Ghanaian President is laid to rest

Channels Television  
Updated August 10, 2012

The body of the late Ghanaian President, Professor John Atta Mills has been interred at the “Asomdwee Park” .

The late President, was laid to rest after a day-long funeral which held at the Independence Square in Accra.

Prof Mills was buried, Friday, in a Bird Sanctuary next to the seat of government, the 17th-century Fort Christiansborg, also known as Osu Castle, which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

His funeral was attended by 16 Heads of State, five Vice Presidents, and other international dignitaries including the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Goodluck Jonathan.

The leaders joined thousands of Ghanaians in the seaside capital as his coffin was carried on a gun carriage followed by wreath bearers in the capital, Accra.

President Jonathan paid tribute to the late leader saying he was a friend of Nigeria, who stood by the country during its moments of trial.

He described him as somebody, who was very close to him personally and who was very supportive during Nigerian’s trial.

President Jonathan added that he received the sudden death of Atta-mills with shock, and that African leaders would miss him for his sincerity, maturity, humility and modesty.

Prof. Mills, who had been due to stand for re-election in December, died suddenly at age 68, on July 24, after a long battle with throat cancer.

Catalyst for Unity

Within hours after his death, John Dramani Mahama, his deputy, was sworn-in by parliament as his replacement, removing concerns cover political instability.

President Mahama, who spoke during the two-hour burial ceremony marked by Bible readings, prayers and singing, described Mills as a man who cemented stability in Ghana.

“I am in no doubt that the unifier and the man of peace that our late president was, in passing on to glory, will be a catalyst for our country to consolidate the peace and forge ahead in unity,” Mahama said.

Mills, a former law professor and a tax expert, was Ghana’s vice president from 1997 to 2000.

He became president in 2009, narrowly winning a runoff vote, having unsuccessfully run for the top office in 2000 and 2004.

Before his political career, he taught at the University of Ghana and also was a visiting lecturer at Temple University in Pennsylvania and Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Mills’ death came days after he celebrated his 68th birthday. He had said he would run for re-election in December.