Ga Manye funeral rites begin
The funeral rites of the late Ga Manye, Naa Dedei Omaedru III, started yesterday with Asafo companies (warriors) parading the streets of Accra amid the firing of muskets.
The Ga Traditional Council subsequently announced that the burial of the Paramount Queen Mother of the Ga State would take place on Saturday, October 28, 2023, as planned.
Today, market women will go on a procession and present foodstuffs and other items to the traditional council on another leg of the funeral rites.
At a news conference in Accra yesterday, the Chief of Protocol and Communications of the Ga Mantse, Sylvester Parker-Allotey, urged the public to support the family and the traditional council to honour the late Ga Manye by complying with the directive to close all shops to ensure a peaceful funeral process for the late Queen on Saturday.
“It is imperative for us to affirm that the funeral will proceed as planned, commemorating the remarkable legacy and contributions of the late Queen to the Ga State and the nation of Ghana,” Mr Parker-Allotey, who is also a former Ambassador, stressed.
“We hereby announce that on Saturday, October 28, 2023, all commercial activities within Greater Accra will be suspended as a mark of solemn respect and final farewell to our beloved Queen,” he said.
Banks, table-top food vendors and health facilities, including hospitals and pharmacies, are, however, exempted from the closure order.
Mr Parker-Allotey, who is also the Chairman of the Protocol Committee for the funeral, indicated that the Ga Traditional Council had received “firm assurances of full participation from the government, traditional rulers and other important dignitaries in Ghana and outside Ghana, signifying their deep reverence and homage to the memory of the late Queen”.
He said the funeral was not merely an event, but “a celebration of the cherished values and principles upheld by the late Ga Manye, including community service, unity, peace and the demonstration of our rich Ga-Dangme cultural heritage”.
He advised parents to ensure the safety of their children by being vigilant, stressing that “due to the multiplicity of activities, the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service will assist in managing traffic during the funeral”.
The Sempe Mantse, Mankralo of the Ga State and Chairman of the Central Funeral Planning Committee, Nii Adote Otintor II, explained that residents of the Ga State must set aside “just one day out of the 365 days in the year" without opening their shops for the smooth funeral and burial process of the late Queen to take place.
He said the warriors would be scanning the communities to ensure that residents complied with the directive.
Per the funeral programme announced by a member of the Central Funeral Planning Committee, Nii Ayikoi Otoo, there would be cultural display, dance and storytelling today and tomorrow with the Asafoatsemei and Asafoanyemei (men and women warriors).
Before Friday night’s vigil, the Asafo companies would have a performance during the day with muskets.
From 6:00 p.m., the clergy would be on the premises of the traditional council for a short service for the repose of the soul of the late Ga Manye.
There would also be viewing of the remains.
The warriors would continue their cultural display, music, dance and storytelling throughout the night.
On Saturday, the burial day, there would be an interdenominational burial service starting from 9:00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m.
After the service, there would be traditional burial rites which would involve the Asafo companies parading the coffin through the principal streets of Accra under the direction of the Municipal Security Council and state security.
“As we are all aware, a private burial will then take place,” Nii Otintor emphasised.
He said at 10:00 a.m., on Sunday, a thanksgiving service would be held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral of the Anglican Church, off the John Evans Atta Mills High Street.
“Other traditional rites would continue after the service,” he added.
Earlier there was a delegation of chiefs, queenmothers and elders from Otublohum and Akwamuman in the Greater Accra and Eastern regions respectively to commiserate with the Ga State, and they separately signed the book of condolence opened on behalf of the late Ga Manye.
Naa Omaedru III, also known as Naa Dedei Ablah in private life, passed away at the age of 88 on December 26, 2022, at her Dansoman residence.
Throughout her 59-year reign, she dedicated herself to public and voluntary service, advocating peace, education and opportunities for young people, particularly girls.