President J.A. Kufuor
President Kufuor broke his silence on the much talked about national honours on Saturday when he said he did not create the new highest honour, the "Grand Order of the Star and Eagle of Ghana" for himself but for the institution of the presidency.
He said the occupant of the highest office of the land is entitled to be honoured if he serves the nation well adding he had to start it for others to follow.
The President said this when the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa of the Greek Orthodox Church led a delegation to bestow the Grand medal of St Mark on him.
The honour, equivalent to a knighthood is the highest of the church and usually bestowed on the leader or Presidents who have distinguished themselves in service to their countries.
There have been mixed public reactions since the government came out with a list of 241 people considered to have contributed in diverse ways to the growth and development of the country to be honoured and the creation of the new highest national honours for Presidents.
While a section accuses the President of honouring himself others think the creation of the honours is for the good of the country.
President Kufuor said the creation of the new honour is to give due respect to the office of the President which he has come to know and appreciate.
He said the decision was in agreement with the national Constitution which created the honours but expressed regret that some people were making too much fuss about it especially about the number of people involved.
He said the list of people to be honoured came out after painstaking investigations about the nominees.
The President said he has 1I0t been capricious but he was doing it for others to emulate it.
"As for the President being given honours he is entitled to it and I have to start it for others to follow," he said.
The president said it was unfortunate that there was much talk about the construction of the Presidential Complex which is a property of the state and not for himself.
He thanked the Greek Orthodox Church for the honour which he said is for all Ghanaians.
The leader of the delegation, His Beatitudes Theodoras said the church decided to honour the President because of his contribution to Africa when he was the chairman of the African Union.
He said Ghana under President Kufuor had become a respectable and shining example in Africa, adding "we are happy to see you do many important things for Ghana and Africa."