President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday joined the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, and other high profile personalities to pay their last respects to the late Bantamahene, Baffour Owusu Asare Amankwatia V.
Among them were politicians including the 2016 Presidential Candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, some present and past ministers’ of state.
President Mahama on arrival exchanged pleasantries with the Asantehene, the crowded assembly of paramount and divisional chiefs, the family and mourners after which he was led to the palace, where the body had been lying in-state since Tuesday.
The deceased, traditionally, was the Asantehene’s chief warrior, and occupied prominent position in the set-up of the Kumasi Traditional Council (KTC).
As head of the Krontire Division of the KTC, he presided over meetings of the council in the absence of the Asantehene and that showed his key role in the scheme of things.
His remains were expected to be buried later in the night amid the performance of some esoteric rituals.
Intense firing of muskets, the sound of “kete”, “fontomfrom” and “atumpan” drums, blowing of the traditional horns (ntahara) and funeral dirges combined to fill the air, as the Asantehene holding a short gun and riding under a palanquin earlier made his way to the place.
The funeral brought the normal brisk trading and economic activities in Bantama, one of the busiest areas in Kumasi, to complete halt.
Its thriving satellite market was locked and the main street choked with mourners from all walks of life.
Baffour Amankwatia, aged 72, reigned for 13 years.