Despite the Funeral Planning Committee for the burial of late president Jerry John Rawlings agreeing on Wednesday, December 23 as date for the final rites, there would be a change as a result of concerns by the Anlo Traditional Council.
The Council expressed outrage after the head of the Committee issued a release on Monday, November 30 announcing the date of the final state funeral at Independence Square, in consultation with government.
“Our anger stems from the fact that [former] 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,” the Awadada of the Anlo State, Togbi Agbesi Awusu II, stated in a release on same day the Committee released its.
The Council considered the Committee’s publication without their consent as an 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”.
The chiefs, consequently, wrote to government for their concerns to be addressed.
Government has since responded.
In its response dated Thursday, December 10, Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare maintained that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo believes the government is obliged to accord the late former president a befitting state burial.
She described this obligation as “inviolable and, as such, at the appropriate time this should happen”.
“In light of the above, and taking not of issues raised by your clients, the President would be grateful if the families of the late President could resolve all outstanding matters and convey to the Office of the President an agreed date for his funeral, for necessary action to be taken as soon as possible.”
Already, cloth for the funeral has been printed.