Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, at the head of a high-level Liberian delegation, is in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to attend the inauguration ceremony of the newly re-elected President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.
According to an Executive Mansion release, members of President Sirleaf's delegation include: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan; the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lewis G. Brown; His Excellency Mr. Rudolf Von Ballmoos, Liberia's Ambassador to Ghana; the Deputy Executive Director of the Executive Protection Agency, Mr. Steve Neufville; among others.
President Mahama, a historian, communications expert, writer, former Member of Parliament and Minister of State, and immediate former Vice-President, will be sworn in as the fourth President of Ghana's Fourth Republic at Independence Square later this morning. A highpoint in today's ceremony is that President Mahama will be handing over the sword of office to himself, as he had assumed the leadership to complete the third presidency of the late President John Evans Atta Mills on July 24, 2012.
Also expected to take the Oath of Office is Vice President-elect Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, to be administered by the Chief Justice, Mrs. Theodora Georgina Wood, before an open and new Parliament and its new Speaker.
A massive crowd of Ghanaian and other nationals will witness this historic event at Independence Square, while millions more across the world will watch the inauguration on television.
According to the Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, 13 Heads of State, mostly from West Africa, have confirmed their presence for the inauguration of President-elect Mahama. They include: African Union Chairman and President of Benin, Mr. Yayi Boni; President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso; President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria; President Jacob Zuma of South Africa; and President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania.
Others are: President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d'Ivoire; President Macky Sall of Senegal; President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea; President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger; President Michael Sata of Zambia; President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo; and President Mohamed Abdelaziz of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.
President-elect Mahama ascended to the Presidency following the death of the incumbent President John Evans Atta Mills, in July 2012 in Accra, and was re-elected in last December's presidential election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), polling 5,574,761 votes against his close contender, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) who had 5,248,898 votes.
His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is, coincidentally, also the fourth "John" to ascend to the high office of the President. Ex-President Jerry John Rawlings ascribed as the first "John," was President from January 7, 1993 to January 6, 2001; former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the second "John," served from January 7, 2001 to January 6, 2009; and the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills, the third "John," served from January 7, 2009 to July 24, 2012.
President Sirleaf and delegation are expected back in Monrovia later this afternoon.