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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 August 2020

Columnist: Dr Kwadwo Tutu

Mr President, have you lifted the ban on funerals? Funerals are taking place in Ashanti

File Photo of President Akufo-Addo File Photo of President Akufo-Addo

Mr. President, I stand to be corrected but as far as I know, you have not lifted the ban on funerals. You have only made slight changes only on religious services and education. Religious people can have services for all members (observing all the protocols) for two hours.

I was in Ashanti Region for two weeks (August 08 to 23) and was surprised to know that full funerals and one week celebrations take place. For the five funerals that I attended (I thought that they were only burials) only two families had burial rites, the remaining three had full funerals, Saturdays (5am-12 noon and 2pm-6pm) and Sundays (Thanksgiving church service and funeral 2pm-6pm). Kumasi is the headquarters of this violation and has spread to almost all Ashanti towns.

In Ashanti it is only one town I know, BEPOSO, near Nsuta where only burials take place. In fact, the dead is not even laid in state. It is from mortuary to cemetery. This practice in Beposo is not an order from the DCE, the Police or the Omanhene. They are adhering to the President’s directives.

Some of the good funeral practices (one week 6-hour celebration during the pre-COVID period) was began by MY progressive Abusuapanin, Mr. Asante Gyeabour, aka Akwasi Agyeman who instituted it in his own Ankaase family that one-week celebration must start from 6am and end at 12 noon. This town saw the good sense in this practice and have been adopted by the town. I doff my hat for this bold man, Akwasi Agyeman, for his forward-looking and productive action that has now been adopted by the whole town.

For one-week celebration in other Asante towns, they start from 5am-9am and 2pm-6pm. Unless you have lifted the ban on funerals, your APPOINTEES (DCEs and MCEs) AND THE POLICE who are aware of these violations take a blind eye to it. I questioned several families and they admitted violating the Presidential directives.

The only positive thing out of this violation is that the family members and most of the sympathizers wear nose masks for the 8 hours that they sit in state.

Coming to Accra on Sunday, August 23, I noticed that it may not only be in Ashanti Region where funerals take place. I saw three towns along Kumasi-Accra road in the Eastern region organising funerals.

Mr. President, this is the state of events in Ghana on funerals. Some of your APPOINTEES are not ensuring that your directives are enforced.

Dr. Kwadwo Tutu