A solemn mood hangs around the New Juaben Traditional Area, particularly, the Yiadom Hwedie Palace as residents anxiously await details of the death of their Omanhene, Daasebre Professor Emeritus Oti Boateng, which was announced by the Daily Graphic yesterday.
An anticipated press conference by the traditional leaders at the palace in Koforidua did not come on yesterday, though the divisional and sub-chiefs of the area, together with a son of the late Omanhene, held a meeting to deliberate on matters relating to the unfortunate death.
Notable among the chiefs present was the Gyaasehene, Nana Twumasi Darkwah.
At the end of the meeting which lasted for almost four hours, the traditional leaders declined to say anything, much to the disappointment of the media personnel who had showed up near the palace to nose around for news.
By the tradition of New Juaben, if there had not been any official announcement about a paramount chief going to his village, no one was allowed to speak or make any comment.
At the palace, even without an announcement, the countenance of the leaders who attended the meeting, coupled with the black mourning cloth, known as ‘kuntukuni’ which they had on, were enough to suggest that all was not well.
Some residents, who had also heard the news of the passing of the traditional ruler, also showed up around the vicinity of the palace hoping to get more signals.
But for the meeting of the chiefs, there was very little activity at the palace as has been the case all week.
For those interested in culture and tradition, official mourning began yesterday. Some were also spotted in black clothes, near the palace before returning to their normal duties.
Some of the residents, in an interview, said that they were aware of a rumour of Daasebre Oti Boateng's death.
“It has been a rumour making the rounds for about a week now. But it was difficult to say if it was true or not. However, with the credible Daily Graphic reporting it, I take it as the confirmation,” Opanyin Yaw Frempong said.
Others who were not aware of the rumour said they were shocked when they read about his death in the newspaper yesterday.
“I had no idea that anything had happened. Indeed, recently, there was an activity at the palace as they held the funeral of Barima Okyere Boateng, the Mmrontuohene. But the palace has been largely quiet as I usually use the route daily to and from work.
“It was only when the Daily Graphic reported it and observed the arrival of many people at the palace this morning then I realised what had happened,” Baffour Kwasi Annor, also said.