Nana Ansu Gyeabour, the Adomakomahene of Dormaa Traditional Area, has condemned the posting of pictures of dead persons on social media platforms like facebook, whatsapp and twitter, describing it as an affront to tradition and culture.
He said in the Akan tradition, for instance, certain rituals were performed for deceased persons as an expression of honour for the life lived on earth.
“The death and funeral were expected to be observed secretly with all the solemnity and respect for the departed soul,” Nana Gyeabour said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
He said: “Posting pictures of dead bodies on social media smacks of disrespect for the dead.”
Nana Gyeabour said the death of a person, particularly a prominent chief, was not publicly announced as it is done today and children, up to the age of 12 years, were disallowed from partaking or lurking around funeral grounds.
“This was due to the sense of fear this piece of sad news brought to the community. Even the manner and language with which the Sumaakwahene (the chief who announces the death of the prominent chief), carried this task of announcement was dignifying.
“Children were not allowed to come near the corpse,” he said, and appealed to the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs to support and spearhead the course of traditional rulers through the enforcement of laws, which prohibited people from engaging in such acts and mete out punitive measures to them.
He acknowledged that democracy had its ups and downs, and said there was the urgent need for the law enforcement agencies to ensure strict adherence to laws that deal with morality, particularly by the youth.