Mr. Mahama after he had been sworn in as the President of the Republic of Ghana
Vice-President John Dramani Mahama was yesterday evening sworn into office as President of the Republic of Ghana at a solemn ceremony on the floor of Parliament, following the death of President John Evans Atta Mills.
This makes him the first Vice-President of the Republic to be sworn in as President, following the death of a sitting President.
The swearing of oath, administered by the Chief Justice, Mrs. Georgina Theodora Wood, at exactly 8.05 pm, was in line with Article 60 sub-section six of the constitution, which state “Whenever the President dies, resigns or is removed from office, the Vice-President shall assume office as President for the unexpired term of office of the President with effect from the date of the death, resignation or removal of the President.”
Clad in a dark suit with a flying tie to match, sober-looking President Mahama swore, “To uphold the sovereignty and integrity of Ghana and to preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the Republic of Ghana.”
Thereafter, he lifted the State Sword to signify his new position as the President of the country.
In his remarks, President Mahama described as an unprecedented tragedy, the sudden death of President Mills saying it was with deep sorrow and a heavy heart that he addressed the nation.
The country, he said, had lost a sitting president who worked tirelessly for his people. “I am personally devastated because I have lost a father, a friend and a senior colleague.
“Ghana at this time, is united at this moment of grief and our hearts at this time are with Mrs. Naadu Mills, the First Lady.”
President Mahama in his tribute to the late President, described him as a fine gentleman who earned the title “Asomdwee hene” because of his peaceful disposition … he left his mark as a world leader and was an inspiration to all of us”
Mr Mahama also described the late president as a fine sportsman, an academician, a Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, a former Vice-President of Ghana, and a candidate for the National Democratic Congress before becoming the president of the nation.
He said his immediate task was to maintain the unity and stability of the nation and directed that all flags should fly at half mast to begin a week-long national mourning.
Narrating the circumstances that led to the pass on of President Mills, Mr. Mahama said the unfortunate incident occurred around 2.15 pm the 37 Military Hospital.
The Speaker of Parliament, Mrs. Joyce Bamford-Addo, after the newly inaugurated President’s speech, invited comments from leadership of both sides of the House.
Responding, the Majority Leader, Cletus Avoka, who moved the motion for the adjournment of the emergency sitting, said the House, would, at an appropriate time pay tribute to the late president.
Seconding the motion, the Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said the event was “undoubtedly a tragic one in the history of the nation, stressing that, the sudden death had dumpen the spirit of the nation.”
“Let this event serve as a platform to unite the nation,” he said.