THE FUNERAL celebrations of the late Professor John Fiifi Atta-Mills could be in jeopardy as traditional leaders of the Ga State who are custodians of the capital city of Ghana lament over the scheduled date which incidentally coincides with the Homowo celebration according to a myjoyonline report monitored by Wojaku.
The government has fixed Wednesday, August 8 to Friday, August 10, 2012 for the funeral celebrations of the late President who died on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at the 37 Military Hospital after a cardiac arrest.
The fixing of the date of the funeral by the government has been described as “too hasty” by Nana Dr. Obiri Yeboah, a social scientist who insists that by Ghanaian traditions, “only paupers are buried in haste”.
The Korle Wulomo (Chief Priest of the Korle deity) Nii Okai V, who is also a key stakeholder in the celebration of the Homowo festival has insisted that the funeral dates do not only clash with the days of performing key Homowo traditional rites of the Ga State, but its scheduling without consultation with the traditional elders and custodians of the land is a gross disrespect to the authority of the Ga state.
“Traditional leaders will not attend. The seat of government is in Accra and the leaders will not take kindly to the blatant disregard of their authority and tradition”. The wife of the late President, Dr. Ernestina Naadu Mills is the second first lady of Ga descent.the country after Mrs. Naa Morkor Busia.
According to myjoyonline, the Chairman of the Funeral Planning Committee, Mr. Totobi Quakye insists the funeral will go ahead as originally planned adding that a government delegation led by the Greater Accra Regional Minister had already been to Dodowa for special consultation with leadership of the Ga State.
Nii Okai V, however, disputed government’s purported consultation with leaders in Dodowa saying those traditional authorities appreciate the significance of Homowo and could not have agreed to the funeral dates of 8-10 August since the Gas had already fixed the celebration dates and numerous customs and rites had been performed.
“It is likely the Ga Traditional Authorities will refrain from attending the funeral of the late President, at least if government insists on keeping the set dates of August 8-10,” Nii Okai V is purported to have emphasized.
Myjoyonline Report: “…Clarifying his point on Joy News flagship current affairs program, Nana Dr. Obiri Yeboah, a social science lecturer said it is only a pauper that is dispatched off with such haste when he dies.
“You see in our tradition, if you bury prominent people as such, it is said that you have buried [them] like a fowl. You see that because they [family committee] are in a hurry, they have a conflict? If they had planned very well, they would have done a lot of consultation. You want to bury him, you have not even consulted even people in the town. They have not consulted the traditional council of the Gas” he stated.