Major Oquaye laid to rest at Military Cemetery
The remains of the wife of the former Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, were laid to rest at the Military Cemetery at Tseadoo in Accra last Saturday.
The state burial of Major Alberta Boatemaa Oquaye, née Asafu-Adjaye, was preceded by funeral services at the Dome of the Accra International Conference Centre last Saturday.
Draped in national colours and beautiful flowers, the casket of Major Oquaye was placed at the Dome, where people from all walks of life paid her their last respects.
The high-profile personalities who paid their respects included President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his wife, Rebecca; the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, and his wife, Samira, as well as other dignitaries.
They included the former Speakers of Parliament, Ebenezer Sakyi-Hughes, and Joyce Bamford-Addo; a former Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood; the Chief of Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare; the First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei Owusu and the Second Deputy Speaker, Andrew Asiamah Amoako.
The rest were Members of Parliament, including the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu; ministers of state, a Supreme Court Justice, Yonny Kulendi; the Inspector General of Police, Dr George Akuffo Dampare, and the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa.
Also in attendance were a member of the Council of State, Samuel Okudzeto; Alan Kyerematen and his wife, Patricia, heads of security agencies, chief executives of private and public institutions, the Adontenhene of the Asantehene, Nana Adu Gyamfi, who is also a cousin of Major Oquaye, traditional rulers, the clergy, members of the diplomatic community as well as old students of Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High, Aburi Girls’ Senior High and Achimota Senior High schools.
‘My wife understood me best’
Soon after the dignitaries and members of the public had filed past the body, tributes were read on behalf of the widower, Prof. Oquaye, the children and the Ghana Armed Forces.
In a tribute read by his first son, Prof. Oquaye described the pain of writing in the past tense about “my one and only Alberta” as an excruciating pain.
He said the over four decades, he was privileged to share his life with a woman who understood him best and was ever ready to stand by his side through what he described as “the changing scenes of life.”
He expressed profound happiness about his wife’s unprecedented zeal and sacrificial spirit to work in the Lord’s vineyard and being a mother of their six children.
“My wife taught in the Sunday school for children and fully participated in the women’s fellowship in a most unobtrusive manner,” he said, recalling her support to his rise in pastoral, academia, diplomatic and political life.
“I thank the good Lord for gifting me such as wonderful woman.
What a soldier! She assisted me as the spouse of the Speaker throughout my term.
She was naturally tailored for the role as was manifest in all state functions, including whenever her husband acted as President,” Prof. Oquaye said fondly of his wife.
Preaching the sermon themed: “Have hope in Jesus Christ”, the Head Pastor of the Baptist Church at Dzorwulu in Accra, Pastor Samuel Mohenu, encouraged the family and loved ones not to let their hearts be troubled because “our mother put her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
With the Lord not allowing those who were his to die, he said Major Mrs Oquaye “is just asleep”.
“Christians sleep because it is only those who are asleep that when someone shouts on top of his voice, we will hear that shout.
Christians are asleep because they will hear the trumpet of the archangel when the Lord Jesus Christ is coming the second time to take us home to live with him forever.”
“Beloved in Christ, are you part of those who will sleep when this time comes when they die?
Can it be said that you are sleeping as we are saying of our mother today?” he asked.
Who was Major Oquaye?
Major Mrs Oquaye (retd) passed away soundly on Saturday, March 4, 2023, at her residence at Haatso, Accra.
She enrolled in the Ghana Army as a nurse (GH 767) after training in the UK as a nurse/midwife, and training at the Ghana Military Academy.
Her considerable experience from England, where she was trained as a nurse, impacted positively on her performance, and she served the nation in Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale and Accra.
She worked in the theatre of the 37 Military Hospital, in the midwifery department and ended her career as the
Incharge of the Special Officers Ward where every head of state, at any given time, has a reserved suite.
On August 2, 2013, at a special military ceremony, she was given The Outstanding Military Nightingale Award for her services to the nation and the military.