Just when it appeared all bottlenecks have been removed and the road was all clear for a successful funeral for the late Jerry John Rawlings, there suddenly has been another twist.
The government through the Funeral Organizing Committee initially announced December 23, 2020, as the day for the burial and funeral of the late president.
This date was rejected by the Anlo Traditional Council which decried what it contended to be a sidelining of the council and failure to factor in the traditions of the people of Anlo in the decision-making process.
This led to a period of behind-the-scenes talks which eventually resulted in the changing of the dates.
The government through circulars to diplomatic missions and international organizations, made it known that January 27 has been agreed on as the day Ghana’s longest-serving leader will join his ancestors as said in the Ghanaian parlance.
Subsequently, a press conference was held by the Ministry of Information where Oppong Nkrumah announced that the Military Cemetery at Burma Camp will house the body of the NDC founder.
He further announced the arrangement for the burial and funeral services which starts on January 22 and end on January 27 when Rawlings will be buried and final funeral rites will be held.
But these plans could be scuppered if a common ground is not found between the government and Rawlings’s Agbotui family who is now demanding that the body of their beloved be interred at Anlo and not at Burma Camp.
In a letter addressed to the President, the family expressed satisfaction with all the arrangement but rejected plans to bury Rawlings at Military Cemetery where former vice president Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur was also buried.
“The Chief and people of the Anlo State led by the families have resolved to take possession of their beloved departed son’s mortal remains and proceed to continue the Final Traditional Rites and burial on 29th and 30th January 2021 at the Anlo State as tradition demands.”
This request by the family is big blow to the organizers as the construction of Rawlings’s tomb is already underway, according to the state-owned Graphic newspaper.
A report by the newspaper on January 16, 2021, stated that work had begun on the construction of the grave for Rawlings.