The Kumasi Metropolis will be on a lock-down from 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 19, 2017 till 4 a.m. the next day. Within the period, residents are expected to stay indoors as the body of the late Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, will be moved to the Bantama Mausoleum (Ban mu) and later to the Breman Mausoleum for burial.
Prior to that, all offices and shops are to be closed on January 19, 2017. No commercial activity whatsoever, especially within the Central Business District of Adum is to take place on the day.
These were contained in an elaborate programme released in Kumasi last Friday by the Asanteman Council for the four-day lying-in-state and burial rites of the queenmother.
The programme will begin on Monday, January 16, and end on Thursday, January 19, 2017.
All mourners and visitors to the Manhyia Palace during the four-day period would have to wear black, while females are barred from wearing headgear and jewellery.
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At a media briefing in Kumasi, the Akyeamehene of the Asantehene, Nana Nsuase Poku Agyemang III, said on Monday, January 16, 2017 the body would lie in state after some rituals had been performed at dawn for the members of the Asanteman Council, elders and royals to file past the body and wait for the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to also do same.
From then, the Otumfuo will sit in state and receive dignitaries. Members of the public will also be allowed to pay their last respects to the late Asantehemaa.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, chiefs from other parts of the country including members of the National House of chiefs, various regional houses of chiefs and heads of corporate institutions will take their turn to file past the Asantehemaa’s body and express their condolences to the Otumfuo.
Wednesday has been set aside for dignitaries, including the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo; former Presidents, Members of Parliament (MPs) and heads of state from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, South Africa, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Seychelles and members of the diplomatic corps.
Others would be majesties from other kingdoms.
Thursday is the final day for the Asantehemaa to lie in state. According to Nana Agyemang, the Otumfuo will sit in state for an hour to receive dignitaries who might not have been able to file past the Asantehemaa’s body.
The body will be conveyed to the St Cyprian’s Anglican Church at Fante New Town for a burial service at 11 a.m. on Thursday. Attendance is strictly by invitation.
There would be large screens at the Kumasi Jubilee Park which is close to the church for those who cannot make it into the church to join in the service.
After the church service, the body of the Asantehemaa will be conveyed under full military escort to the Bantama Mausoleum for the final traditional rites and wreath laying.
The lock-down of the metropolis will then take place from 7 p.m. for the body to be moved from the Bantama Mausoleum to Breman for burial.
Nana Agyemang cautioned that “people should stay indoors for their own safety.”
He warned that the security agencies would not tolerate rabble-rousers and people who would want to foment trouble during the period.
They would not also entertain political party colours and hooting at political opponents because as he put it, “the elections are over.”
He added that donations would be accepted from Monday to Wednesday.
The Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II, will be laid in state from Monday, January 16, 2017 to Thursday January 19, 2017.
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, will sit in state all the four days to receive those who will mourn with him.
No offices or shops will be opened on Thursday, January 19, 2016.
Residents should stay indoors from 7 p.m. on Thursday to 4 a.m. Friday.