The Asanteman Council has announced arrangements for funeral rites of the late queen mother of Asanteman, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II but a warning issued is causing a stir in Kumasi.
Residents in the Ashanti regional capital have been told to stay indoors on Thursday, Jan 19 from 8 p.m to Friday, January 20, 4 a.m to enable the traditional authorities to perform the necessary rites in giving the late queen a befitting burial on her journey to the ‘village’.
According to Manhyia Palace, the burial and final funeral rites of Nana Afia Kobi Serwa Ampem II, mother of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II who passed in November 2016 at age 111 would take place from January 16 -19.
She was enstooled in 1977 as the 13th queen mother of the Asante Kingdom since 1695 after the late Nana Ama Serwaa Nyarko II who reigned from 1945 to 1977.
She saw the reign of the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II as Asantehene who reigned from 1970 to 1999.
The traditional authorities are against people taking advantage of the customary rites have debunked rumors it will offer human sacrifices to its ancestors as part of the funeral rites.
Asantehene’s Mawerehene, Baffour Hyiaman Brentuo VI said the ban is not to encourage human sacrifice which was abolished some 200 years ago.
He tells Nhyira FM’s Ohemeng Tawiah the order is to protect the residents from unscrupulous people who will hide behind the age old tradition to cause trouble.
“Earlier times when this type of funeral took place, there was the belief that people were virtually massacred to go with the dead. Those things are past,” he said emphatically.
He explained that because of the impression created about human sacrifices, “once someone gets missing, the public thinks that probably we [traditional council] have taken the person. That is why we are warning people to stay away.
“If you come out and someone pretends to be part of us and creates that falsehood that the missing person has been taken by us, it would be unfortunate as there is nothing of this sort. That is what we want to avoid, that is why we want people to stay indoors,” he stated.
Meanwhile, some residents of Kumasi who Nhyira FM spoke to said they will respect the order issued by the Palace.
“I am going to stay indoors because I am an African and I follow and respect tradition. If that is what is coming from Manhyia Palace, I have no option but to respect it,” one resident said.
“In Ashanti, we know they have their rich culture as well as their rules and regulations so regarding this ban of not going out on Thursday as the queen mother goes to the village, once I live here I have no option but to heed to that,” another resident said.