By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA
Accra, Sept. 13, GNA - The Most Reverend Dr Justice Offei Akrofi, a former Anglican Archbishop of West Africa and Bishop of Accra, on Thursday described Kofi Annan as a person who looked ordinary but was a great and extraordinary man.
Preaching the sermon at the funeral service of Mr Annan at the International Conference Centre in Accra, Most Rev. Akrofi said his personal encounter with him, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, revealed a man who, with all his honours, “exuded the quality styled four-Hs; Humanity, Honesty, Humility and Humour in addition to his efficiency and competence”.
The three-day State Funeral, which started on Tuesday, September 11 and ended on Thursday, September 13, was hosted by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Heads of states and various world leaders including Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, Presidents George Weah of Liberia, Alasanne Quatera of Cote d’Ivoire and Dr Hage Geingob of Namibia, attended the funeral to mourn with Ghana for her great loss.
Most Rev. Akrofi recounted that Kofi Annan’s efforts in South Africa, Europe and Asian hotspots tell the story of one who spent on behalf of others.
In his life time, Kofi Annan received many awards, with honours and honorary degrees bestowed on him around the globe for his stewardship and contribution to world peace.
Among these were over 30 international awards including the coveted Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, and Mark-Arthur Award for international Justice in 2007.
He also was awarded 31 honorary degrees from reputable universities from around the world as well as a National Award of the Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana and the unique title of Busumuru bestowed on him by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
Most Rev. Akrofi said; “Such honours and awards tell a story of the devotion, achievement and constructive contributions of a mere mortal, a man who God, in His mercy and plans, initially placed in the Gold Coast now Ghana, but destined to be Kofi Annan of the world, and be remembered in statures, for creating constructive services to the world”.
“Ghana is proud of Kofi Annan.”
Most Rev. Akrofi said just as the world bore witness to Kofi Annan, so must people bear in mind that they were being surrounded by witnesses who would, in future, bear witness to their lives, hence people must live worthy lives.
“Peoples’ deeds, works, actions, achievements, personal qualities and social interactions should be lived well so posterity will give testimony of each one of us along these lines,” he said.
Most Rev. Akrofi called on the world to be motivated by Mr Annan’s life and be sensitised to the pursuit of the values of humanity, honesty, humility and humour in dedicated service of the common good, peace and security.
He prayed for the wife and children, asking God to console them, be their guide and give them peace, inner calm and serenity in the absence of their beloved Kofi Annan.
The mortal remains of Kofi Annan was later conveyed to the new Military Cemetery for a private burial.
The 80-year old world highest Diplomat died on August 18 at the Swiss city of Bern. He left behind his widow, Nane Marie Annan, and his three children, Ama, Kojo and Nina.