Hundreds of mourners in Ghana’s capital, Accra, yesterday paid their last respects to the former United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan.
The casket containing Mr. Annan’s body was laid in the foyer of the Accra International Conference Center draped with the flag of Ghana and guarded by security personnel.
Mourners from all walks of life, including traditional rulers, members of Civil the public, staff of UN in Ghana, the academia, students, mostly clad in black and red attires, filed past the body of Mr. Annan from 10am to 4pm.
The occasion was a solemn one and was visibly expressed in the postures of mourners.
Notable among the mourners were Nana Brewuo III of Asante Akim Konongo Dr. Emmanuel Kwarteh of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG) and Prof. Ransford Gyampo, political science lecturer at the University of Ghana.
Mr. Annan passed on in his sleep in Switzerland on August 18, 2018 at age 80.
His mortal remains arrived in Accra on Monday, September 10 from Switzerland.
His body was accompanied by his wife, Nane Maria Lagergren and received by Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo and the Ghana Armed Forces.
He is to be buried on Thursday, September 13 at a Military Cemetery in Accra after an ‘elaborate’ funeral, which is expected to be attended by several world leaders.
For the mourners, the demise of Mr.Kofi Annan is a big blow to Ghana and the world at large, as they saw in him a symbol of peace, justice, equality and humility.
Dr. Kwarteh described him as a servant-leader and a model for African leaders to learn from.
“I hope our politicians will learn from the servant-leader he was,” Dr. Kwartey said.
He expressed the belief that Ghana cannot have an individual to serve as Secretary General of the UN anytime soon.
Gender and Program Analyst, Jennifer Asuako, who led the first batch of UN staff to file past the body, said Mr. Annan was seen as a UN star.
She said Mr. Annan was a unique figure who sought to ensure that the rights of every individual were protected.
Diplomats, Ministers Take Turn
Foreign diplomats in Ghana and ministers of state and some powerful traditional leaders are to take their turn today to pay their last respects to Mr. Annan.
Mr. Kofi Ata Annan was born in 1938 and served as Secretary General of the UN for two successful terms beginning from 1996.
He was the first black African to have held the position.