Ghana readies for historic inauguration of new President

At 10:00 a.m. Saturday president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, will take the reins of government to become the fifth President of the 4th Republic.

His swearing in follows the inauguration at midnight of January 6, 2017, of a new Speaker of Parliament, Prof Mike Oquaye, to administer the affairs of the 7th Parliament.

A jubilant mood among Ghanaians from all walks of life has characterised Nana Akufo-Addo’s expected inauguration at the Black Star Square in Accra.

Tooting of car horns and loud music on the dawn of Saturday have been one of the many ways Ghanaians have been demonstrating their expectation of the new President’s investiture.

The mood at the Black Star Square itself is telling of the euphoria that an incoming Nana Akufo-Addo Presidency has created.

Joy News reporters at the venue of the investiture say the stands are almost full.

Watch video below: Scores spend the night at Black Square ahead of ceremony

People are clad in the red, blue and white colours of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) while others have settled for national colours.

A former Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) who is already at the event grounds describes today’s event as very historic.

“We have a President-elect with very impeccable credentials to fight corruption,” he said.

Foreign dignitaries from Africa and other parts of the world have also been arriving in the country over the week to witness today’s event.

Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé, however, arrived a few hours ago. A short ceremony was held to welcome him at the Kotoka International Airport where portraits are already announcing Nana Akufo-Addo as the President of the Republic of Ghana.

President of neighbouring La Cote d’Ivoire, Mr Allassane Dramani Outarra, will be 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 Nana Akufo-Addo.

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 John Mahama became the first sitting President to lose an election after his second term bid at the polls suffered a defeat with over 1.5 million vote difference.

Sitting arrangements

The outer perimeter of the Blackstar Squre would be open to the public and would take about 6,500 people, the middle would be reserved for the media and logistical service providers, while the inner perimeter will accommodate 6,000 guests and 350 guests of the President and Vice President.

The Independence Arch area is reserved for former senior members of the incoming government, while the guest gallery area is kept for senior members of the outgoing government.

There would be master audio and television feeds for the media.

 Access to the middle and inner perimeters would be based on accreditation and indicated that no offensive weapons would be allowed in the area.

Foreign heads of state

Dignitaries from Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Gabon, Zambia, Egypt and Ethiopia have already arrived for the historic event.

There would also be representatives of international agencies.

Vehicle arrangements

In line with protocol, vehicles of dignitaries have been given different tags and places demarcated for their parking.

Following from the decision of the National Security, they said, no vehicle would be allowed beyond the Accra Sports Stadium or the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), except vehicles with accredited tags (red tags).

MPs are to park at the Parliament House and would be chauffeured to the Black Stars Square.

Vehicles with yellow tags are to park at the Accra Sports Stadium and those with black tags would park at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park to be chauffeured to the inauguration grounds.

Other activities

There would be a banquet for the President, Vice President and invited guests at 1p.m.

At 6p.m, there would be a cocktail at the Presidency, while the President will host the visiting heads of state to a reception at the Presidency at 8p.m.

There would be a musical concert at the Black Stars Square at 10:30 p.m.