Hundreds of people pay last respects to Kofi Annan
The mood at the Accra International Conference Centre was one of sadness as hundreds of people thronged the venue to pay last respects to the distinguished son of the land, Kofi Annan.
Staff of United Nations agencies in Ghana and prominent individuals and general public took advantage of the opportunity available to honour him for the last time as he takes his final journey home.
Most people commended him for his contribution to the world and for putting Ghana and Africa on the map.
Kofi Annan's Casket closed
Mourners who trooped to the venue today were, however, disappointed over their inability to see the body of the former UN Secretary-General.
The casket remains closed and enveloped with the national flag colours as well-wishers file pass the body.
Clarifying the "confusion" in the minds of people over the development, Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide indicated that the decision to cover the mortal remains of Kofi Annan is to signify his modest lifestyle.
“There are high-profile funerals that I’ve attended that I’ve seen the casket covered even in this country and, so, it’s not a major problem; the important thing is that you see the family sitting in state, and, so, the man Kofi Annan himself is a modest person, and, so, he doesn’t want a lot of flamboyance around the funeral with a lot of frills"
“Yes, this is a state funeral, we admit, but even as we give him a befitting state funeral, we think that it is still important that we respect his wishes of keeping it a little modest, a little soft and so far, it’s been very good... We all know the kind of person Mr Kofi Annan [was] and I think that the way it has been arranged is just perfect. In any case, the casket is wrapped in the national flag, and, so, that is what is critical to us and maybe it is the design that makes it difficult for you to want to open it up and so on and so forth,” he highlighted.
The three-day state mourning of the late diplomat began today 11th September with the venue open to the general public.
Wednesday September 12 will see dignitaries including recognised groups, chiefs, Members of Parliament and Ministers of State, world leaders pay their last respects to the former UN boss.
A burial service will be held on Thursday, September 13 at the Accra International Conference Centre.
This will be followed by a private burial at the new military cemetery with full military honours and a 17-gun salute.