A sombre mood characterised the one-week memorial service of the passing of former Vice-President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur at the Ridge Church in Accra yesterday.
The church building was filled to capacity, leaving many others to observe proceeding outside the auditorium.
Among the dignitaries who attended the service were Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who led the government delegation, which included the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta; and the Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison.
Former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Mahama were also in attendance.
Other leading figures of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) included the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia; a National Vice Chairman, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa; former Foreign Affairs Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh, and scores of other former government functionaries under the Mahama administration.
The former Vice-President died on June 29, 2018 at the Air Force Base Gym, where he usually worked out.
The brother of the late Vice-President, Mr Jabesh Amissah-Arthur, announced that the funeral arrangements of the departed statesman would take place on July 27, 2018.
Per the arrangements, there will be no wake. The body will lie in state at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on July 27 for mourners to pay their last respects followed by the funeral from 9am to 12pm.
The body of the former Vice President will be interred at 1 p.m. on the same day. Attendance will be strictly by special invitation.
In his sermon earlier, the Administrative Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana, Rt Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, described the death of Mr Amissah-Arthur as a national tragedy and a trial and testing moment for the bereaved family in particular and Ghanaians in general.
“We need the comfort of God to lean on Him in these trying times. As a nation this is the time to trust in God who is the source of all comfort, because He calms the storm in the moment of difficulties,” he said.
He told the congregation that God had not departed from His children and, therefore, had not forsaken them and urged Ghanaians to commit the soul of the departed Vice-President to prayer for God to grant him enteral rest.
Meanwhile, a book of condolence has been opened at the North Ridge residence of the former Vice-President and the Accra International Conference Centre.
Born on April 29, 1951, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur was an economist, academic and politician.
He was the sixth Vice-President of Ghana. He held office from August 6, 2012, until January 7, 2017, under President John Dramani Mahama.
He was also the Governor of the Bank of Ghana from 2009 to 2012.
Mr Amissah-Arthur was sworn in as Vice-President on August 6, 2012 after he was nominated by President John Dramani Mahama to be the Vice-President, a week after President Mahama had also been sworn in as President, following the sudden death of President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24, 2012.
Mr Amissah-Arthur was a research assistant at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research between 1974 and 1975.
Later, he joined the Economics Department as a teaching assistant from 1977 to 1978, moving on to become an assistant lecturer in 1979. He also lectured at the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana between 1980 and 1988; and again at the Department of Economics, Anambra State College of Education, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria (August 1981 – July 1983).
He worked as a consultant for the World Bank in The Gambia and as a consultant for the Netherlands’ government education project in Ghana.
Mr Amissah-Arthur also worked as Senior Economist for the Sigma One Corporation in Ghana between 1998 and 2000, and between 2001 and 2002, he was on assignment for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
From 1983 to 1986, Amissah-Arthur served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Finance and Economic Planning, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, in the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government.
He subsequently was appointed the Deputy Secretary of Finance in the PNDC government from February 1986 to March 1993, and later became the Deputy Minister of Finance in the Rawlings-led NDC government.
In October 2009, Mr Amissah-Arthur was appointed the Governor of the Bank of Ghana by President John Evans Atta Mills. He held this position until August 6, 2012, when he became Vice-President of Ghana after the death of President Atta Mills.
He continued as Vice President when President Mahama won the 2012 election.
Mr Amissah-Arthur was married to Matilda Amissah-Arthur with whom he had two children. He was a Christian and member of the Calvary Methodist Church at Adabraka in Accra.