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Qaddafi Calls Off Visit To Ghana   
 
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21-Jul-2009  
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A high profile international conference of chiefs, Kings, Sultans and mayors of cities in West Africa scheduled for Ghana expected to be attended by the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, was yesterday cancelled abruptly without clear reasons.

Although the National House of Chiefs says the cancellation was due to a "technical hitch," Times investigations gathered that it was cancelled because of a misunderstanding between the organisers and the government over the purpose of the conference.

The clearest hint of the cancellation of the event was given when a planned press briefing to announce the details of the conference was also called off after scores of journalists had gathered at the Ghana International Press Centre Monday morning. Investigations by the Times indicated that the host, the National House of Chiefs, had to call off the conference because the main character of the event, Col. Gaddafi, who was expected to be crowned the "King of Kings of Africa", was no more attending the July 23-24 meeting in Kumasi.

A source at the Libyan Embassy in Accra said, Col. Gaddafi, Chairman of the African Union, halted the trip to the country because Ghana was not entirely happy about his mission in the country. The source, however, added that the meeting would now come off in September without giving further details.

There is a general misgiving in Africa about the "King of Kings" title that was to be bestowed on the Libyan leader by the conference expected to be attended by over 600 delegates from across West Africa under the theme, "The role of traditional leaders in the integration of African States."

Naa Professor John Nabila, President of the National House of Chiefs, confirmed to the Times on phone yesterday that the conference had been called off, and attributed the cancellation to a "technical hitch", but noted that it had nothing to do with the Libyan leader's inability to make the trip. According to sources at the airport, an advance party from Libya that arrived in the country ahead of Co I. Gaddafi's arrival today, had a hectic time entering the country, as they were not carrying visas.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Information Minister told the Times that the government received information from the Libyan government that Col. Gaddafi could not make the trip because he was attending to some exigencies. On whether the government was ready for him, he said, the Libyan leader was purposely coming for the conference.

In August, last year, a meeting of more than 200 African kings and traditional rulers in the Libyan town of Benghazi, bestowed the title "King of Kings" on the Libyan leader. Col. Gaddafi hopes to use the African traditional leaders to push for a single African government with him as president; a move Africa's political leaders do not approve of.

At an Arab summit last March, Col. Gaddafi stormed out of the meeting after declaring himself the "King of Kings." He seized the microphone to furiously denounce the Saudi King as a 'liar', saying he would not kowtow to anyone "I am an international leader, the dean of the Arab rulers, the king of kings of Africa and the imam (leader) of Muslims, and my international status does not allow me to descend to a lower level," he was quoted as saying.
 
 
Source: Times
 
 

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