Rawlings’ funeral slated for Dec 23 but Anlo chiefs outraged

The Anlo Traditional Council has expressed “total outrage” at the announcement of the final funeral rites for late former president Jerry John Rawlings.

A press release signed by Ambassador James Victor Gbeho, the Head of the Funeral Planning Committee, on Monday, November 30 announced that the family has in consultation with government agreed on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 as date for the state funeral.

Though conclusions on the finer details have not been reached, the release announced that the ceremony will be held at the Independence Square in Accra.

But another press statement issued by the Awadada of the Anlo State, Togbi Agbesi Awusu II, said the late former president was a properly installed chief of Anlo and so honour must be accorded the customs, traditions, mores, and usages of Anlo tradition.

“Our anger stems from the fact that president JJ Rawlings was not only a former Head of State and President of the Republic of Ghana, he was also a properly installed Chief of Anlo land whose unfortunate demise must be dealt with in accordance with customs and traditions of Anlo.

“It needs to be brought to the attention of the public that the traditional council had brought to the attention of the immediate family its concerns on how to proceed with the funeral arrangements and was to have met them for final input into the funeral arrangement.”

The Council took exception to the statement issued by the Funeral Planning Committee, saying it is “a total affront to Anlo custom, traditions, usage and mores of our people and we call on those behind this to take urgent remedial steps to enable us accord our dear departed a dignified send-off”.

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The Council said it reserves the right to take steps to ensure that “this error is remedied appropriately”.

“We take this opportunity to inform HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who we know is a royal to ensure that the right procedures are adhered to.”

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana