Story: Samuel Duodu, New Longoro
THE three widows of the Mo Traditional Area in the Brong Ahafo Region have expressed their gratitude to the traditional council for its efforts at ensuring a peaceful resolution of the chieftaincy dispute in the area.
That initiative will pave the way for the performance of the final funeral rites of their late husband, Nana Kwaku Dimpo II, Chief of New Longoro in the Kintampo North District.
By these efforts, the widows, Madam Yaa Nsia, 90; Madam Afua Nkume, 80; and Madam Ama Sumaa, 75; the first, second and third wives respectively of the late chief, who have performed widowhood rites over the past nine years after their husband’s death, will be set ‘free’.
The culture of the traditional area demands that the successor of the deceased chief should perform the final funeral rites of his predecessor and it is after the performance of the final funeral rites that the three widows would stop performing widowhood rites.
A chieftaincy dispute over who succeeds the late chief has made the performance of the funeral rites of the late chief impossible, thereby keeping the women in widowhood over a long period.
The widows have consented to the latest agreement by the council to elect Nana Adjei Adinkra II, Krontihene of New Longoro as the acting President of the traditional council to perform the final funeral rites for the late chief.
This follows a meeting held at New Longoro on April 4, 2008 between the family of the late chief and the Mo Traditional Council to elect an acting President for the council. During the meeting, July 25 to 31, 2008 were the dates slated for the celebration of the final funeral rites of the late chief, who died in 1999.
The decision was communicated to the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, which has also given its approval for the funeral of the late chief to be performed.
The President of the Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV and Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, Nana Kudom, who led a delegation from the Regional House of Chiefs to present an unspecified amount of money to the three widows, gave the assurance that the House would ensure that the funeral of their late husband would come off as scheduled.
Some members of the delegation were Nana Kwame Korang VI, Vice President of the Regional House of Chiefs and Omanhene of Odomase No. 2 Traditional Area and Nana Fosu Gyeabour Akoto II, Omanhene of Bechem Traditional Area and a member of the Standing Committee of the House.
He stated that the Regional House of Chiefs would also ensure that their late husband, who was a member of the Regional House of Chiefs, was given a befitting burial as tradition and custom demand.
The delegation early on met with the Mo Traditional Council, the late chief’s family and the funeral committee set up to organise the final funeral rites of the late chief, who was also the President of the Mo Traditional Council to learn first-hand the progress made so far for the funeral.
Nana Kudom expressed regret about the situation in which the three widows found themselves, saying it was a violation of their (the three widows’) human rights and therefore the Regional House of Chiefs had stepped in to ensure that the funeral rites of their late husband was performed for them to gain their liberty.
He stated that the House had been able to resolve the dispute and now that peace was prevailing in the area, the traditional council should go ahead with the funeral of their late chief so that the women who had not committed any crime, but had been confined as a result of their tradition would be freed.
Nana Kudom thanked all the feuding factions in the chieftaincy dispute for allowing peace to prevail in the area for the late chief’s funeral to take place.
The acting President of the traditional council, who had been asked to stand in and perform the final funeral rites for the late chief on behalf of the council, expressed his gratitude to the Regional House of Chiefs for its intervention.
He pledged that the funeral committee chaired by him would ensure that the funeral comes off as scheduled for the widows to gain their freedom and asked for the support of the House when the time comes.
Mr Stephen Kuusu, the Member of Parliament for Kintampo North for his part also expressed his gratitude to the Regional House of Chiefs for their intervention which had paved the way for the funeral of the late chief to be held .
He disclosed that if the House of Chiefs had not stepped in they would have been summoned by parliament to come and answer why tradition should be used to curtail the freedom of the women.