The government of Ghana has outlined the funeral arrangements for the late President John Evans Attah Mills. According to a statement issued by the Funeral Committee headed by Mr. Tutubi Quashie, the late President’s body would arrive at the Banquet Hall of the State House in Accra at 3:30pm on Wednesday August 8, and laid in state, at 4pm. The statement continued that viewing of the body would then follow until 12 midnight. After the filling around the body which will be led by the Speaker of Parliament, the funeral will continue till the next day at 6am, also at the forecourt of the State House.
On Thursday, August 9, the statement continued, viewing of the body would continue from 7am until 12 noon and continue from 2pm to 12 midnight. Delegations arriving on the morning of Friday, August 10 would have the opportunity to view the body from 7am-8am, followed by the burial service at the Independence Square at 9am.
A book of condolences would be opened at the conference center for Heads of State and Governments to sign before and after the burial. The President, John Mahama has said that with the decision to bury the late President Mills in Accra between the Geese Park Castle Drive and Marine Drive Osu, the wrangling over where he should be buried, he hoped, would come to an end. Earlier on there was a report from the government that President Mills will be buried at the Flagstaff House, formally known as the Jubilee House (the name given to the newly built Presidential Palace by President J.A. Kufour which President Mills refused to occupy after he won the election in 2008).
According to government report, the body of the president will be exhumed after his burial in Accra and later buried at Otuom in his hometown. This was based on the family’s request to have their own son buried home. The President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama will however be broadcasting to the nation on Wednesday 7, 2012 prior to the funeral day. He has also declared Friday 9th August 2012 which is the funeral day of the late president as a public holiday. Meanwhile Ambassador Ken Kanda, Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has advised that friends and love ones all over the world who will like to donate to the late professor’s funeral should channel it through the State Protocols Department.
The security services have assured the state and mourners their readiness to provide security during the period of the funeral. They have outlined their security plans by way of blocking certain major roads in the city and have called on citizens to be law abiding. They have won that they will deals squarely with people who will flout their security regulations. Many have praise the government of Ghana for the smooth transition which went on after the death of President Mills and have said that the country has come of age in its democratic practice.
Pressure is being however put on the government to declare the full health status of President Mills to the public. Some are saying that a full disclosure will help the government to put in place mechanisms that will help take care of future presidents when they are sick while in office. Others are however saying that the health status of the president is confidential and should be solely that of his own and not any other person. The government however came out to say that they will not be able to declare President Mills’ health status unless his family has approved of it.
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