The burial ceremony of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan is currently ongoing, and Nigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and Senate President Bukola Saraki are leading the Nigerian delegation.
World leaders past and present, traditional rulers and global royalty who described Kofi Annan as an “extraordinary” person who had a “joy of life”, were led by the late diplomat’s widow Nane Maria for his final funeral rites.
The current UN Secretary General, António Guterres, in his speech shared one of the popular icon’s saying; Guterres quoted him:
“Always remember you are never too young to lead and you are never too old to learn.”
When Annan passed on, Guterres said of him: “He provided people everywhere with a space for dialogue, a place for problem-solving and a path to a better world.
“In these turbulent and trying times, he never stopped working to give life to the values of the United Nations Charter. His legacy will remain a true inspiration for all of us.”
Aside the Nigerian delegation led by Obasanjo and Bukola Saraki, the president of Ivory Coast and the leaders of Liberia, Namibia, Ethiopia, Niger, Zimbabwe, Germany and Mauritius attended the burial ceremony of the late diplomat.
The ceremony was projected onto big screens outside the auditorium for the crowds of mourners that could not fit inside the venue.
Many commuters in the capital wore black as a sign of respect.
On Wednesday, Mr Annan’s family and Ghanaian dignitaries were among hundreds to file past his casket amid traditional rites by local chiefs and clan leaders.
Mr Annan, a Ghanaian of Ashanti lineage, was granted a royal title by the Ashanti king in 2002.
The elders said the rites, including presenting him with clothing and water, were necessary to clear the path for a peaceful “travel” for their royal.
Some mourners, like New York-based community mayor Delois Blakely, had flown long distances to pay their respects.