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Opinions of Friday, 20 March 2009

Columnist: Appiah, Kofi

Tribute to unsuing Jirapa hero

The day was Monday, date 16th, the week was the eighth and the month was February in the year of our Lord, 2009. The very time was mid-morning and the place of event was Ashaley Botwe Newtown near Madina, a surburb of Accra off the Legon Farms Road where death struck hard again. Pandemonium? Yes, there was pandemonium as passers-by and by-standers stood by in awe and could not believe in their eyes. Relatives were wailing and the serene atmosphere hypnotized almost everybody around to join in the uncontrollable weeping. What is really happening, someone who just joined the crowd asked this question? An answer from a concerned person was that Ghanaians have been hit hard by yet another unexpected death, and the victim was the late Edward Salia, the M.P. for Jirapa in the Upper West Region. Even though he came from the opposing NDC camp, Ghanaians were equally stunned just as the late Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu of the NPP when he was also pronounced dead in far away South Africa. The late Edward Kojo Salia, from Jirapa in the UWR, according to the reports from eye-witnesses and family sources, died peacefully in his multi-million well-furnished home. Inarguably, he is one of the persons in the country who could be relied upon to take up any position of trust and responsibility due to his honesty and humility, agility and cohesiveness but death would not allow such a person survive to see his party’s second coming. Unfortunately, he has died and left behind the party he very much loved to have remained an unbeaten MP for his area during the tenure of the baby-faced Prof. JEA Mills as president of the country. Death has bitten him so hard and laid its icy hands on this soft-spoken gentleman.
It is a pity that since June 2003 I have never seen him in public; and remember very well that the last time we saw ourselves was one Sunday, mid-June of 2003 when we met and it was at a water forum for residents one of which was a friend that I visited. The occasion was to deliberate on how to get good and potable drinking water and invited opinions from the general public. Many people spoke and when it was his turn to speak, he was really fantastic, the spectators and residents alike quickly realized the potentials in this man. Since then he had been battling with his health – going backwards and forwards to see the specialists at the premier hospital and occasionally visiting Cuba when the need arose – all about the cancer of his throat. Non family members never saw him in public again. In fact, life is like a flower; it blossoms very brightly in the day and withers in the evening. At night, it receives the dew and freshens once again to blossom the next day but if it is visited by hungry birds and butterflies for its sweet nectar, there is the tendency for it to be ripped off. Life is like a shadow, you can see it in the bright sunny day time; at night, it fizzles out. Since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, God has cursed man that he would be a mortal being; he could only feed himself after his own sweat; and for his woeful partner, Eve, she was to toil for 9 good months with pregnancy before delivery of the new born baby. Man is born to die one day in his lifetime but when the news of someone’s death is announced, it dampens one’s spirit just as the death of Edward’s.
Even though while alive, he battled with his life over a period of some 10 years, he travelled backwards and forwards to and fro Cuba for periodic reviews of his cancerous thoracic problem, death never pardoned him let alone gave him some grace period to serve his motherland. His prime time life has been cut short at 57 years but God knows best. It is not only the NDC that has lost this serviceable man; it is the whole Nation Ghana that has lost an illustrious son. To the surviving dear wife and children, I say, have a heavy heart and continue to have faith in the Lord; God is the Giver and He taketh. To the bereaved family, I say, Dammirifa due, due, due ne amanehunu. Prince Edward, adieu, mon cher ami!
KOFI APPIAH - 0277 122 909