The late Paramount Chief of the Akuapem Traditional Area, Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa, began the transition into the world of his ancestors last Sunday, with the performance of traditional rites by the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II.
The solemn rites were performed without any public attendance, witnessing just a skeletal presence of the normal retinue that accompanies known and recognised chiefs of his calibre.
Persons close to the family of the late chief said the funeral rites of a paramount chief, which occur once over a long period, were performed under revered customary procedures and close observance by custodians of the norms and mores of the people of the traditional area.
Some sources close to the Daily Graphic said Akropong was ‘dead’ when the Okyenhene arrived last Sunday to perform the rites.
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They said on occasions like that nobody dare step out near the route of the chiefs to the venue for the rites as their moods and actions do not tolerate strangers on their path to watch the solemn and secret rites.
In time of old, people who dared to cross their paths got lost, but even now those who allow their goats, sheep and fowls to cross have themselves to blame as they will be killed.
A nephew to the late chief, Dr Thomas Ohene-Djan, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, said the Okyenhene was an uncle to the late chief and that he was customarily mandated to perform the rites.
In the early hours of yesterday the entire town of Akropong was almost a ghost town. The entire traditional area was draped in red and black, signalling a mournful mood.
Normal activities were yet to become operational following the arrival in town of the mortal remains of the late chief.
There was a remarkable presence of uniformed policemen in the various strategic locations of the town who were seeing to a free flow of traffic.
The quietude that engulfed the town was not unusual. Indeed, several days before the arrival of Oseadeeyo’s remains, a traditional curfew had been imposed on the area.
The curfew does not allow movements and other activities after 10 p.m.
Although the ‘curfew’ prevailed in all the Akuapem jurisdictions, it was more pronounced in Akropong and areas close to it.
People who live in areas like Abiriw, Dawu and Awukugua went out late but had to make an early return home because there was no activity in town.
One public servant, who chose to remain anonymous, said “the man we are mourning was a noble and self-respecting gentleman who frowned on rowdiness and any other act that ran contrary to the established order. So I don’t think the funeral will attract any rowdy behaviour and even if you have the feel to do that, you will check yourself”.
But another person, a lady, told the Daily Graphic that “we have to obey because we love our heads”.
All schools within the area have been asked to close down until the illustrious chief of the land has been laid to rest.
A good number of schools that the Daily Graphic visited had been closed down in line with a directive from the Municipal Education Directorate.
However, pupils of the School for the Blind were in school, but had been restricted to the boundaries of the school so as to prevent a violation of the directive.
The Assistant Headmaster of the school, Mr Joseph Atsu, told the Daily Graphic in an interview that the decision to retain the pupils was because the school had pupils coming from all over the country.
He said a closure for 10 days would, therefore, impose financial burden on the parents of those who had to travel from far to school.
He said in times such as what the area was experiencing regarding a constant inflow of vehicles to the area, the absence of speed ramps posed serious danger to pupils of the school.
But at the Aburi Girls Senior High School, life was normal, as students were still on campus going about their usual academic activities.