Ghanaians pay last respect to Kofi Annan; Mourners disappointed over closed casket

Some mourners who went to the Accra International Conference Centre to pay their last respects to the former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, have expressed disappointment in not being able to see the body.

The casket containing the remains of the peace icon was closed and covered with the Ghana flag on Tuesday as mourners filed past to pay their respects.

According to some of them, the closed casket was not in sync with the Ghanaian way of honouring the dead.

In a radio reaction on Accra based Citi FM, one person said: “I wasn’t happy when the coffin wasn’t opened. During the Vice President’s own, the coffin was opened and we all viewed it, so for this one, I wasn’t happy,” she said.

“We were surprised and we just came and saw the casket closed with a Ghana flag [draped over it]. So we were just asking that; did we come to observe the Ghana flag or we came to observe [him]? Well, we can’t explain because there may be an idea behind it,” another mourner stated.

A Deputy Information Minister, Pius Enam Hadzide, however downplayed the concerns.

“There are several high profile funerals in which I have seen the casket covered, even in this country, so it is not a major problem,” he said.

He said the focus should be on the occasion, which is trying to mirror Kofi Annan’s apparent modesty.

“The man Kofi Annan himself is a modest person and he doesn’t want a lot of flamboyance around the funeral… 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 on and so forth.”

On Wednesday, September 12, dignitaries are expected to file past and pay their last respects to Kofi Annan.

A burial service will then take place on Thursday September 13 at the Conference Centre before he is finally laid to rest at the Executive Wing of new Military Cemetery at Burma Camp.

Source: Graphic Online

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