Basic schools in the Kumasi Metropolitan area and the Asokore Mampong Municipality in the Ashanti Region are to be closed today, to pave way for activities to mark the fourth day of the final funeral rites of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.
Day students of second cycle institutions have also been advised to stay home today.
A statement issued by the Ashanti Regional Office of the Ghana Education Service also directed that schools in the two jurisdictions should close at noon on Friday, to enable the students reach home early to beat the curfew time placed on the routes that the Asantehene and his entourage would use to the Royal Musoleum.
There will be a procession by the chiefs of the Kumasi Traditional Area from their palaces to Manhyia today. The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will lead a procession from Pampaso at Adum to the durbar grounds at the Manhyia Palace.
Amid firing of muskets and display by traditional warriors (abrafuo) of Asanteman, today’s event will involve the showcasing of the military prowess of the Ashanti Kingdom. In view of that, all the chiefs from the traditional area will step out in their war regalia (batakari). Otumfuo Osei Tutu will wear his Batakari Kesie.
The palace has advised shops to be closed till the end of the procession, to avoid any confrontation with the palace guards and abrafuo. The Asantehene will later in the day sit in state to distribute palm wine and receive sympathies and gifts from well wishers.
Yesterday, which was day three of the final funeral rites of the late queenmother, saw the Manhyia Palace awashed with black, as all mourners wore black clothes as directed by Manhyia.
The day, which fell on an Akwasidae and, therefore, should have been marked with white dressing, was declared Kuntunkuni Adae, in memory of the Asantehemaa.
Earlier in the morning, the Asantehene visited the Akyempimhene’s palace at Nsuase, where he performed libation and offered prayers to the gods. Later in the afternoon, he sat in state at Dwabrem, where he received visitors who had come to commiserate with him.
Prominent among the visitors who paid homage to the Asantehene were the former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, the presidential candidate of the Progressive People's Party in the last presidential election, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, Sir Sam Jonah,a former CEO of Ashanti Gold, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, and the CEO of State Enterprise Commission Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng.
Others were the Board Chairman of SSNIT, Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei Mensah, and his deputy, Madam Elizabeth Agyemang; a former Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kojo Yankah, and a host of other public figures from far and near.