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Tributes as leaders bid farewell to Kofi Annan


Tributes and goodwill messages flowed yesterday as the world joined Ghana to bid goodbye to its illustrious son, Kofi Annan, a former Secretary General of the United Nations.
At least, three serving Heads of State, including President Nana Akufo Addo, his Ivorian and Liberian counterparts, Allasane Qatarra and George Weah attended the funeral.

All surviving past presidents of Ghana; two former Nigerian leaders – Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar – were also there. Senate President Bukola Saraki also attended the session.
The present Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and diplomatic delegations from around the world attended the funeral and thanksgiving service in honour of the departed.

The Accra International Conference Centre, venue of the ceremony was filled with eminent personalities from all over the world, who had come to pay their last respects to the man, described as a peacemaker, a great lover of humanity, who gave most of his life to bring succour to the weak and suffering.

President Akufo-Addo eulogised the former Secretary-General of the United Nations for his unflinching advocacy for the rule of law, human rights and the principle of democratic accountability.
Akufo-Addo also recalled his efforts at propelling Ghana and indeed the whole of Africa to self-sustainability and prosperity.
He described the late Annan as an international icon, who represented Ghana, Africa and humanity very well and hence, would be greatly missed.

In his tribute, UN Secretary-General Guterres, who described the deceased as a personal friend, said he was truly inspired by Annan’s humility, dignity and dedication to service, as well as his dogged efforts at peacekeeping.
He said his tenure as Secretary-General was a remarkable record of achievements, which united the world and brought the UN to the world, adding, “Kofi Annan was UN and UN was Kofi Annan.”

Guterres recalled his last conversation with Annan. “He told me the last time we met: ‘You know what to do, take care of each other, take care of humanity, take care of the planet,’ And admonished everyone to continue with his legacy.”
His close family, including his wife, Name Maria, his daughter, Ama and his brother, Kobina Annan all paid glowing tribute to the global icon, describing him as a remarkable individual, who despite his towering achievements and tight schedules discharged excellently his responsibility as a husband, father and brother.

Mane Maria said ‘thank you’ to Ghana for giving her beloved Kofi to the world.
The body was later taken to the Military Cemetery at Burma Camp, Accra. A short funeral service was held for him. He was buried with military honours and 17 gun salutes.

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