The investiture of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as President on Saturday could pass as the best in terms of organisation and attendance in the history of the Fourth Republic, with over 20 heads of state and government delegations from various parts of the world in attendance.
Among the distinguished Ghanaians, who attended the auspicious ceremony, were former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan; United Nations Special representative for West Africa, Dr Mohammad Ibn Chambas; former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor.
Enthusiastic supporters of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Ghanaians besieged the Black Star Square (Independence Square) as early as 4 am even though the programme was scheduled to start at 10 am.
By 7am the Black Star Square had been completely taken over by enthusiastic supporters and Ghanaians.
Many others who could not gain access to the area because of the lack of space gathered in front of the square to drum and sing.
A huge replica of the elephant in the NPP’s colours of white, blue and red was carried by enthusiastic supporters to the Black Star Square amidst ‘Jamma’ songs.
The atmosphere became charged when Dr Mahamudu Bawumia arrived at the square and the crowd further went into frenzy when Nana Akufo-Addo also arrived at the venue for the inaugural ceremony.
Nana Addo was dressed in a beautiful ‘Kente’ cloth while Dr Bawumia was also in beautiful white Kaftan.
The highlight of the inaugural ceremony was when the vice president-elect and the president-elect mounted the podium to swear the oath as vice president and president respectively which was administered by the Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood.
While some enthusiastic supporters waved white handkerchiefs and party flags and cheered, others released fire crackers simultaneously.
All these happened in full glare of the outgoing President John Mahama who was there to witness the ceremony.
The speaker of parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye asked all the former presidents present, including John Mahama to shake hands with the new president after he took his oath of office.
Former President Rawlings, founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) showed great statesmanship when he and his wife embraced the new president and his vice amidst blowing of kisses.
Former President Rawlings and the wife Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings intimately hugged the new president and gave him pecks on his cheeks.
Immediate past President John Mahama and his wife also embraced Nana Akufo-Addo and briefly shared some thoughts with him while on the dais.
All the other presidents from the various countries who attended the programme took turns to congratulate the new President.
Kofi Annan and Dr Ibn Chambas were also given the chance to congratulate the new president.
President Alassane Dramanne Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, who was the Special Guest of Honour, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, all hugged the new president.
Other African leaders at the ceremony were the Zambian President, Edgar Lungu and Equatorial Guinea President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The presidents of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, Egypt’s Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria also witnessed the ceremony.
The rest are Chadian President Idriss Déby, who is the current African Union Chairman, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia.
President of Guinea, Alpha Conde, President of Benin – Alpha Talon, President of Togo – Faure Gnassingbe and President of Gabon – Ali Bongo Ondimba were all at the historic event.
At the end of the programme, immediate past president, John Mahama quietly left the place with NPP supporters bidding him farewell.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr