Inaugural preparations for President – elect well advanced

Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey with Haruna Iddrisu

Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Co-chairperson of the Inauguration Sub-Committee of the Transition Team has announced that preparations are almost complete for the inauguration of the President- elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo- Addo next Saturday.

She said Ghana was ready for the historic event at the Black Star Square in Accra, at which  the President of neighbouring La Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Allassane Dramani Outarra was expected as the Guest of Honour.

Presidents, Vice Presidents and high profile dignitaries would also be attending the ceremony at which outgoing government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) under President John Mahama would hand over power to President elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the incoming government of the New Patriotic Party.

Addressing a media conference in Accra ahead of the event, Ms Botchway  said:“We will be receiving about 11 heads of states and governments, two vice presidents, 13 government representatives, five international representatives of multilateral organizations, and a number of ex-presidents from West Africa and other parts of the world.”

She added: “Let me add that this is not expected to be the final figure; we will have a final figure about 24 hours to the event.”

According to Ms Botchway, leaders included those from Togo, Gabon, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Zambia, Benin, Nigeria and Guinea.

Nana Akufo-Addo, having won the December 2016 presidential polls would be the fifth President of Ghana under the Fourth Republic, which began since 1992.

Incumbent President Mahama’s second term bid at the polls suffered a defeat with over one million vote difference.

Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Spokesperson of the Transition team on the side of the NPP, said about 5,000 security officials were expected at the event.

The inauguration is expected to begin at 10:00 am on Saturday and will see over 6,000 visiting heads of state, diplomats and other dignities and personalities from within and across the world.

Mr Nkrumah cautioned that vehicles not accredited for the event would not be allowed at the venue of the inauguration.

Dress rehearsals to ensure a perfect handing over ceremony will begin on Wednesday to Friday

Meanwhile, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Co-Chair of the Inauguration Sub-Committee on the side of the Outgoing Government has called on Ghanaians to support the event to prove to the world Ghana’s democratic credentials.

He said “All is set for the inauguration of President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President-elect Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia before parliament.

Beginning from the midnight of 6 January, 2017, parliament will usher in the new MPs-elect who will be sworn into office, after which the Speaker and Deputy Speakers and leadership will be determined accordingly,” he said.

Mr Iddrisu stated further: “Parliament will then reconvene at the direction of Mr Speaker at the Independence Square for the major ceremony of the inauguration of the President-elect subsequent to the presidential and parliamentary election conducted on 7 December and the outcome of it reflected the sovereign will of the people of Ghana recognised by the Electoral Commission of Ghana.

“We expect a very dignified and honest ceremony. We expect the Ghanaian public’s support and cooperation and we want the outcome of this event to add to the [record] of our country as one of the enduring democracies in Africa, if not one of the best, and to deepen our democratic ethics and values by witnessing a smooth transfer of political power from one government to the other”.

Source: GNA