Ghanaians from all walks of life yesterday filed past the remains of the Busumuru Kofi Atta Annan amidst concerns over the decision to close the casket.
The event marked the beginning of series of programs heralding the three-day final funeral rites for the former United Nations Secretary General.
But the scores of Ghanaians who thronged the Accra International Conference Center where the body has been since Monday evening insist the failing past was unnecessary with the casket closed and draped with the Ghana flag.
They argued that in the Ghanaian tradition, filing past is for bodies properly laid in state and not one in a coffin as in the instant case.
They indicated that the closed casket is not in tune with the Ghanaian way of mourning the dead arguing that there were no arrangements for the public to see the corpse as in the case of late president J.E.A. Mils, Former Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur and Dancehall Artiste Ebony Reigns.
According to the mourners who spoke to this paper, the development could create doubts in the minds of Ghanaians whether or not the remains of Mr. Annan is indeed in the casket.
Others opined that the body could have been cremated in Zurich, Switzerland for burial in the country.
To some, although it is rumored that the late former UN Secretary General had wished for a modest and private burial, the public had to see the body and pay their last respect.
Another school of thought which sought to dabble in ‘spirituality’ contemplated whether Mr. Annan while alive might have belonged to a “society” that does not allow public viewing of its corpses.
It is as yet very unclear whether the decision to firmly lock the casket ahead of the burial tomorrow was a Mr. Annan’s last wish.
Dignitaries are expected to file past and pay their last respects to Mr. Annan this morning.
Mr. Annan would be given a private burial at the Military Cemetery in Accra tomorrow.
President Akufo Addo on Monday received the body of Mr. Annan at the Kotoka International Airport.
The body was accompanied by Kofi Annan’s wife, Nane Maria Annan and children.
The remains of the former UN Secretary General were in a casket draped with the UN flag. The former UN chief died after a short illness on August 18, 2018.
President Akufo-Addo and his wife Rebecca received the body on behalf of the government and people of Ghana at the
Early on, a nine-member committee, headed by a distinguished diplomat and former secretary to the Cabinet of President John Agyekum Kufuor, Ambassador Annan A. Cato, has been tasked to plan a befitting burial for the top diplomat.
The committee was constituted in consultation with his widow, Nane Maria Annan, children and family members.
By: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson