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General News of Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Source: XYZ

Let's create a uniting political space - President Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has said that the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills should serve as a rallying call to all the political parties towards a peaceful cohabitation ahead of the General Election in December.

According to the new president of the Republic of Ghana, “I know we are in competitive politics and power must be competed for but it can be done in a way that is not as [de]based as we have seen in the recent past.”

President Mahama was speaking at the Castle when an entourage of senior officials of the New Patriotic Party paid a courtesy call on him to offer condolences to the government after the death of President Mills on Tuesday afternoon.

He said the parties can compete for political power in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony, while still maintaining a sense of civility towards one another.

“At times adversity creates opportunity and I think that the good Lord in His own wisdom probably is trying to tell us something as a nation that we must seize the moment and create [a] political space that is more uniting,” he said.

President Mahama thanked the flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo and the party Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey for suspending the campaign tour in honour of President Mills.

“This gesture that you have conducted is the first towards us standing together as a nation and making sure Ghana continues to be the beacon of hope for Africa,” he indicated.

“I now know how heavy the burden you were carrying is and there is nobody to look up to because the bus stops with you, and it is not easy. We will continue to count on your support. Happily there are still two of you.”

President John Mahama gave the assurance that he intends to follow the footsteps of his mentor adding he will also not hesitate to call on the living former presidents – John Kufuor and John Rawlings – for direction.

On the funeral arrangements of the late President Mills, President Mahama revealed that the Chief of Staff will liaise with the family of the late president to ensure that the funeral arrangements are put in place in due course.

Death can Bring people together – Kufuor

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Former President Kufuor who led the entourage congratulated the new president on his assumption of office as the fourth president of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.

He said we are here to “commiserate with you on the passing of our late President John Atta Mills who left us yesterday, left us in such a shock that even as we stand here I am not sure we have recovered from the stunning news.”

He urged President Mahama to display a sense of non-partisanship as the father of the nation saying “once you are President, you are not partisan, you must not be partisan. You use partisanship to get there but once you are there you belong to the entire nation. And when our leader, the president goes, it behooves on all of us to come together and mourn him.”

Former President Kufuor stated that the office of the President “is the one field that perhaps the most good can be done for our people,” and urged the president to work assiduously towards improving the lot of Ghanaians.

“We just are praying that you [President Mahama] will not forget the demands of the high office of president to the entire people of Ghana,” he stressed.**