The Abesim township, near Sunyani, has virtually turned into a ghost town as traditional warriors from the Dormaa Traditional Area besieged the town for the burial and interment of the late Chief Barima Kumi Acheaw II.
Barima Acheaw II, who was also the Kyidomhene (chief in-charge of crowd) of the Dormaa Traditional Area, died on September 30, 2021, after a short illness.
He was 70 and reigned for 19 years and left behind a wife and six children.
During a visit by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to the town around 0900 hours on Friday, most of the residents remained indoors, as the traditional warriors, dressed in ancient warring regalia fired sporadic musketries on the main street of the town, amidst heavy police presence.
Economic activities in the township have also halted, as all shops, stores, food joints, drinking spots, and market areas had been closed under the directive of the traditional council.
The Dormaa Traditional Council has laid the body of the mortal remains of the late chief in the Abesim palace for public view.
However, the GNA gathered the council was yet to perform some secret rituals on the body before it would be sent to the Abesim Royal Cemetery for burial on Saturday dawn.
Nana Kantanka Aduosare, the leader of the traditional warriors and the Chief of the Asuowam (river deity) at Wamfie in the Dormaa Traditional Area advised the residents not to be scared, and remain calm, saying the traditional warriors were not in the town to hurt anybody.
He explained the chiefs and people of the Dormaa Traditional Area revered their cultural practices, saying culture and tradition portrayed the identity of the people and “this is why you can see all these people in the warring regalia.”
Nana Kyei Nketiah, the chief of the Adonten royal family of Abesim, advised the youth in the area to remain disciplined, moderate and guard against alcoholism in order not to land themselves in trouble.
He told the GNA the burial and final funeral rites of the late chief officially started on Thursday March 23 to Sunday March 26, saying a funeral durbar would be held at the Abesim Roman Catholic School Park.
At the time of filing this report, scores of mourners from all walks of life had arrived in the town to attend the funeral.