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Kofi Annan’s unopened casket… Who cares?

In a country where funerals are over glorified and the dead overly “respected”, an unopened casket at the public viewing of the remains of Ghanaian icon and international Stateman, Dr. Busumuru Kofi Annan, disappointed.

For many, they were expecting to see perhaps for the last time the man they had so much revered and wish to meet in person.  An open casket perhaps was their wish.

The unopened casket did not escape some websites as well, who further added onto the speculation by the question of whether a body was really in the casket that sits at the Accra Conference Centre.

But in the first place, why are we organising this funeral when the man asked in his will he wanted a simple funeral? And if the state so much wanted his remains here for a state burial, why are we not getting the opportunity to see him? Why waste our time?

First of all, funerals are not to celebrate the dead body. They (funerals) provide an opportunity to mourn and celebrate the memory of a loved one.

Kofi Anna
A section of mourners at the Accra International Conference Centre

Yes, the late Kofi Annan asked for a simple funeral, but for a man his stature, posterity will judge this government and our generation if we did not organise a befitting burial. And if covering the body was a compromise the government had to come to, it was the greatest one ever made.

But do you need to see a dead person’s body to be really paying your last respects to them? A few weeks ago, the American war veteran and respected senator,  John McCain was laid in rest and given a private burial just like is to be done for the late Busumuru Kofi Annan.

Throughout that ceremony which was widely telecast across the globe, at no point in time was the body shown. It had similar features like that of Kofi Annan; a United States of America flag draped over his casket that moved from place to place.

Ghanaians should start reorienting themselves to the idea of celebrating the memories, values and principles of persons lost and not their dead body laid in state.

Kofi Anna
Some Ghanaians paying their last respect to the late former UN Secretary-General

So if you have not had the opportunity of paying your last respects and since you may not get the time as an individual of the general public after Tuesday, you should make the time with your wife, children, students, partners etc to line the principal streets when the legendary son makes his final journey home on Thursday.

Travel from your village in Wa to Accra to do that if that is what it takes. He has achieved so much that will take a long time to happen again

Fare thee well, Icon… Rest Well Busumuru Dr. Kofi Annan

By Cyril Delali Dogbe|3news.com|Ghana

Editor’s note: The writer is a journalist with the Media General Group. The views expressed in this article are his personal opinions and do not reflect, in any form or shape, those of  The Media General Group.

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