The people of Anlo have opposed the decision by government to bury former President Jerry John Rawlings in Accra.
The late former Head of State of the Republic of Ghana has been laid in state since Sunday and is expected to be buried at the Military Cemetery in Accra on Wednesday, January 27.
But the people of Anlo are reported to ‘have petitioned Torgbui Agbesi Awusu II, the Awadada of Anlo to demand that the body of former President Jerry John Rawlings be brought home for burial’.
They argued that Rawlings, 73 was a properly installed Chief of Anlo, consciously remained same and died an Anlo hence insisted he must be buried in accordance with Anlo customs.
The group have therefore pleaded with authorities to release his body to the nuclear family for burial in his ancestral home.
A petition, which was jointly authored by the three wings of the Anlo State, their military groups and the Anlo citizenry and presented by Regent Torgbui Tamakloe said:
‘We are keenly aware of his place in the history of Ghana. We also appreciate the need for the State to honour him and have him buried at the newly created Military Cemetery as needed, but our chieftaincy customary practices and usages also strongly demand that we do not pay our last respect to our departed chiefs and people of JJ’s stature in public. So for convenience, chiefs are always the last persons to send bodies of departed colleagues to the village’.
The petitioners added that:
‘This is not the first time that a request is being made for a former head of state to be buried among his people to assure proper observances of customary beliefs and practices.
Requests of this nature have been made at various times in the history of Ghana.
For example, this request was made for Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia for his burial at Wenchi, his home; Ex-President Edward Akufo-Addo, the father of the reigning President His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his burial at Kyebi; Dr Hilla Limann for his burial at Gwolu, his home; and recently in a far away South Africa, Ex-President Nelson Mandela was not buried in Pretoria but in his hometown and much more recent was that of ex-President Robert Mugabe, who was also not buried in Harare but at his hometown’.
Torgbui Gbordzor III, Dusifiaga of Anlo who received the petition on behalf of the Awadada indicated that he would rightly convey the request to Torgbui for consideration.
The Agbotui, Tamakloe and Allied families, families of late Rawlings are also said to have written to the Presidency on Tuesday and asked for changes to be made to the burial date and place of their kinsman to now become January 29 and 30 and Anloland respectively.
Late Rawlings was born on June 22, 1947, in Accra and died at the Korle-Bu Teaching hospital at 10am on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
Stay with Kasatintin.com for an update on this developing story.
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