Otumfuo Osei Tutu II has described the late former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Kofi Annan, as a man who touched many lives.
In a tribute read on his behalf at the foyer of the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on Wednesday, 12 September 2018 by Mamponghene Daasebre Nana Bonsu II, the Asante monarch said Kofi Annan epitomised peace.
“Busumuru was an inspiration, a dogged advocate and an unwavering champion of peace and security, development, human rights and rule of law and a consummate mediator,” he said, adding that: “Busumuru touched many lives with his graciousness, charisma and commitment to the pursuit of worthy causes crying for global attention.”
Day two of the three-day state funeral for the late former UN boss saw a display of Ghanaian culture from the chiefs and people of Akwamu, where he hails from, and also from representatives of the Asante Kingdom.
Traditional prayers as well as rites and customs were performed for the corpse before the Otumfuo’s tribute.
The Asantes hold Mr Annan in high esteem because of the title Busumuru bestowed on him by the Asantehene.
In recognition of his service to humanity, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II on Friday, 16 August 2002 conferred the title on Mr Annan – the highest traditional honour in the Asante Kingdom.
“I and the entire Ashanti state have decided to add your name to the Busumuru title because of your selflessness and contributions to humanity, and (promotion) of peace throughout the world,” Otumfuo said when he placed a symbolic gold necklace around Mr Annan’s neck at a traditional gathering in August 2002.
Busumuru is the name of the golden sacred sword, the highest sword of office used by the Asantehene to swear allegiance to the Asante Kingdom. The sword can only be held by its custodian and the Asante King.