Still fresh on the minds of many Ghanaians, is the recent murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama in a mob attack at Denkyira Obuase in the Central Region.
Gruesome though it was, the gentle soul of the late military personnel would, at least, be at peace with himself since the nation in whose service he met his gory ordeal, did not disappoint him and his surviving family. This was a man whose very departure attracted presidential attention. Apart from being given a state burial, Mr. Mahama who, until his death, was a Captain in the military, had his rank uplifted posthumously to that of a Major. As if those were not enough, the wife and children of the late major were not abandoned. Their future was secured with the necessary financial package. Sincerely speaking, this is how a nation should treat its heroes.
But Mr. Somuah’s posthumous treatment is a classical illustration of the saying that a nation which does not honour its heroes is not worth dying for. Teacher of the Asiakwa-based Salvation Army Basic School in the newly created Abuakwa South Municipality of the Eastern Region, Mr. George Bosompem Somuah, was reportedly brutalized to the point of death by a group of notorious smokers barely three weeks ago. According to reports, the boys who had earlier been warned by the deceased to desist from smoking and defecating at the school premises including the school garden, took offense at the teacher’s warnings, and decided to deal with him in circumstances not so different from Major Mahama’s.
But days after his untimely demise, nobody seemed to care about the situation even though there had been some media reports of the incident. Various social media platforms kept being flooded with a variety of statements pointing to the expression of worry by teachers about the seeming discrimination being meted out against one of their own. It is against this backdrop that the Eastern Regional Chairman of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Mr. Godwin Awoonor, on Tuesday, 14th May, 2019, called on stakeholders to give the late Mr. Somuah the same recognition as was done to Major Mahama. He made the statement when the leadership of the various teacher unions as well as a cross-section of teachers in the above-mentioned municipality, converged at Asiakwa in preparations towards the One Week Commemoration of the departed educationist.
The turn of events at the One Week Celebration lent credence to the fact that the NAGRAT Chairman actually spoke on fertile grounds. A cross-section of stakeholders made their presence felt at the Thursday, 16th May, 2019 celebration. Various teacher unions, teachers, community members, traditional leaders, the clergy, various District Directors of Education, the Eastern Regional Director of Education and a whole lot of people turned up for the occasion. The Minister of Education and the Director General of Ghana Education Service had earlier paid a visit to the family, as well as the window and children who were left behind.
It is the humble plea of all teachers that the late Mr. Somuah is given a befitting burial, preferably, a state one; and a fund set up to cater for his surviving unemployed widow as well as his children who are at various levels of schooling. After all, is this not what he would have done but for his untimely demise? Above all, the ultimate peacemaker is when the suspects, if found culpable of the offense, are dealt with ruthlessly according to law. Teachers would like to take this opportunity to appeal to the generality of Ghanaians to, at least, use this challenging moment to restore teachers to their past glory. Long live the teaching profession, long live Ghana.
Felix Nyarko Acheampong reports for ghanaeducate.com.