7 January 2013

Ghana: President Mahama Assumes Office Today

Photo: Flickr
Ghana prepares for the inauguration of the President John Dramani Mahama.

President-elect John Dramani Mahama will assume office today, Monday January 7, 2013 as the fourth President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

The eyes of the world today are fixed on Ghana as President Mahama and Vice President Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur are expected to take the oath of office to be administered by the Chief Justice, Mrs. Theodora Georgina Wood before an open Parliament and its new speaker at the Independence Square in Accra.

President Mahama will become Ghana's seventh democratically elected leader after independence and the second Vice-President, after the late President John Evans Atta Mills, to be elected President in the country's nearly 56-year history.

The President-elect is also the fourth former parliamentarian to lead the country, after Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Prof K.A. Busia and Former President. J.A. Kufuor.

Besides that, he also becomes the fourth person with the name John to lead the country since 1992.

Notwithstanding the decision of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to boycott the ceremony, in line with its challenge of the presidential election results, former President John Agyekum Kufuor will be among the many dignitaries, including former President J.J. Rawlings, the Founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to grace the occasion.

A large contingent of Ghanaians and other nationals are expected to witness the historic event at the Square, whilst millions more across the world will watch the coronation on television at about 10:00 hours.

A remarkable aspect of the coronation is that President Mahama will be handing over the sword of office to himself as he assumed the mantle of leadership to finish the unexpired Presidency of the late President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24, 2012.

Expected to grace the occasion is foreign heads of state from thirteen West African countries: namely African Union Chairman and President of Benin, Mr. Yayi Boni, President Blaise Compaore, Burkina Faso, President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria, President Jacob Zuma, South Africa, and President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, President Alassane Ouattara, La Cote d'Ivoire, President Macky Sall, Senegal, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia, President Teodora Nbiang Nguema Mbasogo, Equatorial Guinea, President Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger, President Michael Sata , Zambia, President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbe, Togo and President Mohamed Abdelaziz, of Sahrawi Republic as well as foreign delegations, the diplomatic community in Ghana and other very important personalities will attend as well.

If previous inaugurations are anything to go by, then President Mahama's swearing-in and inaugural speech will be witnessed by a huge crowd that has been building up before 5 a.m. at the Independence Square.

An estimated 50,000 Ghanaians will descend on the Independent Square singing, dancing and waving miniature flags to herald the swearing-in of the President-elect.

Ms. Akua Sena Dansua, Minister for Tourism, adds that the Transitional Team had had enough time to take the necessary measures to ensure that the ceremony was well organized and appealed to the public to cooperate with the security agencies for a successful inaugural ceremony.

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