General News of Saturday, 17 November 2012
Source: Daily Graphic
President John Dramani Mahama has expressed shock at the demise of former Vice-President Aliu Mahama and declared five days of national mourning for him. He also directed that all flags fly at half mast in memory of the former Vice-President.
A statement signed by a Deputy Minister of Information, Mr James Agyenim-Boateng, and issued in Accra Friday said the President had expressed his personal grief at the passing of the former Vice-President of the Republic.
It said President Mahama had a personal relationship with the deceased former Vice-President which transcended political lines.
It said Alhaji Mahama was President Mahama’s personal friend and the two had mutual respect for each other.
“Alhaji Mahama served his country well. In recognition of his services to Ghana, he will be accorded a deserving state burial, in consultation with his family and in accordance with his Islamic faith,” it said.
Meanwhile, the President has suspended his campaign in the Brong Ahafo Region to attend the funeral and burial rites of the late former Vice-President.
President Mahama was informed of the former Vice-President’s death while he was on his way to Dormaa in the Brong Ahafo Region on a campaign trail.
Speaking to members of the presidential press corps just after hearing of the sad news, the President said when he visited the former Vice-President at the Intensive Care Unit of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital recently, the doctors told him that the former Vice-President’s condition was critical but he (the President) was hopeful that he would pull through.
“Although the doctors told me that his condition was critical, I had the hope that he might get well and continue to be with us,” he said.
Paying tribute to the late former Vice-President, President Mahama said the former Vice-President had a rich working experience, first in his private life, then as the running mate to former President Kufuor and later as the Vice-President for two terms.
He described the late former Vice-President as a tactful and discerning politician whom he saw as an elder brother.
President Mahama said when he became Vice-President in 2009, he sought advice from the former Vice-President on several occasions.
He recalled that the last time he met Alhaji Mahama was at the Presidential Encounter organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Tamale some weeks ago.
He said the former Vice-President looked hail and hearty, noting that the former Vice-President’s death had come as a great shock.
He expressed condolence to Alhaji Mahama’s widow, children and family members, former President Kufuor, the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as well as the National Executive and members of the NPP and all Ghanaians.
President Mahama said he had directed the Chief of Staff to liaise with the late former Vice-President’s family to give him a fitting state burial.
He said as a former Vice-President, Alhaji Mahama would be given all the courtesies befitting a former Vice-President.