Today the world joins our nation in bidding a great man farewell. Kofi Annan, Our Kofi, the one who has made Ghana proud, our Illustrious son, will today be laid to rest at the new Military Cemetery with full military honours and a 17-gun salute.
The Ghanaian general public have continuously expressed their desire of immortalising Ghana’s greatest “export” by naming the Kumasi International Airport after the late U.N chief.
In an exclusive interview with Ghanacrusader.com, Kofi Abotsi, the dean of law at GIMPA (Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration), said the greatest way Ghanaians can honour the late elder statesman will be emulating and living after the values he stood for.
“I think even talking about the question of legacy, whether naming something after the late U.N former Secretary General, we should look at the values he stood for. If we can live after those values as a country, I think ultimately Kofi Annan would have been better benefited”
In his words, these values are currently missing in our everyday lives as Ghanaians. In changing our ways and standing for the values Kofi Annan held dear, we would have named the country after him and that would be his greatest legacy.
“Naming a monument after him is great, but emulating the values of honesty, integrity, simplicity, the values that are so missing in our public life, if we can stand for these values, I think ultimately we would have named the country itself after him,” Mr Abotsi said.
Meanwhile, Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah, the C.E.O of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation (JAK Foundation), the former Senior Governance Adviser to the United Nations Mission in Liberia shared that he thought it was too early for such deliberations. He added that the Government was in the best position to decide what would and should be done in honour of Ghana’s greatest son.
“It is too early to speculate, I am sure the government will decide in its wisdom to do the best to honour the greatest son of our land; maybe there is something better we can name after him, rather than an airport.”
On Friday, 16th August, 2002, Mr Annan accepted the highest honour granted by the Ashanti people in recognition of his service to humanity. King Otumfuor Osei-Tutu conferred the rare title of busumuru, son of the golden stool on Annan at a traditional gathering of tribal leaders in Ghana’s second-largest city, Kumasi.
“Busumro” is the name of the golden sword used by the king to swear allegiance to the Ashanti kingdom at his coronation.