Anxious relatives and friends of a deceased man at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti Region were disappointed when the bereaved family sent the body to the cemetery right from the morgue, as mourners waited to pay their last respects at home.
The head of the Asenie Family at Akyawkrom took the decision in consultation with family members in compliance with government directives against large social gathering in the wake of coronavirus epidemic.
Opanin Kwaku Acheampong also restrained people from converging, as he restricted the rites to a few relatives.
The pomp and pageantry, display of rich Akan culture usually associated with funerals were absent at the burial of the 45-year old Kofi Boakye, described as the ‘people’s man’.
What was supposed to be a private burial took a new twist as sympathisers amassed in front of the family house.
Soon the numbers began to swell, despite the family’s decision to respect the presidential ban on social gatherings.
The crowd’s anxiety to pay their last respect to their departed loved one was dashed when the family sent the corpse to the graveyard without the usual laying in state.
Few elders later gathered at the family house to receive donations from sympathizers.
They were made to spend less than five minutes, after going through strict hand washing and other anti-coronavirus protocols.
Opanin Acheampong later spoke to Joy News.
“Our relative died days before the Presidential directive,” he said.
“So we decided to send the corpse to the cemetery without bringing it home. We also designated some family members for the funeral rites at home. Since we are observing the directive, those of us here are even not up to 20. We also ensured all those returning from cemetery and other well-wishers washed their hands with soap. All of them were supplied with pocket tissues to clean their hands.”
Opanin Kwaku Acheampong wants others to devise alternative but innovative ways to mourn their departed relatives as efforts are made to curb the spread of covid-19.
“It is not too difficult to observe the presidential directive on social gathering,” he says. “The President knows what’s best for the country. Coronavirus disease is a global issue. We have to respect every arrangement that seeks to protect us.”