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Regional News of Thursday, 9 August 2012

Source: Daily Guide

Tears Flow For Mills

Thousands of Ghanaians including high-profile personalities could not hold back their tears yesterday at the State House as they paid their last respects to President John Evans Atta Mills, who died two weeks ago.

As early as 6:00am, people had started trooping to the event venue from all walks of life in anticipation of being allowed to enter the forecourt of the State House.

But a police-cum-military team that had been dispatched to the location would not allow them entry in view of the fact that the programme had been designed for members of the public to take turns to view the mortal remains of the late President after midday.

It was a sorrowful sight when the hearse carrying the casket of the late President arrived at the State House in a motorcade with military horse riders. Many, including Ministers of State and parliamentarians who were clad in mourning clothes, could not hold back their tears as they burst into uncontrollable wailing.

Among the people who went to the Banquet Hall of the State House where the body of the late President had been laid in state for public viewing were President John Mahama, his Vice Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, and their wives and former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor with their wives.

Former First Lady and wife of the departed President, Ernestina Naadu Mills, was seen in a sombre mood.

She accompanied President Mahama to the Banquet Hall to pay her last respect to her late lover.

Dressed in a black suit, the fallen President was lying in a closed-glass casket in a garden of flowers in the national colors.

As mourners filed past the body, dirges were sung to herald the final journey of the Ghanaian leader who would be buried on Friday.

A giant portrait of the 68-year-old late President, which had the inscription, ‘Peace I leave with my Nation’, was standing by the casket.

Presidential candidates of the various political parties including those of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his wife Becky, Hassan Ayariga of the People’s National Congress (PNC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP)’s Dr Abu Sakara, the Progressive People’s Party (PPP)’s, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom and Henry Lartey of the Great Consolidation Popular Party (GCPP) were all there to pay their last respects.**