself gracefully and with decorum in the affairs of state.”

Former President Rawlings, on his part said “despite the complex challenges he encountered as Vice President, he nevertheless was a man whose demeanour won him deserving respect and admiration. Paa Kwesi may have been an unsung hero, but he paid his full dues to Ghana with love and commitment.”

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