Talking about the state of death and nothingness of man despite his pride and arrogance, it was just this Saturday around 6.45pm and I had just arrived from Church. You know Saturday Sabbath people and how we do our things. Immediately I entered my room, a senior colleague of mine came and said Ahanta I have heard there is a serious accident on the road so you need to go there. I jumped into my uniform and straight to the scene. On reaching there, come and see crowd and cars. I managed to enter and got to where the cars were. It is a fatal accident. What was shocking and very sad was two soldiers, one corporal, a private and their civilian employee driver trapped inside their vehicle. The civilian employee and the private soldier were struggling to survive as they breathe intermittently. My doctor friend Dr. Ocloo says the medical term for this is “chanastroking” I am not sure that is really the spelling but it’s something close to that I think. It is the process where a person in a critical medical condition breathes one by one and finally gives up the ghost. As we were struggling to get out them out from the car with the help of the Fire Service, the Ambulance Service, some Prison Officers who appeared on the scene as well the general public, the private soldier and the driver breathed their final breath and that was the end. Their state changed from human beings to corpses or dead bodies. By the time we brought them out and I felt their pulses, they were becoming very cold. Come and see broken human bones and flesh. We had to cut the vehicles open before we were able to remove them. As usual Ahanta was there to carry them to the mortuary just like I have been doing for all others. It was two vehicles that were involved in accident and you can imagine the injuries since the other car was a Benz Bus with about 33 people on board. Not quite long various media houses started reporting it. I have since been receiving phone calls from all the ranks in the military coupled with the Police and the general public.
The story of the soldiers and their civilian employee driver was not different from a young Polytechnic graduate from the North who traveled to Accra to seek for greener pastures. At Accra and just within a week of his arrival, his brothers were attending funeral at Nkonya and he decided to go with them. It was also another Saturday like that. On their return from the funeral, somewhere close to Asikuma, the VW Jetta in which they were travelling in somersaulted severaly and Ahanta was there again to carry him to the hospital. Right in front of me, the doctor and the nurses, this young man full of youthful exuberance breathed one by one and finally died. An hour later, the mortuary attendant who is a very good friend of mine came with a wheel and a cloth that I believe all those who pass through that mortuary are covered with, came and wrapped the young man and dragged him to where the dead belong, the mortuary. That very night I had to prepare coroner’s form and look for a judge to endorse it so that we can examine the body since the young man was a Muslim. I was successful and the Pathologist gave the cause of death as severe head injuries and excessive bleeding (haemorrhage). The young man who was alive in the morning and who did everything that humans do had a changed status, dead body or a corpse. I sadly looked on as this man was being wrapped and placed in a Hearse as they go back to Accra. The family members and friends were wailing as they journeyed to back to Accra. They went with a dead body and returned with another dead body. That very night I was told he was laid to rest per the dictates of Islam.
I do not want go into details about certain secondary school bursar who had his skull opened and all the brain tissues gushed out as a result of an accident. I remember how I picked the brain tissues and some broken head bones whilst I was being soaked by the heavy rains. Human blood was being washed away and being drained just like that. They were also three and I brought them to the mortuary. These and a lot more I have carried with passion because that is my job. Even in their death, I respect them because they were fortunate to get somebody to carry them. What about those who die and no one sees them? Are they not humans too? I do not want to about those hunged themselves to death despite they had everything in life. I carried them too.
One fine Sunday morning, I had just woken up and my Chief Inspector came and knocked on my door. I should dress up he said. Quickly I got to know that there was a job for me to do. When it comes to dead bodies, it’s me I said to myself. Not quite long some men came to pick us in a vehicle to a certain village. On reaching there my Chief Inspector told me that we are going to carry some dead body. I said no problem. Almost all the guys were drunk and some were smoking both cigarettes and “abonsam tawa”. After all the Police were there to carry dead body not to arrest people smoking “abonsam tawa”. When we got to where the dead body was lying, oh my soul! We were greeted with a host of flies and other flying insects. The scent that embraced us was unimaginable and undescriptive. The body was completely rotten and full of maggots. It has also endured excessive rains overnight. We did not go there with a doctor so we had to carry the rotten body in the coffin to the hospital. At the hospital we drove the nurses and the hospital staffs away. People were holding their noses as they were running away. Now human being smell badly to an extent that fellow human beings ran away from him by holding their noses. Is not sad and pity? You cannot withstand the scent. I took consolation in those who were smoking the cigarette and the “abonsam tawa” before I could get some amount of air to breathe. One point in time I was suffocating coupled with mouthful of saliva. Human beings smell and they smell badly. Probably that is the reason why we are buried deep in the earth. Not to talk about a High Court Judge who died in his room and got rotten before we got to know. Not also to talk about a former National Security official who died in his room whilst one AK47 rifle and a pistol were lying by his side. He could not shoot death when it came for him. He was also rotten beyond recognition. I know the state of man when he dies so I respect all irrespective of who you are.
At times many people meet you at the barrier and look down upon you as if you are not a human being. The politicians and Government officials are the worst offenders followed by University lecturers who feel they know everything in this world and then comes the lawyers who feel they know the law and just behind the lawyers are business men and women who feel the world is for them because of their monies. The business women are just a pain the neck since they can just call anybody from anywhere and command that you should be removed from your post and in most cases it is done as they desire. Ahanta sees them and laugh. Sometimes they pass by me and insult me as they wish and in the next ten or fifteen minutes, at most twenty minutes, they would call me to come and carry them to the mortuary and I gladly do it because that is my job. I am passionate in carrying them. Those who sustain injuries would then come and tell me policeman I really sorry. I did not know you were right. Some of them become friends from there. That is when they get to know that I am really a nice person. We cannot all be equal at the same. If we fail to equate ourselves by respecting one another because of our monies, power and fame that make us proud and arrogant, death will equate us by all means.
I respect every human being because I do not know who will carry me to the mortuary just like I have been doing for others. Definitely somebody will do that since I am a mortal so I respect all. It can be anybody. It could be the one reading this very article of mine so I do not discriminate because death does not discriminate. Human beings discriminate in every aspect. Even at the mortuary, there are places reserved for the rich. It is not the fault of death to separate the rich from the poor, it is the mortuary attendant who is a human being who does that. He does that because he feels some dead bodies are better than others.
Let us see from afar and respect one another and our world will be an utopia. Not really the end because a lot more people will die including myself but I pray not to die now. I still have some proud and arrogant people to carry to the mortuary. I do not pray for their deaths but it is a natural phenomenon. Amen. It calls for solemn reflections.