Gov’t to support Christian Atsu Twasam’s burial

The government will support and collaborate with the family of Christian Atsu Twasam to organise a befitting funeral for the late football star.

The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, gave the assurance when he led a government delegation to receive the mortal remains of the football star which were brought in from Turkiye Sunday evening.

“The state will be fully involved with the family in providing Atsu a befitting burial,” Dr Bawumia said at a short ceremony held on the tarmac of the Terminal 2 of the Kotoka International Airport.

Atsu was trapped in the devastating double earthquake that hit some parts of Turkiye and Syria recently. After 12 days of search and efforts to rescue him, his body was found last Saturday morning. With arrangement from the Ghana Embassy in Turkiye and Foreign Ministry the body was subsequently dispatched to Ghana.


Ghana’s Ambassador to Turkiye, Francisca Ashietey-Oduntun, and some family members of Atsu accompanied the mortal remains of the former Black Stars forward as it emerged from the cargo section of the plane in a coffin wrapped in the national flag amid wailing by family members, friends and well-wishers.

Government officials led by Vice- President Bawumia, the Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, and the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Evans Bobie Opoku, as well as members of the football community, led by the General Secretary of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Prosper Harrison Addo, and his deputy in charge of national teams, Alex Asante, were present.

Also present were some family members of Atsu and other well-wishers who converged on the tarmac and close to the entrance of the VIP Lounge to receive the body of Atsu aboard a Turkish Airlines aircraft which touched down at 7.25p.m. from Istanbul to a very emotional scene.

Some of the well-wishers fought hard to control their emotions as the casket, draped in the national flag and brought out of the cargo unit of the plane by the military, was carried on to the tarmac after which both Christian and Islamic prayers were said after which brief speeches were made.

Painful loss

Dr Bawumia said the entire nation was saddened by the devastated earthquake in Turkiye, which claimed the life of the Hatayspor forward, and had prayed for the 31-year-old player to be found alive but “when he was found 12 days later he was no more.”

Dr Bawumia extended the condolences of the government and people of Ghana to the bereaved family, describing Atsu’s death as a painful loss.

The head of the Twasam family, Nene Gabriel Nkrumah Twasam, expressed the family’s gratitude to the government for helping to fly the mortal remains of the player back home, and also thanked Ghanaians for the solidarity shown them throughout the tragic events in Turkiye.

In a solemn tone, the FA’s General Secretary also extended the condolence of the football fraternity to the family, describing Atsu as a selfless individual who touched a lot of lives and brought joy to many, both outside the pitch and on it.

He gave an assurance that the FA and the football family would stand with the family and the government to give the late national star a befitting burial.

Meanwhile, George Ernest Asare reports that the family of former Black Stars midfielder, Christian Atsu Twasam, is looking forward to work with the government to organise a befitting burial for their son in recognition of his tremendous contribution to the development of Ghana football.

A spokesperson for the family, Christiana Torvor, told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the family was devastated by the tragedy but was holding itself together for the arrival of other family members from Turkiye to plan the funeral.

Ms Torvor (who is also known as Mama CD), an elder sister of the football star, told the Daily Graphic at the family house at Ashalley Botwe in Accra yesterday that initial plans for the funeral had been taken but the family was waiting for the arrival of other family members who travelled to Turkiye for final decisions to be taken.

“The family has now met to take initial decisions and plans for the funeral but we will finalise it after their arrival. However, we are certain that since Atsu had contributed immensely to the development of Ghana football, and with the tremendous support by the government since the sad news was broken to us early on Saturday, we are looking forward to a befitting burial for our beloved son.

“We are grateful to the government for the support offered us since the demise of Atsu. Having supported to retrieve the body from the devastating earthquake in

Turkiye and transported it home, the family will collaborate with the government to organise a befitting burial for our son who gave his best for the nation anytime he was called to offer his services to the national team,” she said in an interview yesterday.


Ms Torvor and some senior members of the family expressed their profound gratitude to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, as well as Ghanaians and the international community for their support since the devastating earthquake hit Turkiye two weeks ago.

She asked for their continued support and prayers for the family for strength during the difficult moments ahead of the final funeral rites.

Looking very broken but still composed, she said the household had been left shattered and was still coming to terms with the demise of her brother which had created a big vacuum in the Twasam family.

“It has not been easy for us since we heard about the earthquake two weeks ago. We were praying for his survival until we heard about his demise early last Saturday.

“What is more devastating is that prior to his death, he had lively and lengthy discussions with some of the family members on telephone a few hours before the earthquake struck. This explains why our hearts have been broken and we’ve been left shattered beyond description,” she said.

Family pride

For Christiana, the sudden death of the football star has been devastating for the Twasam family because he was a family man who supported each member of the family in diverse ways.

“As family, we were so proud of his feat as a proficient international footballer. That is why whenever he returned home on holidays, every family member was eager to spend a few hours with him, just to demonstrate that he belonged to our family.

“It was not the money he showered on us which made us proud to get closer to him, but his gentility, sense of respect, humility and generosity which covered the ordinary Ghanaian.

“Considering his sense of generosity which extended to many Ghanaians, we wonder why Atsu should suffer such a fate but God knows why it happened this way, so as mere mortals, we cannot question God,” she lamented

Adding, she noted, “Atsu’s demise has caused much pain in our hearts. Our hearts have completely been shattered, especially considering that he died at his prime and at a time he was in good health and contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the ordinary Ghanaian.”

Source: Graphic Online

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