Mrs Amissah-Arthur hits back at husband’s critics

BY: Severious Kale-Dery & Emelia Ennin Abbey

The wife of the late former Vice-President, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, defied the usual Ghanaian culture of calmness at funeral grounds, especially as a widow, to hit hard at critics of her husband.

In an emotional tribute to her husband, whom she described as a rare gem, at the about three-hour funeral service held in his honour at the Accra International Conference Centre, she said her husband was not given the opportunity to prove himself to Ghanaians.

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With a tinge of anger in her voice, Mrs Amissah-Arthur, while reading the tribute, which she had titled, “To my soul mate, my best friend, my roommate and my prayer partner,” said she was amazed in the last few weeks, following her husband's death, at the show of affection from the public.

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“I ask myself is this Ghana? Are all these people in Ghana?” she asked and explained her shock that her husband's public life was met with maligning, false accusations, treachery, the deliberate change of things to make others look good; lies, wickedness and false accusations.

She said she had been forced to ask herself if it was her husband that people had come to pay tribute to and wondered whether people really knew him and took time to know him?

In the touching tribute, Mrs Amissah-Arthur, whose son, Kwesi Nyan, was seen trying to probably comfort his mother and impress upon her to tone down, rather poured her heart out to Ghanaians.

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She said she was happy that those who cared to know him gave him the opportunity to prove his good nature, an attribute which resonated in the tributes of her husband as a humble, hardworking, time-conscious, man of integrity and one who loved to serve his country.

‘’My dearest, me and your children and grandchildren knew who you were. You were a rare gem and we treasure you. You made your mark in this country and beyond. Your memory will impact on generations.

Life together

Mrs Amissah-Arthur recounted that she had lived together with her husband for 40 years and five months but “thousand tears won’t bring you back, l know because I have cried,” she said.

In a sermon after the tributes, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, the Most Rev. Titus Kofi Awotwi-Pratt, eulogised the selfless lifestyle of the late Vice-President and blamed African leaders for the woes of the continent.

"The shame of it is that, despite the long years of being politically self-determining, the greed and shameful practices of some unpatriotic African leaders have kept us impoverished in the midst of plenty.

"When they are drawing up their budgets, they go cap in hand begging and when the money is brought, they share and loot to themselves," he said.

He said if that money was properly applied, "we would have had more classrooms for what is yet to be introduced now in this country".

Politics

The Most Rev. Awotwe-Pratt described Amissah Arthur as a fine gentleman who never stole state money, saying the type of politics he knew and played was the politics of respecting others' views, which encompassed all.

"The type of politics that he knew and played was politics of respecting each other’s views, politics of behaving and that we are educated and cultured; politics that we are human beings that are higher than animals, politics that means well and good, politics that praises God, politics that is great and stands firm even in the face of challenges, " he stated.

He added that the former Vice-President, whom he described as a fine gentleman, "will never die, he will live on".

Homosexuality

On homosexuality, the Most Rev. Awotwe-Pratt expressed concern over attempts to impose same sex on Africa and blamed it on African leaders who submitted them to the Western World because of selfish personal gains.

He underscored the importance of the family and the union between man and woman as God's institution.

The Most Rev. Awotwi-Pratt charged religious bodies to check the seeming threat of emerging alternative sexual orientation seeking to "dilute our social norms".

The Presiding Bishop, therefore, charged African leaders to rise up and kick against any attempt to impose a sexual orientation which was an affront to the African society.

"May the leaders of Africa rise up and love their nations. May our politicians and those who go into politics never say that I am going in there to make wealth, but to serve," he stated.