Today, thousands of people from all walks of life will converge on the Independence Square in Accra to witness the momentous swearing-in of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic.
Millions of people, mostly sympathisers of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) across the country, will be glued to their television sets, while other enthusiastic supporters and well-wishers of Ghana will watch the historic ceremony live on various social media platforms from 10 a.m. when the moment to hand over power from one democratic President to another is expected to commence.
President John Dramani Mahama, the first to serve for one term in the history of the Fourth Republic, will hand over the sword of office to Nana Akufo-Addo, while Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia will take the oath of office as the Vice-President of the republic.
January 7, has been designated to be the constitutionally recognised day on which an elected President is officially sworn in as the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
As part of the well-planned ceremony, Nana Akufo-Addo, who won the presidential election with more than 53 per cent of the total votes cast on December 7, will swear two oaths. The first will be the Presidential Oath and the second, the Oath of Allegiance; both of which will be administered by Her Ladyship Chief Justice, Mrs Justice Georgina Theodora Wood, in the presence of the new Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye, who was himself sworn into office early this morning.
After reciting both oaths, a thunderous applause and shouts of ‘Nana oo, Nana oo’, is expected to greet the first man to break the presidential jinx of the Johns, who have led this country since the commencement of the Fourth Republic.
After that is done, the new President, Nana Akufo-Addo, a man born into an influential family but who has managed to develop strong social ties with the ordinary man, will be expected to deliver his first speech to the nation in which he is expected to reassure the people of Ghana of his commitment to turn the fortunes of the country around for the betterment of all Ghanaians.
Nana Akufo-Addo, a product of top Ghanaian and British schools, will also use the occasion to assure the country’s neighbours and the rest of the world of his resolve to make Ghana the most attractive destination for business and a safe haven for investment.
During his campaign to win the hearts and minds of Ghanaians to vote for him, Nana Akufo-Addo, a former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Foreign Affairs in the John Kufuor administration, made a number of mouth-watering promises to the people, including his resolve to create the conducive environment for the establishment of one factory in each district of the country, the building of one dam in each village and the release of one million United States dollars to each constituency of the country to accelerate development.
Nana Akufo-Addo will also re-emphasise his commitment to fix the ailing economy which is expected to lead to job recreation, a major expectation of the many who voted for him during his third bid to accede to the highest throne of office as President of the Republic.
Another major expectation of the new President will be how he will quickly tackle corruption and restore discipline which have destroyed the moral fibre of society and are threatening to destroy the knowledge and intelligence of the future leaders of the country.
What to look out for
The police administration has announced a number of arrangements for the smooth swearing-in ceremony of the President-elect today.
First on the list is the parking arrangements made for individuals with specific invitation cards, especially designed in different colours for easy identification.
The move is to ensure that the parking of cars and movement of people are controlled to avoid any stampede or anything which can mar the beauty of the well-planned ceremony.
Expected at the colourful ceremony will be Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, the first President in the Fourth Republic and the founder of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the party on whose ticket President Mahama stood and lost the crucial election last month.
The second John, former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the second President of the republic, will also be in attendance to see the crowning of the man he has, since 2008, campaigned rigorously for to take over the mantle of leadership of the country after his successful reign as President between 2001 and 2008.
The well-planned ceremony will be witnessed by a host of heads of state and Government from Togo, Gabon, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia, Benin, Nigeria, Equitorial Guinea, Guinea and Ethiopia.
Thirteen other countries are expected to send representatives who will be joined by about 6,000 foreign dignitaries at the event where Ivorian President Alhassan Outtarra is the special guest of honour.
The father of Nana Akufo-Addo, Mr Justice Edward Akufo-Addo, and his uncle, Mr William Ofori-Attah, were members of the Big Six, the political activists who pushed for Ghana’s independence from British colonial rule in 1957, making it the first country, south of the Sahara, to attain independence.
Mr Akufo-Addo, a one-time Chief Justice, was also the ceremonial President in the Second Republic.