In Anthills of the Savannah, Chinua Achebe notes that “the cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the whole neighbourhood”.
He notes further that it is always a source of pride to own the cock which serves the needs of the community, saying, “You should be proud that this bright cockerel that wakes the whole village comes from your compound.”
Those who have lived in the rural areas appreciate and understand the importance of the cock, especially the one which crows at appropriate times to wake up people to begin their daily economic activities. It is only the lazy who ignores the cock crow.
Busumuru Kofi Annan has been Ghana's gift to the world through the United Nations, which he served with distinction long before he assumed the mantle of Secretary-General.
Indeed, he did us all proud when, as the Chief Executive of the UN, he did not feel intimidated and stood up against injustice and unilateralism, even to the extent of disowning the United States in its misguided crusading mission in Iraq.
Busumuru Annan carried to greater heights the image and integrity of Ghana which had been brought to bear on the UN system by our illustrious first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Alex Quayson Sackey, Dr Robert Gardiner, Kenneth Dadzie and E.Y. Amoako.
He capped it all up when he led the UN to win the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. There is a Ghanaian saying which means that a man came to play his part, not to do everything.
Busumuru Annan has done his part and we are proud to receive him back home. In typical Ghanaian tradition, as when a cherished person returns home, we say heartily: Akwaaba, Busumuru Kofi Annan!!!
We are mobbing Busumuru Annan today because when he was given responsibility, he discharged it with a conscience based on cherished and valued principles. We applaud him because he did not bow to pressure, nor did he condescend to any parochial interests.
That must be a great lesson to us all. Sometimes when people are given jobs to do, there are others who evaluate them positively only on the basis of the many favours they bestow upon certain interest groups, irrespective of whether such favours breach or give dignity to established principles.
It pays for public officials to be motivated and encouraged to discharge their duties with utmost commitment and dedication to the public interest.
More important, public officers must be unwavering in the discharge of their responsibilities in so far as they err on the path of the general good. Once they eschew selfishness, they are bound to succeed.
We are equally thankful to the government for acknowledging the worthy contributions of Busumuru Annan and also for its active participation in the welcoming process.
That demonstrates that we recognise and appreciate our heroes. A Hearty welcome! Akwaaba, Busumuru Kofi Annan!!!