President John Dramani Mahama
With barely three days to the final handing over of political power to a New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, President John Dramani Mahama seems to have cleared his office desk at the presidency to make way for the incoming president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
In a picture which has since gone viral on social media, the desk of President Mahama at the Flagstaff House, which is usually occupied with a heap of files and documents, has been completely cleared with not even a tiny pin in sight.
He is seen in the picture speaking on his cell phone, with other cell phones, his dark pair of spectacles and blue water flask on the desk.
The president is reported to have almost packed out of his official residence located at No. 1 Prestige Avenue in Accra, which originally used to be the residence of former Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama.
Meanwhile, all seems set for outgoing President Mahama and the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) to hand over the affairs of the country to President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa-Akufo-Addo to lead a new government.
At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, co-Chairperson of the Transition Team’s Sub-Committee on Inauguration and Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale South, Haruna Iddrisu, said, “Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution and the Transition Act of the Republic of Ghana, all is set for the inauguration of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President-elect Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia before Parliament.”
The event is expected to be preceded with the dissolution of the current parliament and the swearing in of the new parliament [275 parliamentarians] at midnight of January 7, 2017 in the House.
That is when the new speaker of the House and his two deputies as well as leadership of the House [majority, minority leaders] would be determined accordingly.
The event is expected to start off in parliament between 10:00 pm and 1:00 am.
Parliament will reconvene later in the morning at the Independence Square where the swearing in and official handing over ceremony are expected to take place.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu was hopeful of a smooth transfer of power from the outgoing administration to the incoming one.
He thus, assured that adequate preparations had been made to usher in the new government.
“So far, 11 heads of state and governments have confirmed their participation, two vice presidents, 13 government representatives, five representatives of international multilateral organizations and a number of ex-presidents from the West African sub-region and other parts of the world,” co-Chairperson of the Inauguration Committee, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, revealed.
Ivorian President Allasane Quattara is expected to be the special guest of honour for the occasion, with Chairperson of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as well as the Presidents of Guinea (Alpha Conde), Nigeria (Muhammudu Buhari), Benin (Alpha Talon), Togo (Faure Gnassingbe), Gabon (Ali Bongo Ondimba), Zambia (Edgar Lungu) and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, would all be in attendance.
On the day of the event, members of the public and all guests, except those classified as ‘very important personalities’ (VIPs) are expected to be seated at the Independence Square by 8:30 am, spokesman of the NPP side of the Transition Team and MP-elect for Ofoase-Ayirebi, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, indicated.
The main activity is expected to start at 10:00 am.
Members of the public would be administered in the stands at the Square that accommodates as many as 6,000 people, with the media and all other persons who would be performing specific duties on the day expected to be carrying the necessary accreditations.
In view of the nature of the programme and its accompanying tight security schedule, no vehicles, except those with specially designed pass, would be allowed beyond the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), Osu cemetery traffic lights, the 28th February road traffic lights and the traffic lights at the headquarters of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) headquarters at the ministries area.
Over 5,000 men drawn from the various security agencies would be on duty on the day providing security and screening people.
Subsequent to the swearing in ceremony, there would be a banquet at the State House at 1:00 pm for the president, vice president, visiting heads of state and dignitaries – with attendance being strictly by invitation.
Later in the day at 6:00 pm, there would also be a cocktail party at the presidency, followed immediately with a dinner for the dignitaries at 8:00 pm at the same venue.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah also announced a musical concert dubbed, ‘One Ghana’ scheduled for 10:00 pm the same day at the Independence Square.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu