Final burial rites for Asantehemaa... Basic schools close in Kumasi following ‘lockdown’ today
The Kumasi metropolis will be without commercial activities today, as businesses are expected to grind to a halt to pave way for the smooth burial of the Asantehemaa, Nana Afia Kobi Serwaa Ampem II.
All schools in the metropolis will also be closed down for the day. A January 16, 2017 letter, signed by the acting Deputy Director-General of Ghana Education Service (GES), Mrs Felicia Boakye-Yiadom, said the closure was to ensure the smooth burial of the late queenmother and in compliance with the measures put in place by the Manhyia Palace.
It expressed its condolences to the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and the entire Asanteman.
The late Asantehemaa died in her sleep in November last year at the age of 111.
Although today is not a national holiday, the Kumasi metropolis, particularly the central business district (CBD), Bantama and Bremang, will experience a ‘localised’ holiday, as most businesses within those areas will not open.
The body of the late Asantehemaa will be moved from the Dwabirem of the Manhyia Palace after the burial service to the Bantama Royal Mausoleum before being sent to the Breman Royal Mausoleum for burial in the evening.
The directive from the Manhyia Palace to residents of the metropolis is for them to remain indoors after 7 p.m. till 4 a.m. the following day.
Some banks and financial institutions have declared the day a non-working day for their staff and have, accordingly, informed their clientele about the decision.
So far, uniBank and The Royal Bank have sent text messages to their customers that they will not open for business today.
The St Peter’s Credit Union, one of the leading credit unions in Kumasi, has also decided to close its doors to business and allow its staff and customers to pay their last respects to the departed queenmother and also prevent the workers from being caught up in the closure announced by the Manhyia Palace.
Although the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has not taken any decision to close the Kumasi Central Market, most of the traders have decided not to go to the market.
Some of the market women told this reporter that they would not go to the market today as they mourned with the Manhyia Palace.
Besides, some said it would afford them the opportunity to rest from their daily toils.
The sheer number of mourners who have thronged the Manhyia Palace to mourn with the Royal Family has compelled the latter to change the venue for the burial mass scheduled for the St Cyprian’s Anglican Cathedral.
Instead, the burial service will be held at the Manhyia Dwabirem, with giant screens mounted at vantage points to enable those who may not have access to the venue to view proceedings.
Since Monday, hundreds of mourners from far and near have been pouring into the Manhyia Palace to commiserate with the Asantehene and the Royal Family.
Credit: Daily Graphic
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