Category: Features Created on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 07:44 Published Date Written by GNA Hits: 586
People from all sections of the society including diplomats, representatives of political parties, and government functionaries filled the public gallery and the environs of the Parliament to watch the swearing in ceremony of President John Dramani Mahama.
The new President takes over from the late President John Evans Atta Mills, who died at the 37 Military Hospitals on Tuesday afternoon after a short illness.
As stipulated by Article 60(6) of the 1992 Constitution, Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood administered the Oath of Allegiance and the Presidential Oath to the former Vice President, who overwhelmed with emotion and grief, solemnly took the Oath, pledging to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of Ghana.
The event was after the Speaker of Parliament, Joyce Bamford-Addo had summoned the house for an emergency sitting, informing the MP’s of the death of the President.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Flag-bearer of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) also extended his personal condolences to the government and people of Ghana on the death of President John Evans Atta Mills.
A statement to the Ghana News Agency in Accra signed by Nana Akufo-Addo also extended his personal condolence to the National Democratic Congress Party on the loss of its leader.
“I call on all Ghanaians to stand united in this moment of national loss and grief....I pray to the Almighty that he gives his soul a peaceful place of abode,” the statement said.
The UK & Ireland Chapter of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), expressed shock at the sudden death of President John Evans Atta Mills.
A statement signed by Alex Seshie-Vanderpuije, Public Relations Officer of the Chapter, and made available to the GNA in Accra Tuesday said "by his untimely death, our country has lost one of the finest leaders ever to lead Ghana."
The Progressive People’s Party (PPP) in its message expressed their heartfelt condolences of the entire membership to the people of Ghana, the National Democratic Congress, the first lady, Dr Naadu Mills and family of the former president.
We urge all Ghanaians to remain calm and circumspect in this trying moment in our national life and we pledge our full support and cooperation to the Vice President His Excellency, John Mahama as he prepares to take up the mantle of leadership and take steps to offer a befitting farewell to the father of the nation.
The mood in Parliament was sombre, with many expressing disbelief at the turn of events whiles others congregated in small groups discussing the sad demise of the President.
Reports from across the country say people have been wailing since the news broke in the afternoon.
Shocked shop owners, drivers, civil servants, market women and members of the public could be seen making telephone calls to friends and family members as well as politicians to confirm the sad news of the late President Mills who celebrated his 68th birthday only last Saturday, July 21.
Traders at the Accra Tema Lorry Station broke down in tears when it was announced that President Mills had passed away.
The traders, mostly women, cried their hearts out saying they did not believe the President had died.
The mood in the Sunyani Municipality became quiet and solemn on Tuesday evening when the news broke out about the sudden and unexpected demise of the President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
The unprecedented event in the history of Ghana’s politics became the only and main issue of discussion at virtually all circles, ranging from the old market and lorry station, drinking spots and bars, food joints and shops in the central business district of the Brong-Ahafo Regional capital.
People were seen dejected, sorrowful and standing in groups, talking about the death whilst incomprehensibly posing the obvious questions why and how at this time in the annals of Ghana and NDC such a huge calamity could occur.
News about the death of President John Evans Atta Mills was also received with visible shock, resignation and grief by many in the Kumasi Metropolis.
The streets were unusually quiet as people stood in groups wearing mournful faces discussing the unfortunate and heart-breaking event.
Madam Grace Dufie, a retired educationist, described it as “a sad day for Ghana but we need to stand together and put our differences behind us at this emotionally difficult and challenging time.”
News of the death of President John Evans Atta Mills was received with shock in Cape Coast when it was broke out by some local radio and television stations on Tuesday late afternoon.
People gathered in groups to discuss the “bad news” with emotions as some wailed openly, inquiring from others whether the news was true.
All the political parties have been sending messages of condolence to the bereaved family.
The Peoples National Convention (PNC) described the death of President John Evans Atta Mills as a national disaster and traumatizing news.
“The PNC is in total deep distress...we cannot believe it has happened really at this crucial moment,” Mr Bernard Anbataayela Mornah, PNC General Secretary, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) stated on Tuesday that “the party has heard with deepest regret the news of the death of the President, John Evans Atta Mills.
“We join the nation in mourning this sad loss to Ghana and extend to his wife and Family, our deepest condolences. We also extend our condolences to the National Democratic Congress,” Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, NPP National Chairman told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.
He said as a mark of respect, the NPP had immediately suspended the celebration of the party's 20th Anniversary.
Foreign leaders including the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, have consoled Ghana following the death of President John Atta Mills on Tuesday.
His statement released by the British High Commission in Accra read: "I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of President Mills earlier today. President Mills was a tireless defender of democracy in West Africa and across the continent, and he will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family, and all the Ghanaian people on this difficult day."
The late President died at the 37 Military Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, according to a press statement signed by the Chief of Staff, Mr John Henry Martey Newmann.
It said: "It is with a heavy heart and deep sorrow that we announce the sudden death of the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Evans Atta Mills. The death occurred at the 37 Military Hospital this afternoon while receiving medical attention after being taken ill a few hours earlier.”
President John Evans Atta Mills, was born on July 21, 1944 and hails from Cape Coast in the Central Region.
He started his illustrious career at Achimota Secondary School, where he completed the Advanced Level Certificate in 1963.
To further his education, Prof Mills attended the University of Ghana, Legon where he received a bachelor's degree and professional certificate in Law in 1967.
While earning the Ph.D. in Oriental and African Studies from the University of London, he was selected as a Fulbright scholar at Stanford Law School, USA.
Prof Mills' first formal teaching assignment was as a lecturer at the faculty of law at the University of Ghana, Legon where he spent more than twenty years imparting his acquired knowledge to students.
Also during those twenty years, Prof Mills travelled as a visiting lecturer and professor to the Temple University USA, and Leiden University, Holland, and presented research papers at symposiums and conferences throughout the world.
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