Friday, 10 August 2012

Jonathan in Accra, says Attah-Mills was friend of Nigeria

President Goodluck
Jonathan on Thursday in
Accra said the late Ghanaian
President, Prof. John Atta-
Mills, was a friend of Nigeria
who stood by the country
during its moments of trial.
The President made this
known while addressing
newsmen on arrival at the
Kotoka International Airport
in the Ghanaian capital for
the burial of the late head of
state who died on July 24.
He described Atta-Mills as
somebody, who was very
close to him personally and
who was very supportive
during Nigerian’s trial.
Jonathan said he received
the sudden death of Atta-
Mills with shock, adding that
African leaders would miss
him for his sincerity,
maturity, humility and
The President said that the
past four to five years had
been very bad for Africa in
terms of the death of sitting
“Atta-Mills was somebody
that was very close to me; I
knew the support he gave
me when Nigeria had a
similar situation, when our
late president was ill until
when he finally died.
“When I took over as a
President we have been
working very closely,
discussing regional issues,
ECOWAS issues, African issues
and international issues,’’ he
Hundreds of mourners
gather to pay respect to late
President John Atta Mills
lying in state at the
parliament in Accra, on
August 8, 2012. Ghana
began three days of funeral
rites for late president John
Atta Mills on Wednesday,
with his body to lie in state
ahead of his burial to be
attended by foreign
dignitaries including
Jonathan Goodluck and
Hillary Clinton. President arrived at Kotoka
International Airport at
about 9.10 p.m Nigerian time
(8.05 p.m local time).
He was received by the
Ghanaian Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Regional
Integration, Alhaji
Muhammad Mumuni, the
Nigeria’s High Commissioner
to Ghana, Mr Ademola
Onafowokan, and his
predecessor, Musiliu
The President was
accompanied by the Minister
of Foreign Affairs, Mr
Olugbenga Ashiru, Senators,
Emmanuel Paulker, Victor Lar
and some presidential aides.
The President left the Airport
for the Banquet hall of Ghana
Presidential Villa, where the
body of Atta-Mills was lying
in state.
Jonathan joined other
visiting Presidents and Heads
of State to pay last respect to
Atta-Mills, who died in office
after about three and half
year of a four-year, first term
Other presidents from Africa,
who had arrived Accra for
the event were: Ellen
Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia;
Paul Koroma of Sierra-Leone;
Lucas Pohamba of Namibia
and Issoufou Mahamadou of
Also present were Presidents
of Saharawi Republic,
Tanzania and the South
African Vice President.
Jonathan is scheduled to
participate in the final burial
rites for Atta-Mills on Friday.
He would also meet with
Ghana’s new leader,
President John Dramani
Mahama, before returning to
Earlier, in an interview,
Onafowokan had said that
Ghanaians wanted the burial
ceremony of their late leader
to be very drearily without
social events and fun-fair.
“They are really in sorrow;
remember the President that
died was vying for the
election in December. And
remember that this President
was not 70 years and so to
the Ghanaians, he was not
old and that is why you see
everybody in black and red,”
he said.
The mood of the funeral, the
Kotoka Airport and the major
streets in Accra were
decorated with black and red
In addition, many Ghanaians
on the streets of the capital
were also dressed in black
and red mourning clothing.
Also at the airport, the
national flags of Ghana and
those of the countries
expected to attend the burial
were flying at half mast.
It will be recalled that after
Attah-Mills death, the
Ghanaian Government had
on July 31, sent a five-man
delegation to Abuja to deliver
a special message to
Jonathan and an official
invitation to the burial rites
of Atta-Mills. (NAN)

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