The body of Professor Kofi Awoonor who met his tragic death at the Westgate Mall in Kenya is expected to be flown into the country on Wednesday, September 24, a family spokesman has said.

A three-member delegation made up of Prof. Awoonor’s eldest son, Mr Dunyo Awoonor, Mr Ferdinand Abodakpi and Ms Sophia Akuaku, both relations of Prof. Awoonor, is already in Kenya to identify the body and help in the preparation to convey it home.

And the Spokesperson for the family and friend of Prof. Awoonor, Prof. Kofi Anyidoho, told the Daily Graphic that dispatching a family delegation to identify the body was consistent with the Ghanaian tradition.

Reports indicated that Prof. Awoonor, who was in the company of his son, Afetsi Awoonor, was shot dead by a Somali Islamic extremist group, Al-Shabab, which attacked shoppers at the Westgate Mall in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Saturday, September 21, 2013.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Prof. Awoonor’s residence in Accra,
Prof. Anyidoho indicated that “at this point we are relying on what we have heard from various sources. Our tradition, however, does not allow us to depend on hearsay, and it is the reason that a delegation has been sent to Kenya. It’s not as if we don’t believe what the government is saying but it is all part of the tradition”.

According to Prof. Anyidoho, Afetsi, the son of Prof. Professor Awoonor, who was also shot in the attack, was doing well.

Mourners, including the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho, and a former Chief of Staff, Mr Henry Martey Newman, defied the rains to share in the loss of the Awoonors.

Mr Adjaho described Prof. Awoonor as ‘strict to a fault’, unpretentious and principled.

“I have known him since the return to constitutional rale, but I have read his literary works as a student,” he told the Daily Graphic, and indicated that Prof. Awoonor’s death was a big blow to the country.

“I received the most shocking news on Sunday since President Atta Mills died. It pained me so deeply because less than a month ago, we had been discussing issues related to the development of this country,” Mr Newman said.

Prof. Awoonor’s wife and two children are outside the country and were expected to arrive soon.

One of his sons,Tenu Awoonor, was, however, in the house. There was a delegation from the Awoamefia, led by Togbi Gbordzor, Dusifiaga of Anlo and Dufia of Woe; Togbi Nyaho Tamakloe, Miafiaga of Anlo and Dufia of Whuti; Togbi Tenge Dzokoto Gligui, Fiaga of Amugo and Dufia of Anyako; Togbe Adaku, Dufia of Sadame; Togbi Edihoo, Dufia of Xorvi, and Mr Gurage Dziwornu Segbefia, Tsiami.

Even before his demise, Prof. Awoonor, according to Prof. Anyidoho,
had written his biography and instructed his family on how his funeral should be organised.

Government officials are scheduled to meet with the family today, September 24,2013, to, among others, discuss the arrival and reception of the body. It is expected that a possible date for the funeral rites and burial will also be agreed on at the meeting.

“How he wanted his burial to be organised will be taken into consideration in the planning,” Prof. Anyidoho stated.

Perhaps, it was his love for what will now be his last literary work: ‘The promise of Hope’, that sent him to Kenya, even though he did not live to see it published.

His trip to Kenya was also in connection with the publication of this book, which had been selected as a lead book by the University of Nabraska in the city of Lincoln in the United States of America.

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