The Anlo Traditional Council says it will hold a separate funeral rite for former President Jerry John Rawlings even though the mortal remains of the former statesman is not in its possession.
According to the Secretary of the Council’s funeral planning committee, Agbotadua Kumasah, the absence of Mr Rawlings’ body will not stop them from properly bidding farewell to their former chief.
This comes after the Council and Agbotui and Allied families insisted that they want the remains of former President Rawlings to be buried in Anlo State, which was in sharp contrast to government’s announcement.
Mr. Rawlings was instead given a state funeral at the Black Star Square ahead of his interment at the military cemetery.
“Until his burial today (Wednesday), we were expecting his body to be released to us so now that they are going to bury him in Accra, we as Anlos will organise our own traditional burial for him,” he said.
Although they consider holding a funeral without the mortal remains of their ‘beloved son’ distressing, Agbotadua Kumasah took comfort in the fact that Anlo State had performed funeral rites of some of its chiefs without their mortal remains.
“We have had some chiefs who were captured in war. We have had chiefs who drowned and the bodies were not recovered. We had chiefs who were burned to ashes and chiefs who were lost who we didn’t know whether they were alive or not.”
“But there are procedures for burying those people so with or without the body, we have our own way of organising funerals for such people,” he stated.
The Anlo Traditional Council had hitherto resisted the State role in performing the funeral rites of the late former President (who also happened to be the chief of Anlo) since he died on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
The Council argued that the arrangements are not in accordance with the customs and traditions of the Anlo people.