The Agbotui, Tamakloe and Allied families, in a letter delivered to the Presidency on Tuesday 19th January demanding for the remains of the late President Jerry John Rawlings, also known as Togbe Nutifafa I, for other traditional rites to be performed before his burial.
According to the letter co-signed by Napoleon Kwame Agbotui and Godson Agbotui, who are Secretary and Chairman respectively to the Agbotui, Tamakloe and Allied families, an initial plan to perform the traditional rites for the late President on 22nd and 23rd January ahead of the state’s funeral performance has been cancelled and rescheduled for the 29th and 30th of January.
The letter also indicated that the family resolved at a 17th January meeting held in the Awadada’s palace in Anloga that the views expressed by Rawlings’s family members on the central funeral planning committee represented their individual opinions and not that of the Agbotui, Tamakloe and Allied families.
The state, according to the letter received at the presidency by one Ntim Owusu, is allowed to carry out all “planned and out doored funeral activities except the intended burial of the late president at the military cemetery”.
The letter continued that “the chief and people of Anlo led by the Agbotui and Tamakloe families have resolved to take possession of their beloved departed son’s remains and to proceed to continue with the Final Traditional Rites and burial on the 29th and 30th of January 2021”.
Funeral for the late President was initially scheduled for December 23, 2020, by the State but that upset the Anlo Traditional Council and the Agbotui, Tamaklo, Husunu and Allied families which wanted to be consulted.
The Council led by the Awadada of the Anlo, Togbui Agbesi Awusu II, said the arrangements made at the time were not in accordance with the customs and traditions of the Anlo people, leading to the initial indefinite postponement of the funeral rites of the late former President. Barring any changes, the state funeral for Mr Rawlings will be held at the Independence Square in Accra from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, according to a note verbale the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration sent to Diplomatic Missions, International Organizations and Honorary Consulates.
Mr Rawlings will be Laid-In-State from 24th to 26th January 2021 at the Foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. There will also be a Mass on 26th January 2021 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am at the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Accra.
It is after the above arrangement that the family of the late president is demanding to take charge of the mortal remains of Mr Rawlings to carry on with some traditional rites. Mr Rawlings, died in the early hours of Thursday, November 12, 2020, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.