President John Dramani Mahama has commended Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), for suspending his campaign trip to return to Accra to mourn with the government due to the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills.
Mr. Mahama, who was sworn-in on Tuesday by the Chief Justice, following the death of President Mills, called for a concerted approach to political campaigning.
The president said this when he received a delegation from the NPP led by former President John Agyekum Kufuor to the Castle in Osu-Accra.
Other members of the delegation included Alhaji Aliu Mahama, former vice-president, Nana Akufo-Addo, the flag-bearer, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the chairman of NPP, Kwadwo Mpiani, former chief of staff under President Kufuor and Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, wife of Nana Akufo-Addo.
President Mahama noted that politicians could contest political power without the bickering associated with politics in Ghana and therefore called for a peaceful electioneering to justify the accolade: “Ghana is the beacon of democracy in Africa”.
He described the death of President Mills as unexpected and a great loss to the nation and that “every adversity creates room for opportunities”.
Mr. Mahama appealed to Ghanaians to console the First Lady, Mrs. Naadu Mills and keep her and the bereaved family in their prayers.
President Mahama acknowledged the daunting task of the load of being the president of the country and hoped to tap in the rich experiences and to seek the advice of former presidents Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings in his endeavours.
He informed the delegation that the family and the government were yet to come out with the date for the funeral of the late president.
For his part, President Kufuor congratulated Mr. Mahama on the occasion of his ascension on the throne of the presidency and also mourned with the government on the occasion of this tragic moment.
He urged President Mahama not to be carried away by partisan considerations but act as the president of the nation.
Mr. Kufuor noted that death was inevitable and that it was not an occasion for people to jubilate over and that President Mills’ death “should bring us together. We’re not enemies but opponents”.
He called on Ghanaians to rally around the death of the president to ensure peace in the country.
Mr. Kufuor decried the attitude of Ghanaians for failing to understand the work and sacrifices of politicians, who had volunteered to contest political power but rather subjected them to all manner of insults.
He appealed for calm and prayer for the First Lady and the bereaved family.
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