The final funeral rites of Otumfuo Baidoo Bonsoe ll, King of Ahanta, who was captured and beheaded by the Dutch in 1838, will take place tentatively in the third week of August this year.
Professor Kwesi Jonah, Secretary of the Funeral Planning Committee, announced this during a news briefing organized by the Western Regional House of Chiefs and the Ahanta Traditional Council at Sekondi.
He said Nana Bonsoe was a courageous King who by his confrontation with the Dutch authorities, booked his place in the history of Ghana as one of the great African Chiefs who resisted the domination, exploitation and under-development of Africa by the European powers.
He was assassinated for his fortitude in fighting against the heinous crimes and slave trade by the Dutch.
The King’s head was taken and kept at a medical laboratory at the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands for 172 years. His remains were returned to Ghana in 2009 with the support of President John Evans Atta Mills, after diplomatic exchanges between Ghana and the Dutch authorities.
Since then, however, the celebration of the annual “Kundum” festival has been shelved because it is against Ahanta custom to celebrate while the funeral of the chief has not been held.
Professor Jonah of the Political Science Department at the University of Ghana, Legon, said activities leading up to the final funeral rites would begin in May, including the building of a befitting mausoleum for the mortal remains of the late king.
Others are a fund raiser, a documentary on the King to be shown on national television channels, and the creation of an event website and billboards.
History has it that King Baidoo Bonsoe in 1837 rebelled against the Dutch colonialists and killed several Dutch officers, including the acting Governor, Tonneboejer.
Using a treaty they had signed with the Ahanta State in 1656 as the basis for military action, the Dutch sent an expeditionary force to Ahanta. In the war, King Bonsoe was decapitated and his head was sent to the Netherlands.
The Dutch reorganized the Ahanta State by appointing the Chief of Butre as regent, and keeping the state under its control until they transferred their possessions in the Gold Coast to the British on April 6, 1872.
Source: The Ghanaian Times
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