The body of the late President John Evans Atta Mills has been interred at the "Asomdwee 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 today.
Click ON PLAY to watch LIVE SCREENING of service (courtesy JOY News TV)
The burial service of Ghana’s President who died in the line of duty, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, has ended at the Independence Square in Accra.
As the late President John Evans Atta Mills' days on earth reduces to a matter of hours, Peacefmonline.com brings you updates of the significant activities to mark the day of his interment at the Geese Park.
06:00AM: Family of late President Mills enters the banquet to pay their very final respect to their son
07:00AM: NDC Officials go in to see the remains of the former President before the casket is brought out.
07:18AM: A military helicopter is flying around the State House as the casket of the President is being prepared.
President Gnassingbe of Togo goes to pay his last respect with a delegation. He describes the late President as a great statesman.
A delegation from Sudan have been to view the remains of the President. Head of delegation congratulates Ghanaians for the democratic credentials.
07:25AM: Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, President of the Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace who is representing Pope Benedict XVI, has also paid his last respects.
07:55AM: The military guard have taken their positions infront of the Banquet Hall as the cortege prepares to move to the Independence Square.
07:80AM: The horses and their riders who will lead the cortege have also taken their positions.
08:17AM: President Allassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast speaks to the press after paying his last respect. He describes President Mills as a great leader and a friend of Ivory Coast.
08:30AM: President Theodore Mbasongo of Equatorial Guinea says President Mills is a true son of Africa who served his people diligently and that they are here to mourn with Ghana.
08:43AM: Beninois President and Chairman of the AU, Dr. Yayi Boni has filed past the remains of President Mills. "President Mills was really humble". He recalled how he discussed the problems in Mali some few months ago. It is a very great loss for the continent, Benin and Ghana. "All my condolences to the people of Ghana."
09:00AM: Former First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Naadu Mills has filed past the remains of her husband for the last time. She was accompanied by the MP of Ningo/Pampram E.T. Mensah and other family members.
09:15AM: Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has arrived at the Independence Square.
09:16AM: Former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan has also arrrived at the ceremonial grounds
09:40AM: Pallbearers have carried the casket containing the remains of the late President Mills. The cortege is ready at the front of the Banquet Hall ready for the procession to the Independence Square.
09:41AM: The Casket has been adorned with the flag of Ghana. The military personnel have lined up infront of the Banquet Hall preparing to salute the late President Mills.
09:47AM: The casket is been wheeled to the entrance of the Banquet Hall
09:48AM: The pallbearers now carry the casket down the stairs to the cortege.
09:51AM: The casket has been placed on the gun carriage as the procession begins
09:54AM: The cortege has started moving towards the Independence Square
Pallbearers, in normal circumstances help to carry the casket, but in this case they are walking behind the casket.
The motor-riders who are part of the motorcade, also show their respect by exhibiting some very unique riding skills.
Every moment seems well rehearsed and very coordinated
The cortege moves on with the pall bearers marching with reverse swords.
10:20 – Some of the 16 Heads of State, representatives of governments and other distinguished personalities arrive at the Indece Square
The Indece Square is washed in a sea of red and black and thousands of Ghanaians wait patiently for the service to begin
It is understood that the service will not exceed more than 90minutes
10:25 - The funeral procession has halted at the moment awaiting the arrival of the President, John Dramani Mahama.
Whiles Ghanaians expectantly wait for the procession to continue, some cultural performances are also on-going at the Indece Square. Every inch of space at the Indece Square is covered
10:36 – Prez John Dramani Mahama arrives at the Indece Square….
….the national anthem is played marking the beginning of the service…
….now all is set for the cortege to be brought in
The procession is now at the Black Star Square and heading towards to the Indece Square
10:41AM: A battalion of soldiers with the Calvary Regiment lead the cortege to the entrance of the Independence Square.
The casket arrives at the Indece Square and they are marching in slow time so the casket does not fall off.
11:00AM: The casket has been placed in the centre of the Square.
11:03AM: His Excellency President John Mahama is the first to salute and bow to the casket as he files past it. He was accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff, Lt. Gen. Blay and Inspector General of Police, Paul Tawiah Quaye.
11:05AM: The perpetual flame (Eternal Flame of African Liberation) has been lighted by President Mahama.
11:07AM: President Mahama takes his seat for the ceremony to commence.
11:13AM: Opening Prayer was delivered by Apostle Dr. Opoku Onyinah, Chairman, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council. He prays for the bereaved family and thanked God for the live of the late President.
11:10AM: Call to Worship is undertaken by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Rt. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Martey.
11:16AM: Opening him titled "Jesus Lover of My Soul" is sang by the mourners.
11:18AM: Muslim Prayer delivered by His Eminence Dr. Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, the National Chief Imam. He prays for the soul of the late Presidents, prays for the current president Mahama and God's blessings for the country as a whole.
11:21AM: First Bible Reading delivered by Hon. Prof. Kofi N. Awoonor in Psalm 39:1-7
11:24AM: Mass Choir sings a hymn
11:28AM: Dr. Cadman Atta Mills, brother of the late President pays tribute to his brother. The outpouring of grief for Ghanaians shows that he did his best despite having only 43 months to serve. Late President Mills's father and mother instilled various principles in him, honesty, humility. He was who he was because his parents were who they were. He demonstrated a great respect for all religions even though he was an avowed Christian. He called for support for the new generation whom he left the baton for (President Mahama).
He pledged the support of the Mills family to ensure a free and fair election in the 2012 elections.
11:38AM: Crowd sings hymn entitled "Captain of Israel's Host and Guide."
11:40AM: Second Bible Reading by Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood, Chief Justice of the Republic of Ghana, taken from Ecclesiastics 1:1-11.
11:44AM: The Mass Choir sings a Fante hymn
11:48AM: President Mahama delivers his tribute to late President Mills. A dark cloud stands over Ghana and Africa. He asks the crowd to stand in memory of the late President Mills for a minute. He said he was a great champion of Africa. Says Ghanaians share the sorrows of the family. Ghana has demonstrated to the world that the good that people do live after them.
Mills was a man of tremendous character.
President Mills entered politics not to be something but to do something, not to get what he could but to give what he could.
• "I see unity and a sense of purpose. I see resilience, determination and the resolve to prosper. We are indeed one nation."
• "Whatever achievement Ghana has made we have done it together as one people and as one nation... Ghana will continue to serve as the shining star of Africa"
• "President Mills a man of unshakeable believe in the power of God."
• Though we may have different opinions Ghanaians have shown that we can stand united and achieve our goal.
• Let us all pledge to open a new chapter of tolerance among ourselves.
• A true son of Africa, a father to our nation
12:01AM: Gifty Lamptey reads the tribute on behalf of Dr. Ernestina Naadu Mills. She said "Fiifi, you were a blessing to me."
12:02PM: Mass Choir sings another Hymn.
12:06PM: Archibishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams prays for the bereaved family. He prays for courtesies of Kingdom support for the family. He prays for peace for the nation.
12:09PM: Third Bible Reading by Rt. Hon. Speaker, Mrs Joyce Bamford Addo, taken from the book of I Corinthians 15:12-24.
12:12PM: Hymn by the Mass Choir with the title "Yesu Ka wuhu"
12:18PM: Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Asante, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church, Ghana delivers the sermon.
Like King Solomon, President Mills understood life. He was authentic in his relationship with his friends and God. He has genuine quest to serve mother Ghana. At the centre of his peaceful demeanour lies the principle of love. He sought to bring together power and service. He brought together head and heart, intelligence and goodness. The tragedy of live is the fact that life is transient and very fleeting. What does the human gain from all his labour without God. Life without God is mere existence. Life is not measured by material wealth but our closeness with God.
12:44PM: Rev. Dr. Eastwood Anaba prays for the country Ghana. He asks for forgiveness of sin for the country. He prays for the Supreme Love and Peace of God to reign in the hearts of Ghana.
12:49PM: The Mass Choir leads the mourners to sing the hymn titled "When Peace Like a River, Attendeth my way.
12:52PM: Chief of Staff, John Henry Martey Newman expresses gratitude to the dignitaries. He thanked the Presidents and other foreigners who were able to grace the occasion. President Mills believed in the use of soft power in his rulership and believed it was the way to go across the world.
12:58PM: Closing Hymn is sang by the mourners with the title "Now Praise We Great And Famous Men"
1:00PM: Closing Prayer delivered by a Bishop of the Catholic Church of Ghana.
1:03PM: Archbishop Dr. Justice Ofei Akrofi, shares the benediction to end the ceremony
1:04PM: The Military band delivers the 'Dead March in Saul' to end the ceremony at the Independence Square.
1:09PM: Wreath bearers march to pick up the wreath for the funeral procession to proceed towards the Grave Side
1:11PM: The Airforce pallbearers are marching to the casket to move to the Grave Side. They are being followed closely by the Brigadier Generals of the Ghana Army.
1:12PM: The Airforce pallbearers are marching to the casket to move to the Grave Side. They are being followed closely by the Brigadier Generals of the Ghana Army.
1:16PM: The gun carriage has been brought to the red carpet and the pallbearers who are Warrant Officers have carried the casket and placed it on the gun carriage.
1:20PM: The Cortege is now moving from the Independence Square as a military helicopter flies above the Square.
1:25PM: President Mahama and Dr. Cadman Mills are waving their flags as the cortege passes by and heads for the Asomdwee Park
The Military has taken over the casket, escorting the body of the one-time Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to his final resting place at the Geese Park on the Castle Drive.
There is procession through the principal streets of Accra High Street through the Osu Cemetary area.
2:50:PM: The Cortege has arrived at Asomdwee Park where the remains of the Late President Mills will be interred. The Central Band of the Ghana Armed Forces is still leading the cortege.
3:00PM: The pallbearers are drawing the casket on a wheel towards the grave side at a snails pace.
3:03PM: Pallbearers now carry the casket towards the graveside. They are closely followed by President John Mahama, Mrs. Naadu Mills as well as Dr. Cadman Mills.
3:08PM: The casket containing the mortal remains of the late President is being lowered into the grave. A very tearful Naadu Mills looks on.
3:12PM: The Scriptural Sentences are being delivered by Rev. Dr. Steve Asante.
3:14PM: The Band and Choir lead the mourners to sing the hymn titled Now The Labourer's Task Is O'er".
3:15PM: After final prayers, the body of the late President Mills has been lowered into the grave to start his journey into the world beyond.
3:18PM: Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Most. Rev. Prof. Emmanuel K. Asante recites the committal
3:22PM: The military buglers have sounded the Last Post amidst the booms of a 21-gun salute by a detachment of personnel of the 66 Artillery Regiment of the GAF.
3:26PM: Now there is a fly-past by three Ghana Air Force jets ejecting long lines of smoke in the national colours of red, gold and green, with Ghana Navy ships also performing ceremonial maneuvers on the shoreline behind the Independence Square.
3:30PM: A two minute silence is being observed for the late President
3:35PM: President Mahama has laid the first wreath on behalf of all Ghanaians. Mrs Naadu Mills laid the second wreath before the others were laid.
3:50PM: The national flag that was used to cover the casket of the late President has been handed over to Dr. Naadu Mills
3:51PM: Dr. Cadman Mills has thanked the people of Ghana the deepest gratitude of the family. He thanked the military for an elaborate funeral which was very stately. Thanked those who were with him and helped him while he was alive.
3:57PM: Rt. Rev. Francis Amenu shares the benediction to bring the burial ceremony of late President John Evans Atta Fiifi Mills.
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