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A Ghanaian funeral home in Accra is corrupt, unsympathetic and wicked beyond imagination

COVID 19 BURIAL.png A coronavirus victim being buried

Sat, 14 Aug 2021 Source: Rockson Adofo, Contributor

Why has corruption eaten into the very compositional human fabric of the Ghanaian? I cannot get my head around why the Ghanaian always thinks about duping his fellow Ghanaian at any least opportunity they get. Why do most of you, Ghanaians I mean, dream always of corruption, feed on corruption, speak corruption and breathe corruption? I need an answer from you!

A staff of a funeral home in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday, 30th June 2021, heartlessly swindled a family member of mine of five thousand Cedis (Ghs5,000).

My aunt, my late father’s younger sibling, had died on 1st February 2021 at the age of 100 years. She died in Ghana within two years of her return home from her last three years visit to her sons in London. Her younger son passed away in London exactly a week after the death of his mum.

The family arranged to have both buried on the same day in Ghana on Saturday, 3rd July 2021. The remains of the son was scheduled to be flown to Accra (Ghana) on Thursday, 1st July 2021, aboard a British airliner and be received by a funeral undertaker in Accra as pre-arranged.

“What is an undertaker? A funeral director, also known as an undertaker (UK) or mortician (USA), is the person/people in charge of making funeral arrangements on behalf of a bereaved family”.

A London-based undertaker had kept the body from February 2021, treated and specially embalmed it to make it safe to be viewed by the family and the public, be handled without suffering any transmittable or communicable infection or disease. It was medically or clinically certified as safe to transport to Ghana for the funeral.

The London-based undertaker had liaised with a counterpart in Accra to receive the body as agreed by my surviving cousin, the son of my deceased aunt. However, when my cousin called at the premises of the undertaker in Ghana on Wednesday, 30th June 2021, to ensure that all was in order to receive the body the next evening, thus, Thursday, 1st July 2021, from London, the unexpected happened.

A man he met at the office after becoming conversant with the cause of my younger cousin’s death (Covid-19 related), asked for a payment of Ghs5,000. This new fee was foreign to the entire terms of agreement. The guy said, as long as it is Covid-19 related, he has to pay that amount or else, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) will not allow the body to land on its soil and again, he said, and I quote, “There is a Madam here, she is very strict. If you don’t pay the money I am asking from you, she will not allow you to take the body but will delay you. She will ask for the body to be taken to the hospital for autopsy to be made to determine the cause of the death”

My cousin asked, “what is the need for an autopsy being conducted in Ghana since there is already a death certificate from London stating how he died of which you have been made aware reading the certificate right in your hand”. The guy continued to say that the Madam is wicked and she wouldn’t care but to frustrate him by delaying the release of the corpse for timely burial on Saturday, 3rd July 2021.

My cousin further asked, “what special thing will you do about the corpse if I paid you the additional Ghs5,000 you are requesting?” The guy answered, “Nothing”. We shall do nothing but just that if you don’t pay the sum requested from you, AMA and Madam will not let you have the corpse” “If you fear of any infection to the public, then bring the corpse to my town on the agreed date and have it taken straight to the cemetery into his prepared tomb”, my cousin said. The guy said, that is not possible but just that he has to pay the fee or else, the body will be delayed in Accra.

As my cousin, the only surviving child of my aunt had suffered enough misery, losing his mum and only sibling, incurred financial costs of two-in-one funeral, he was advised not to incur any further pains by the corrupt machinations of the Accra-based funeral undertaker. He paid that fee for nothing but to satisfy the corrupt mandatory demand by a funeral undertaker.

The Accra-based funeral undertaker saw it as an opportunity to rip off my cousin since at that critical moment, overwhelmed with sorrows and confusion, he could not suffer any further double slaps in the face but to let the Ghanaian undertaker have his criminal and illegal way.

How could he do anything unthinkable to defer the funeral of his mum and brother on the appointed date of 3rd July, 2021 after all the money already spent on the organization, public announcements, etc., of the funeral?

If the corpse posed any danger of infection to the general public, it would not on two occasions have been opened for family and public viewing in London, let alone, being flown to Ghana for burial.

When there were no effective means to make safe or non-infectious bodies of Covid-19 victims, all those killed by the disease were not allowed to be viewed by their families and loved ones but had them bundled from the hospitals straight to the cemetery for burial or the crematoriums.

The terms of the agreement were for the Ghanaian undertaker to receive the body coming from London in the evening of Thursday, 1st July 2021, keep it overnight, transport it from Accra in the evening of Friday, 2nd July 2021 to arrive in our town in the Ashanti region in the wee hours of Saturday, 3rd July 2021. The body would be opened for public viewing while in the coffin for a few hours, then taken to the cemetery for burial around 11:00 (11 am) by the undertaker.

The name of the funeral undertaker will be mentioned with better particulars in my next publication. I shall request a refund of the money they corruptly took.

Why has corruption become the breakfast, lunch and supper for many Ghanaians in any little position of authority? Why are some Ghanaians so wicked to dupe someone with two loved ones (mother and sibling) to bury at the same time?

As the funeral undertaker was so wicked to have had no sympathy on a person who had two deaths on his hands, so shall I have no mercy dealing with them, God willing.

Join me to fight this nonsensical and ramifying official corruption in Ghana.

Shame on the unsympathetic, unprofessional and disgraceful funeral undertaker.

Columnist: Rockson Adofo, Contributor