Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, yesterday, came to a standstill as all activities, most especially business, were suspended as residents mourned the late Apagyahene, Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie.
People from all walks of life including the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, yesterday besieged the Apagyafie in Kumasi to mourn the late Apagyahene.
Also present were ex-President Kufuor and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer for the 2012 polls, ex-Defence Minister Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor among other important dignitaries.
The funeral of the late chief, who was laid in state in the wee hours of Sunday for friends and loved ones to pay their last respects to him, seemed to have affected virtually every activity in the Garden City.
There was massive vehicular traffic in Kumasi yesterday morning as mourners were seen hurriedly heading towards the Apagyafie to be part of the solemn event.
The late Apagyahene was the father of the Manhyia South MP, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh aka ‘Napo.’
When the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was paying his last respects to the Apagyahene, he burst into tears.
Otumfuo arrived at the funeral grounds in a palanquin around 2:30pm amid the firing of musketry and chants from the charged crowd. The King initially tried to contain his anguish but he later lost control and burst into tears.
The Asante Monarch was seen murmuring some words as he looked at the body of the late Oheneba Kwame Kyeretwie which was nicely dressed and laid on a plush golden bed at the Apagyafie.
The Asantehene’s cry forced former President Kufuor, Dr Addo Kufuor, Napo and all other family members standing behind the corpse to also shed tears.
Otumfuo, who was surrounded by the royal guards, followed his wailing with a traditional dance and he was joined by ex-President Kufuor, as the crowd urged the two leading personalities on.
In the course of the dancing, the Asantehene again danced towards where the late chief was laid to shed more tears.
Otumfuo then moved on to shake hands with some selected people present including Nana Akufo Addo, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku and Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto before he sat in state.
Nana Addo Chants
Nana Akufo-Addo’s immense popularity in the Ashanti Region became manifest at the funeral grounds as the sea of mourners was seen shouting his name whenever his name was mentioned.
Nana Akufo-Addo, whose body language portrayed a person in a melancholic mood, at a point had to put aside his sadness and raise his hands to respond to the wild shouts of his name.
Some of the mourners were seen trying to turn the funeral into NPP campaign grounds as they openly displayed the red, white and blue colours of the largest opposition political party.
President John Dramani Mahama was represented at the funeral by a powerful delegation led by the Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Sarpong and other top party gurus.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Anima Wilson, DCOP Augustine Gyenning, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Francis Dodovi, spokesperson of the minster and other top government officials were also present.
Also in attendance was Ibrahim Mahama, a brother of the President.
He stormed the funeral grounds with Herbert Mensah, ex-Kotoko CEO, who was accompanied by ace sports journalist Frederick Acheampong.
NPP executives like F.F. Anto, Sam Pyne and Aba were also in attendance.
On the National Democratic Congress (NDC) side, Joseph Yammin was sighted with other party supporters.
Former Black Stars defender Sammy Kuffuor of Bayern Munich fame also attended the funeral which was massively graced by top music and film stars in the country.