Accra, Ghana (PANA) - Tuesday's sudden death of Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills dominated newspapers in the West African nation throughout the week.
President Mills, who passed away at the 37 Military Hospital in the nation's capital, Accra, only three days after his 68th birthday, will be buried on 10 August in Accra.
A week-long national mourning period has been extended until after the funeral.
“Mahama is president of Ghana,” was how the state-owned Daily Graphic reported the death.
It said following the sudden death of President Mills, the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, was sworn in Tuesday night as president, to serve the remaining term of the departed president.
Mr Dramani, dressed in dark suit and looking very sad, was sworn into office by the Chief Justice. Georgina Theodora Wood.
It said the Speaker of Parliament, Mrs Joyce Bamford-Addo, recalled Parliament for an emergency sitting for the investiture, which was attended by Members of Parliament, most of whom wore black or red to signify their grief.
Another state-owned paper, Ghanaian Times, had the headline “What a shock! Our president is gone home!”
“The die is cast: the Rubicon is crossed as President John Evans Atta Mills passed on yesterday (Tuesday), leaving the nation in a state of shock, grief and mourning,” it said .
“Mahama assumes mantle” was another headline of the Times.
It said Vice President Mahama was on Tuesday evening sworn into office as President of the Republic of Ghana at a solemn ceremony on the floor of Parliament, following the death of President Mills.
This makes him the first Vice President of the Republic to be sworn in as President, following the death of a sitting president.
“Parties mourn Atta Mills,” was yet another story in the Ghanaian Times.
It said the various political parties in the country Tuesday expressed their condolences to the bereaved family, the First Lady, the ruling NDC and the nation as a whole following the death or President Mills.
In another story on the death, the Graphic had the headline “Ghana mourns as President Mills passes on.”
It said Ghana mourns the death of its President, Professor Mills, who passed away Tuesday.
“The president’s demise hit the entire country like a thunderbolt since it is the first time in the history of the country that a sitting president has passed away,” the newspaper said.
The Graphic said, in yet another story, with the headline “President Mahama declares one week of national mourning for Mills,” that flags should fly at half mast in honour of the departed leader of the nation.
President Mahama, in his first broadcast to the nation from Parliament, shortly after being sworn into office, paid glowing tribute to the late President Mills, describing him as humble, honest and a peaceful person
“The nation has been hit by an unprecedented tragedy. I am saddened and distraught. For the first time, the country has lost a sitting President who has worked so hard for the betterment of the lives of the people,” President Mahama said in a voice laden with grief and sorrow.
Still on the story, the pro-opposition Daily Guide had the headline “What a Shock! Mills is dead.”
It said President Mills is dead, making him the first Ghanaian head of state to die in office.
The paper said President Mills’s death comes after previous rumours about his demise. He returned from the US recently, where he said he had been to meet his doctors for a ‘routine check-up.’
The newspapers also reported courtesy calls on President Mahama and Mrs Ernestina Naadu Mills, widow of the late president.
-0- PANA MA/SEG 28July2012