The Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Sheikinah Hospitals in Wamale and Tamale in the Northern Region, Dr. David Abdulai, has been given a state burial.
Before his demise at the Tamale Teaching Hospital, the ‘Mad Doctor’ as he was affectionately known, instructed family members and the parish priests at the Ola Cathedral that his burial be devoid of pomp. Like Jesus Christ, Dr. Abdulai wanted his burial to depict the life of the destitute whom he lived to serve.
On Tuesday morning, the bell positioned in the tower located at the premises of the Ola Cathedral Parish in Tamale was tolled, announcing the start of the interment proceedings of the Dr David Abdulai.
He was affectionately called Dr Choggu by the hundreds of mentally-challenged, destitute, lepers, HIV/ AIDS patients, staff and residents of the Northern Region.
Few hours to his death, Dr. Abdulai asked that he be buried without a casket within 24 hours after his death.
The ‘Mad Doctor’ also instructed that his demise should be celebrated – not mourned – based on his conviction that he had lived a fulfilled and worthy life on earth.
He also asked that his meals on wheels programme that feeds prisoners, mentally-challenged and the destitute within the Tamale metropolis on daily basis should continue while he is being buried.
“I believe I have lived a worthy life and death is no threat to me. I beg all, my death should be celebrated not mourned. I’m thankful for what God has used me to do and I’m ready when He calls,” Dr David Abdulai is quoted as his last words.
The Martin Luther King Noble Peace Award winner was described as a “seed that died, buried and germinated to feed the vulnerable”, in a tribute read on behalf of the Catholic Parish at the burial Mass held at the Ola Cathedral, where he fellowshipped.
Hundreds of mourners, including traditional leaders, medical officers and government officials led by the Northern Region Minister, Abdallah Abubakar, clad in black and red, thronged the church to pay their last respect to the fallen hero.
His third daughter, Marese Abdul-Kaleem, in a tribute read on behalf of the wife and children, described Dr Abdulai as a father whose “madness” knew no bounds. Dr. Abdulai was known in the 1970’s as the entertainer during his Senior High School days at the Government Secondary School now Tamale Senior High School.
Mr Gilbert Anamsi recounts their school days: “Yesterday when I heard the news of his demise, I saw vehicles still distributing meals for the mad people and I asked myself shouldn’t these people be mourning and apparently, it was his wish, he can’t just be replaced”.
Doctor Abdulai, described as a hero whose vacuum cannot be filled, was laid to rest at his popular health facility Sheikinah in Tamale.