Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Abdulsalami Abubakar, ex-military head of state, and Senate President Olusegun Obasanjo were among the Nigerian leaders who paid final respect to Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary-general, in Ghana on Thursday.
Annan died after a brief illness in Switzerland on August 18. He was aged of 80.
Antonio Guterres, current UN secretary-general, attended the funeral. He described Annan as an exceptional leader who saw the UN as a force for good.
“As we face the headwinds of our troubled and turbulent times, let us always be inspired by the legacy of Kofi Annan,” he said.
“Our world needs it now more than ever,”
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana described him as a peaceful man who gave his life to defend the voiceless.
“Kofi Annan brought considerable renown to Ghana as UN Secretary-General, and by his conduct and comportment in the global arena. He gave his life to making peace where there was conflict, to defending the voiceless who were powerless, to promoting virtue where there was evil,” he said.
Mourners in traditional black and red attire filled the main hall of the Accra Conference Centre, where the funeral held.
In a tribute to the former diplomat, Nane Maria Annan, his wife, thanked Ghana for giving the world such an “extraordinary man”.
She said her husband had an irresistible aura of radiant warmth.
“His legacy would live on through his foundation and through all of us,” she said.
On his part, Daniel Sarfo, Anglican bishop of Annan’s home city of Kumasi, said: “Today history is being made in Ghana. One of our illustrious sons is lying here.
“But we are grateful that God used him over the years to work for humanity, for peace. Today, as he lies here, he has finished his work.”