Kofi Annan the Great:-Eulogy to the Former UN Secretary-General

Introduction

The chief purpose of the collection of these free verses

Is to eulogise the immediate past and seventh Secretary-General

Of the United Nations, Busummuru (Dr.) Kofi Annan.

In the opinion of this author, Dr.Kofi Annan

Is not only a hero, but a universal peace-maker,

An adept, a philosopher or perhaps, even a saint as well.

These verses constitute a modern version

Of traditional African praise singing poetry

In honour of deserving African heroes

In the true sense of African tradition.

The wisdom of our African ancestors

Is reflected in this proverb which says:

"If the palm fruit of your farm is not meaty

Or fleshy enough,

It is you yourself who must munch it

In such a ravishing fashion,

That others may even envy you."

One question that has always tormented

My mind clockwise is:

Do we have African saints?

Do we have African philosophers?

Do we have African geniuses?

If yes, how are they documented for posterity?

If No, why not?

I am tempted to postulate that

If we, Africans do not know what is good for us,

Others may be prompted to dictate to us

What is bad for us.

It is high time Africans began to identify,

Recognise and acknowledge

Their own philosophers

So that come next 500 years,

The world will refer to them as African philosophers

As it's being done today to Greek philosophers.

This anthology is to establish Kofi Annan

As an African philosopher

But not to deify him.

Like the Master Jesus the Christ

Himself has demonstrated beyond doubt,

That no human being is perfect,

May I take the liberty to paraphrase him?

Let the one amongst you

Who is not entitled to his own opinion

On this planet of freedom of opinion,

Be the first to raise his first finger

To fire the first bullet of blasphemy

Against his fellow human being!

Even today after over 2000 years,

There are people in Jesus' own natal town

Who do not believe his was the Messiah.

But that does not negate

What he had been,

What he came to do for man kind

And the fulfillment of his mission on earth.

Peace and Love be with you all.

KOFI ANNAN THE GREAT

ALL ye citizens of Ghana,

All ye citizens of Africa,

All ye citizens of the world,

Who value human ingenuity,

Pay tribute to Kofi Annan,

The immediate Past UN Secretary-General;

For if he is not the second Moses

He must be the second Christ.

Kofi Annan is a humble soul

Kofi Annan is a philosopher

Kofi Annan is a modern prophet,

Sent unto the modern world

To shape the Creator's vision

For the direction of His creation.

Kofi Annan has fulfilled his mission

In the United Nations

For the advancement of mankind .

With one voice, let's chant in unison:

Kofi Annan the Great, Aaaayeeeeekoooooo!

Kofi Annan, we hail you

Kofi Annan, ye ma wo mmo

Kofi Annan, mie do dzaa nawo

Kofi Annan womli daboshi

Sande zua, Kofi Annan!

We thank you a thousand times

Ye da wo asi piiiiii

Mie da apke nawo kakakaka

Wo yio adom waaaaa

Mungoooode korei!

Kofi Annan, you,ve done

Great honour to Ghana

Kofi Annan,you're

The pride of Africa

Kofi Annan,you've polished

The image of the black race

Kofi Annan,you've sacrificed

Your very life for human kind

Kofi Annan, you are a man

In whom the Creator is pleased,

For your service to humanity.

BUT FOR YOU

Kofi Annan, you're a man of peace

But for you,

The world would've witnessed

The third world war

But for you,

Rwanda would been worse;

But for you,

Darfur would have been worse;

But for you,

Iraq would have been worse;

But for you,

Kosovo would have been worse;

But for you,

Israel and Palestine would been worse

But for you,

DR Congo would have been worse.

But for you,

East Timor would have been no more

But for you,

Liberia would have been no more;

But for you,

Sierra Leone would have been no more

But for you,

Bosnians would have been no more

But for you,

Haiti, Iran and Somalia

Would have all been no more!

Kofi Annan the Great,

You're the tiny sparkling spark

That ignites the taper of world peace.

But for you,

The world would have experienced an inferno

Human suffering would have been worse

Refugee situation would have been worse

Children's anguish would have been terrible

Women's ordeal would have been horrible

Men's gnawing of the teeth would have been miserable.

TERRORISTS' PHOBIA

Kofi Annan the Great,

You're the only man on earth,

World class terrorists fear most

You're the only human being

Who commands the respect of

First class terrorists of our time

But for you,

Global terrorism would have been worse

But for you,

When the 9/11 occurred,

Multiple-9/11s would have followed suite

Throughout the face of the earth

On this planet of technology;

But for you,

When the World Trade Centre was gone,

The Pentagon would have gone

The seven wonders of the world would have gone

The pyramids on earth would have gone

All world heritages, preserved by UNESCO

Would have been going, going, and gone!

Oh, Kofi Annan the Great,

Humanity must bow before you

America must be grateful to you

Europe must be thankful to you

Asia must pay homage to you

As for Africa, she must carry you in a palanquin

As a true royal African King;

For you're peaceful, graceful and blissful.

TRADITIONAL AFRICAN AKWAABA

Oh Paramount Chiefs of Africa,

Armed with the golden sword of victory;

Stand up in your palanquins or on your horses

And dance adowa, agbadza, kpanlogo and dambai

To say a profound AKWAABA to

Busummuru Kofi Annan the Great,

The supreme King of Kings of Africa

On his triumphant return to Africa;

For he has survived the guns of Kigali.

Busummuru Kofi Annan the Great,

Has outmaneuvered the bullets of East Timor

And dribbled the non-existing weapons of Iraq.

Hail Kofi Annan the Great;

For he has fought a deadly battle and conquered.

Our African ancestors say:

"If you haven't been to the war front,

You'll say people didn't fight."

Oh Queen-Mothers of Africa,

Armed with white handkerchiefs,

With your naturally endowed backs,

Vibrate your smooth bumps,

And exhibit your talent to the tune of

Adowa, Agbadza, Kpanlogo and Dambai.

Spray white powder onto the grey hairs of your son;

After all, it's you who harboured him

In your womb for nine moons

And laboured in pain to deliver him

Unto the world with wisdom.

Oh noble Mama of Africa,

Your son, Busummru Kofi Annan the Great,

Has returned home with honour .

Kofi has come back home for good,

After over 40 years in the wilderness.

What a noble prodigal son he has been,

For his sojourn was for a good cause.

Present him with a calabash of water;

For his journey has been a long one.

Hug him with jubilation and say unto him:

"Kofi-ooo, aaatuuuu!" "Wo ye barima ampa!"

OKuni-ni Kofi, Oye Osagyefo ampara ampara!

You're a brave man indeed! You're a warrior!

CRUCIFIXION

Kofi Anna the Great,

Like Jesus the Christ,

Had had his fair share of crucifixion

In the execution of his mission.

When Jesus the Christ spoke the truth,

Wasn't he vilified and crucified on the cross?

When Kofi Anna the Great

Questioned the legality

Of the invasion of Iraq

Wasn't he vilified and crucified as well?

When his adult son was reported

To have erred in oil for food saga,

Didn't the international media

Jump to conclusion,

Scrutinise and malign him?

Wasn't he accused of complicity?

But like Jesus the Christ,

Kofi Annan the Great

Was acquitted and discharged

For no wrong doing.

Yet some people prefer Barabbas to Jesus.

Oh, Kofi Anna the Great!

Aren't you the Christ of our time?

Aren't you a universal man of peace?

Little wonder you won the Nobel Peace Prize

For Peace while in office?

You've gallantly carried your cross

Like the Master Jesus the Christ.

Those who may fail to recognise you today

Will dance and hail you tomorrow;

They will chant Hosanna

Halleluiah in memory of you

Two-thousand years to come;

Peacefully proceed on your retirement

And relax your soul with contentment

THE BIRTH OF KOFI ANNAN THE GREAT

One holy Friday in April 1938,

One charming Mama Africa,

Chosen from among other

Loving Mamas of Africa,

Like the Holy Mama of the world,

Humbly went on her knees

And presented him to the world

Free of charge and out of love.

Oh blessed black Queen of Africa!

Whether on the moon or in the tomb,

You harboured him in your womb

For long, long nine moons.

You laboured in severe pain

But delivered him in joyful gain.

You infused his being with wisdom

That he must lead slave souls to freedom.

Oh Mother of African saviour!

In the kingdom of heaven

Dwells your reward.

Kofi Annan the Great drew his first breath of life

In the city of gardens in the kingdom of Ashanti,

And became a living soul on the soil of Ghana.

His innocent Papa of Africa

Like holy Papa the Kapinta,

Never suspected he was a sower of a tiny seed

That was to become a mighty tree;

The fruits of which was to feed

Beasts of forests and birds of heavens.

Oh Papa Africa!

Father of African saviour,

In the kingdom of heaven

Dwells your reward.

Oh Kofi Annan the Great!

You've honoured your Papa and Mama,

Long, long shall be your life,

As commanded in the Commandments of Moses.

So Be It – It is done!

AS ABOVE SO BELOW

Kofi Annan the Great,

Like the infant Jesus the Christ,

Lived among ordinary children in Ghana.

His education began in Oguaa in Africa

And ended in Minnesota in America.

Oh Omniscient Creator of heaven and earth!

Could there be any accident in Divine plans?

Is what's written not written?

And as Above, not so Below?

Our African ancestors say:

"It is the Creator Who enthrones Kings."

In 1997, the world endorsed him

To complete five remaining years

Of Africa mandate begun by

Dr. Boutros-Boutros Ghali of Egypt.

No sooner did he complete the five-year tenure

Than the entire globe was on its knees,

Pleading with Kofi Annan the Great

To help govern the world for another five years.

Why so?

Kofi Annan the Great was a man of Peace

His commitment to World Peace was clear

His devotion to duty was superb

His leadership quality was beyond compare

His human relation was outstanding.

Kofi Annan the Great was an icon of a soul

With sustained and humane diplomacy,

He restores trouble spots to normalcy.

Like the Master Jesus the Christ on the sea,

Whenever he raises up his hands, calm returns

To most stormy lands of conflicts and wars.

He did it in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Lebanon and Congo.

Kofi Annan the Great is a human being,

As such he has his human limitations

Thus America disobeyed him and went to Iraq

The consequences are crystal clear

Sudan rejected his pleadings and massacred Darfur

Posterity will be the best judge

Like the Master Jesus the Christ,

Kofi Annan the Great has accomplished

His mission for which the Creator created him.

Into the hands of another UN Secretary-General,

Kofi Annan the Great relayed the torch

For the United Nations Secretary-Generalship

On December 31, 2006.

THE FIVE COMMANDMENTS OF

KOFI ANNAN THE GREAT

On Monday December11, 2006,

As part of his preparations to vacate

The UN royal throne, in the spirit of democracy,

Known in Ga as "mokoaya ni mokoaba,"

He delivered one of the most inspiring

Speeches in human history.

That speech was the epitome of wisdom

With which his coconut was pregnant,

Indicative of his links with the wisdom

Of his ancestors of African tradition.

The venue was at the Truman Library,

Missouri, United States of America.

In the highlights of that terrific speech,

Which was released by his office on the Internet,

Kofi Annan the Great left a legacy to humanity.

That legacy which he himself simply termed as lessons:

Hear him:

"…When you leave one home for another,

There are always lessons to be learned.

And I had more to learn when I moved on

From Minnesota to the United Nations-

The indispensable common house

Of the human family, which has been

My main home for the last 44years.

"Today, I want to talk particularly about five lessons

I have learned in the last 10 years,

During which I have had the difficult

But exhilarating role of Secretary-General.

"…My first lesson is that, in today's world,

The security of every one of us is linked

To that of everyone else.

Security must be collective and indivisible.

If we should pay merely lip service to

Inspiring ideas, and later do violence to

Simple justice, we would draw upon us

The bitter wrath of generations yet unborn.

And when I look at the murder, rape and starvation

To which the people of Darfur are being subjected,

I fear that we have not got far beyond 'lip service.'

The lesson here is that high-sounding doctrines

Like the "responsibility to protect"

Will remain pure rhetoric unless and until those

With power to intervene effectively –

By exerting political, economic or,

In the last resort, military muscle –

Are prepared to take the lead.

"…My second lesson is that we are not only all responsible

For each other's security.

We are also, in some measure, responsible

For each other's welfare.

Global solidarity is both necessary and possible.

It is necessary because without a measure

Of solidarity, no society can be truly stable.

And no one's prosperity truly secure.

That applies to national societies –

As all the great industrial democracies

Learned in the 20th century –

But it also applies to increasing integrated

Global market economy we live in today.

"…My third lesson is that both security

And development ultimately depend on

Respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Throughout history, human life has been

Enriched by diversity, and different

Communities have learned from each other.

But if our different communities are to live

Together in peace, we must stress also

What unites us: our common humanity,

And our shared belief that human dignity

And rights should be protected by law.

In short, human rights and the rule of law

Are vital to global security and prosperity.

"…My fourth lesson – closely related to the last one –

Is that governments must be accountable

For their actions in the international arena,

As well as in the domestic one.

Today, the actions of one state can

Often have a decisive effect on

The lives of people in other states.

So does it not owe some account

To those other states and their citizens,

As well as to its own?

I believe it does!

As things stand, accountability

Between states is highly skewed.

Poor and weak states are easily

Held to account, because

They need foreign assistance.

But large and powerful states,

Whose actions have the greatest impact

On others, can be constrained

Only by their own people,

Working through their domestic

Institutions.

"…My fifth and final lesson derives

inescapably from those other four.

We can only do all these things

By working together through

Multilateral systems,

And by making the best possible use

Of the unique instrument bequeathed

To us by Harry Truman and his contemporaries,

Namely the United Nations.

In fact, it is only through multilateral

Institutions that states can hold

Each other to account.

This applies particularly

To the international financial institutions,

Such as the World Bank and

The International Monetary Fund.

Developing countries should have

A stronger voice in these bodies,

Whose decisions can have almost

A life-or-death impact on their fate.

And it also applies to the U.N.

Security Council, whose membership

Still reflects the reality of 1945,

Not of today's world…"

This vital legacy which,

Kofi Annan the Great himself,

Summed up as "Five Principles",

Essential for future conduct

Of international relations are:

1. Collective Responsibility,

2. Global solidarity,

3. The Rule of Law,

4. Mutual Accountability and

5. Multilateralism.

With the power vested in me as Free Verse Poet,

Of the Twenty-first Century,

Like Moses of yester years,

I hereby invoke Article One of my poetic license

To poetise

And characterise

His vital principles as

THE FIVE COMMANDMENTS

OF KOFI ANNAN THE GREAT:

One:

Thou shall be responsible for each other's security.

Two:

Thou shall grant everyone the chance to benefit from global prosperity.

Three:

Thou shall bear in mind that security and prosperity depend on human rights and the Rule of Law.

Four:

Thou shall ensure that all states are accountable to each other in their international conduct.

Five:

Thou shall not use multilateral power to suppress the poor and the weak, but to Be fair to all in the world of globalization.

Long live Kofi Annan the Great,

Long live Ghana,

Long live Africa and

Long live United Nations!

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