The mortal remains of Ghana’s late President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, was on Friday interred at the “Asomdwee Park” (nee Geese Park) to start his journey into the world beyond. This was after some 90 minutes of burial service held at the Independence Square in Accra.
A somber-looking President John Dramani Mahama laid the first wreath on behalf of the government and people of Ghana. The second and third wreaths were laid by Dr. Mrs. Naadu Mills and Cadman Mills, respectively.
Dr. Mrs. Mary Grant laid the next wreath on behalf of the Council of State.
The last two wreaths were laid on behalf of the Parliament of Ghana and the security services.
Earlier, thousands of mourners including African leaders, foreign dignitaries and the general public attended the state funeral of late President Mills at the Independence Square.
A military cortege had conveyed the late President Mills’ body from the Banquet Hall of the State House, where it had lain in state since Wednesday, to Independence Square, where the funeral began Friday morning.
The funeral cortege was led the Aide-de-Camp of the late President, Colonel Lante Lawson.
The casket was placed on a gun carriage at 1320 hours as the late commander-in-chief was given a burial with full military honours.
As the gun carriage moved slowly out of the Independence Square and drove onto the High Street and through some principal streets of Accra, tens of thousands of people dressed in red and black who thronged the Square and lined the streets waving miniature flags while others drummed and sang.
Some mourners wailed uncontrollably.
A number of pigeons were also released as a sign of peace for President Mills who was called the “King of Peace.”
For a brief period ahead of the start of the funeral, a helicopter hovering over the area dropped leaflets reading, “We want peaceful elections in 2012.”
And later after the casket containing the mortal remains of the late president was lowered into the grave, there was a fly-past by three Ghana Air Force jets ejecting long lines of smoke in the national colours of red, gold and green, whiles Ghana Navy ships also performed ceremonial maneuvers on the shoreline behind the Independence Square.
Brother of late president Mills, Cadman Mills, on behalf of the family, was asked to give the vote of thanks.
The Economist thanked Ghanaians, the armed forces, the officiators, ministers, clergy, and all who contributed to the success of the service.
“I would like you, Mr President, to convey to the people of Ghana our deepest gratitude for the words of comfort, for the solace they’ve given us and for the honour done our dear brother. I would also through you “(Prez Mahama), like to thank the Armed Forces for such a stately funeral that they organized in his honour. Knowing what a modest man he was, he probably would have been a little embarrassed, but the family accepts wholeheartedly on his behalf,” he said.
He also revealed to Ghanaians and the rest of the world, the last words of his late brother before he died.
“Before my brother (Mills) died, the last words that he said that I clearly remember is that, he raised his hands in the air and he said ‘God, I leave it all to you, Amen’. I’ve no doubt that God heard his call. I’ve no doubt that he is now in the bosom of the Lord. I’ve no doubt that he’ll find eternal peace. Pray for him, and May God be with you, Fiifi,” Dr Cadman Mills said.