The late Lieutenant General Lawrence Aboagye Okai, a former Chief of Defence Staff and General Officer Commanding the Ghana Armed Forces, has been laid to rest at the Osu Military Cemetery in Accra.
His funeral took place at the forecourt of the State House in Accra and was attended by people from all walks of life, including the Military, traditional leaders, the Clergy and politicians.
Lieutenant General Lawrence Aboagye Okai was born on October 19, 1934 at Akyem Maase, in Akyem Abukwa and was a former member of the Supreme Military Council (SMC) government led by General Kutu Acheampong.
After the formation of the SMC to replace the National Redemption Council government, Okai became a member of the ruling junta as head of the Armed Forces.
Following his retirement from the army, he became active with the Veterans Association of Ghana, rising to become the Chairman of its National Council.
Most Reverend Charles Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, in a homily urged all and sundry to lead an exemplary life in preparation for the judgment day.
“We all need to stay awake by doing the will of God, loving humanity and be each other’s keeper because we all do not know when our creator will call us. When we prepare very well, we are sure of being in his bosom,” he advised.
The Archbishop likened the life of the late Lt. Gen. Okai to the parable of the five wise virgins in the Holy Bible, who kept extra oil to fuel their lamps for the wedding.
“He kept his light bright and had extra oil. Being ready for Christ’s return ultimately involves one major thing, which manifests itself in several areas of our lives. If we would be ready for Christ’s return, we must be born again through saving faith in Jesus Christ,” he noted.
Most Revered Palmer-Buckel, who praised the late Lt. Gen. Okai for his humility, patriotism, service, pleasant disposition, dedication to service of God, as well as hard work, said these qualities led to Pope Francis posthumously conferring on him a Papal Knighthood.
He encouraged the bereaved family to take consolation in the fact that death was inevitable and just a passage to God’s glorious kingdom.
Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Minister of Defence laid a wreath on behalf of the President Nana Addo Dnaquah Akufo-Addo and the people of Ghana while Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Maxwell Mantsebi Tei Nagai, Chief of Air Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces laid a wreath on behalf of the Ghana Armed Forces and other Security Services.
Major General C.B Yaache, Chairman of the Veteran Administration Ghana, laid one wreath on behalf of veterans whilst Dr Charles Asare, laid a wreath on behalf of the family
Present at the funeral include, Former President Jerry John Rawlings, Apostolic Nuncio to Ghana, Jean Marie Speich, Gen. Joshua Hamidu, Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), AVM Ashley Lassen, Former CDS, Lt. Gen. Arnold Quainoo, former CDS and Brigadier Gen Nunoo Mensah, Former National Security Advisor.