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General News of Friday, 3 November 2000

Source: Ghana Classifieds

God saved us in accident - Nana Konadu

The First Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, has made her first public statement about last Sundays accident involving her and President Jerry John Rawlings saying "it was like seeing death".

"I thought it was the end," she told the GNA in response to a question on how she felt during the accident when a 14-member royal delegation from Tema, Kpone and Katamanso Traditional Councils visited her on Thursday to congratulate them on their miraculous escape from death.

Four Presidential guards were, however, killed in the accident. Nana Konadu told the delegation, led by Nii Adjei Kraku II, Tema Mantse, at her residence in Accra: "God saved us.

I can't explain why we are alive and four are dead. We need to pray for those who have lost their lives".

Asked by the chiefs about her health, Nana Konadu said: "By the grace of God, I'm fine, except a few body pains.

I should even be wearing a collar". The First Lady whose left wrist was plastered also corrected press reports about the accident, saying: "We were not coming from Akosombo; we were rather on our way to Akosombo".

She said it was the accident, which turned some of the cars into the opposite direction after the white Urvan bus crossed them.

The Benz car in which the presidential guards were sitting skidded off the road into the Tema-Accra lane of the Motorway.

Nana Konadu also denied reports that the first family had their children in their car, a red Jaguar XJS. "Our children were not with us but myself and my husband.

Five presidential guards and the two of us were in the convoy before we were crossed". The First Lady said it might take some time before she would overcome the psychological trauma of the accident, adding: "when the President was leaving for Brong Ahafo this morning, I asked him if he was going to leave me at home alone".

Nana Konadu said a wake-keeping was supposed to have been held on Thursday for the four soldiers who died and to be buried on Friday.

But this has been postponed to Monday, November 6 and Tuesday November 7. The wake-keeping would be held at the Recce Square, Gondar Barracks.

The Chiefs, who had earlier visited the scene of the accident, cracked jokes with the First Lady and urged her to give everything to God.

They said the news about the accident was a heavy blow to all of Them, especially because it happened in Tema territory.

The delegation, including, Nii Otu Akwettey IX, Katamanso Mantse, Nii Dun IV, Asafoatse of Kpone and Mr Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey-Agbo, Vice- Chairman of the Kpone-Katamanso Constituency of the NDC, also visited the three surviving victims of the accident at the Anoff Ward of the 37 Military Hospital.

They are Warrant Officer Class One Joseph Darko, the only surviving member of the five presidential guards on the trip, Mr Moses Dzanado and Mr Mensah Klogo, both civilians, who were in the red Toyota "Tacoma" Pick-up vehicle.

The presidential guards who were killed in the accident were Corporal Kwame Boateng, Corporal Kwabena Aboagye, Lance Corporal Martin Kumashie and Lance Corporal Kweku Ewun-Tomah.

A cash of 300,000 cedis presented to them was received on their behalf by Brigadier Daniel Twum, Commanding Officer in charge of the Hospital.

Brigadier Twum said the three were operated upon last Monday and have since been recovering.