The entire Asona Abusua of Yaa Boaduwaa of Atwea, Agona Akrofonso, Ejura and Yaa Yeboaa Fie of Atwea, the senior and eldest widow, Madam Elizabeth Dapaah, the eight senior children and all members of the late Benjamin Asonaba Dapaah’s Paternal Family have backed out of the final funeral of the late Statesman.
At a news conference held in Kumasi recently, Obaapanin Akua Mfum, the only surviving sibling of the mother of the late Asonaba Daapaah, said she does not know anything about the funeral which is pending, stressing that no one informed her about it, and all that she hears and sees are aspersions and military intimidation.
Obaapanin Mfum told the media that she did not understand the circumstance under which her son died, but it had already happened. “I wanted the body to be brought home for a befitting funeral, but it never happened, so I do not know anything about the funeral, which is pending – no one has informed me about it, and all that I hear is about aspersions and military intimidation,” she said at the news conference.
According to her, all what she said at the court had been rejected, and that she was very worried about this development. “I am not a happy person. They have to be careful about those who are parading themselves as family heads and the likes.”
Responding to a question, Akua Mfum noted that she had no hand in the funeral, hence, it must be stopped, adding, “Our names did not even appear on the obituary, and those that the children are claiming to be family members are not as such. I do not know them.”
In a message to the last four children of the late Asonaba Dapaah, the old lady asked them to be careful about what they were doing.
“Even if I am in penury, that is all that they have. Those that they have taken as their relatives say we aren’t part of them, and if you tell someone he is not part of you, can you take something from the person?” the worried mother of the late Asonaba Dapaah asked the media.
Madam Grace Dapaah, second child of the late Asonaba Dapaah, on her part, stated that she wanted Ghana and the whole world to hear that her Dad, who is the late Benjamin Asonaba Dapaah, had eleven children, out of which eight of them were the elders, with the remaining four belonging to the fourth wife, Rosemary Dapaah, the last wife their father married.
Grace pleaded with President Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, his Vice, to find out from Rosemary Dapaah why she was rejecting her mother, Elizabeth Dapaah, who had been in marriage with their late father for eighteen years before her father married Rosemary as his fourth wife.
Grace expressed worry over the way and manner they had been excluded from the burial of her late father, bemoaning that the same fate was being schematised by her younger siblings, as they staged the final funeral rites of her father.
The visibly worried daughter of the late Asonaba Dapaah asked Manhyia Palace and Jubilee House for an explanation if what was going on was acceptable or not.
She also expressed worry about the parading of different people as family heads in organising the funeral.
According to Grace, those that her junior siblings were parading as family heads were never true, and that all what she knew was that Nana Akua Mfum was her grandmother, with Akwasi Kumah being her junior father.
She added that her aunties were Ama Dufie, Adwoa Achiaa, and Abrokwah, hence, she did not know anyone else.
Earlier, Mr. Mathew Kumah, acting Head of the Family, disclosed that the family was yet to perform the final funeral rites for the late Benjamin Asonaba.
He expressed worry about how the mortal remains of their royal was seized and whisk away from the family into a military ambulance at the cargo section of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
On June 16th, 2019, which was three days after the arrival of the corpse, the children of Madam Rosemary Dapaah were summoned before the Odikro of Atwea and his elders to explain their actions.
They pleaded for forgiveness and promised before the Odikro and elders of Atwea to deliver the body to the immediate family in a week’s time. According to Mr. Kumah, the immediate family had a wonderful relationship with the two surviving wives and all twelve children.
However, the circumstances occasioned by the uncustomary and non-traditional actions of the fourth or last wife and her four children informed their decisions as the bereaved immediate family.
Nevertheless, in a spirit of family bond, Kumah indicated that the family would always keep the late Asonaba Dapaah in their hearts .
“We shall continue to mourn our cherished Asonaba Dapaah in the spirit of the family, and in adherence and remembrance of our customs and ancestors.”
According to Mathew Kumah, it had never been the position of the family to dishonour their deceased relative who was loved by many. He said: “We wish to emphatically state that it has never been our intention to dishonour our son, brother, uncle, grandfather, and, above all, our own blood. Asonaba Dapaah, in his life, was a very lovely person.”
The late Statesman, according to the family, had a very peaceful and exemplary relationship with his entire family and all the children. The late Benjamin Asonaba Dapaah (Former Family Head of Yaa Boaduwaa/Ama Pokuaa Fie) left Ghana on April 16th, 2019, for a scheduled medical check-up in New York, USA, after which he decided to visit his children in London on his return journey to Ghana.
However, he suffered a medical emergency on the flight and was thus admitted at the Charring Cross Hospital in London, where he finally passed away on May 21st, 2019.
He served as a Member of the Council of State in the erstwhile Kufuor administration, from 2001 to 2009. He was a Founding Member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The late Asonaba Dapaah was the Founding Patron of the NPP branch in France.