President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the government will organise an assisted State burial for Christian Atsu at the forecourt of the State House on a date yet to be announced.
Everything, the President stated, would be done from the point of view of the government to ensure that the outstanding footballer, receives a befitting burial.
This was made known when Christian Atsu’s Family members, led by the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) on Monday officially announced his (Christian Atsu) death to President Akufo-Addo at the Jubilee House.
Kurt Okraku expressed the family’s profound gratitude to the President for the support offered them since the unfortunate incident of February 18th, which was occasioned by the earthquake that happened in Turkey and Syria on February 6th.
On February 18th when the death of Christian Atsu, 31, was announced, President Akufo-Addo took to his official Facebook and wrote: “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away” Job 1:21.
“On behalf of the Government and people of Ghana, I extend sincere, heartfelt condolences to the widow, children and family of our fellow Ghanaian, Christian Atsu, on the sad news of his death…”
“May his soul rest in the Bosom of the Almighty until the Last Day of the Resurrection when we shall meet again, Amen!”
“Ghana football has lost one of its finest personnel and ambassador, one who will be difficult to replace. He will be sorely missed.”
At the meeting in the President’s office, Christian Atsu’s family expressed their intention to work closely with the government, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ghana Football Association “to give our brother a befitting burial.”
But not fully aware of the family plans for Atsu’s funeral, President Akufo-Addo said, the sooner to get this unfortunate incident behind us, “the better for all of us…not to linger for far too long…”
He pleaded that the family liaise with the Minister for Youth and Sports and his office to choose a date for the funnel that would not conflict with his engagement outside the country, since he has to be present at Christian Atsu’s funeral.
President Akufo-Addo, who was full of sorrow and sadness, said there had been times that he felt he was not President, “and today is one of them.”
He emphasised that the young man, who the country is currently mourning, was an “exceptional athlete, a gift to our nation,” and those who are football fanatics, just like myself” spent a lot of time admiring him and his exploits on the field of play.
The news that came from Turkey as a result of the tragedy that happened, according to the President, was also a very torturous experience for him and Ghanaians all over the world.
He said, initially “we were made to understand that he (Christian Atsu) was alright and then came to the concluding and defining news, that indeed, he had been called by the Almighty…”
“It’s a tragedy for his family, its a tragedy for his community and a tragedy for our country.”
President Akufo-Addo expressed his condolences and that of the people of Ghana to the family for the great loss.
He commended Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkey, Francisca Ashietey-Odunton, and Government officials of Turkey who spare no efforts to ensure that Christian Atsu was found and also ensured a decent arrangement was made for his repatriation to Ghana.
Despite the pain expressed by many Ghanaians, President Akufo-Addo said their sense of grief cannot be compared to that of Christian Atsu’s twin sister, for the loss.
He said no matter the circumstances, the Creator would call each one of us and perhaps that was Christian Atsu’s destiny that he be called in this tragic way.
He commended Ghanaians for their appreciation of Christian Atsu’s contribution and support to the development of the country and the development of sports.
Christian Atsu, according to the GFA president, was a very dedicated footballer who had 66 Cups for the Black Stars, whose carrier height was in 2015 when he scored the best goal and was voted the best player of the tournament of AFCON.
He said Christian Atsu served the Black Stars with all his heart whenever he was called upon and until his demise, he was still a member of “our team.”
Beyond the field of play, Christian Atsu was a philanthropist. His deeds and works are all over the place, which he offered to his fellow human beings.
“His Excellency, I am here today with two officials’ members of the football association, Nana Safo Oduro, Executive Committee member, and Alex Asante Twum, Head of the National Teams Department and also from the close family, the twin sister of Christian, Atsubi, and Nene Agudey III, Ada Mancrolo, Nene Lomur III, the divisional Chief of Lomur… and Christian Sorti.”
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD