Ghana’s information minister says all is set for the inauguration of President John Dramani Mahama Monday, despite threats by opposition lawmakers to boycott the ceremony.
“The common advise is that they should come because of the sitting of parliament, but they are entitled to boycott the event if they so wish. But what they should know is we [ruling party legislators] are in the absolute majority now. So, really it will not affect the proceedings,” said Fritz Baffour.
Baffour, who is also a leading member of the presidential inauguration planning committee, says the event has been well prepared.
“We’ve planned meticulously so that it will not be an event of chaos. And I think it will go down in history as one of the best planned event of that kind in Ghana,” Baffour said.
“The ceremony,” Baffour continued, “is going to be about two hours long and it’s going to be a very great event. We’ve got widescreen [TVs] dotted all over the country so the people will be able to witness [it] live.”
The state broadcaster, the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, is the only media organization tasked with providing a live feed of the ceremony to all privately owned television and radio stations across the country.
The newly elected members of parliament are scheduled to be sworn in ahead of the president’s ceremony at the independence square in Accra. Over 50, 000 Ghanaians have been invited to be part of the event.
Baffour says security has been bolstered to ensure a peaceful occasion.
But, the young patriots, a group of supporters from the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has threatened demonstrations to protest in spite of a police ban.
They also wanted to prevent former president John Agyekum Kufuor from attending the event, but backed down after public pressure.
The NPP, citing alleged voting fraud, has refused to be part of the ceremony after rejecting Mahama’s election victory.
The opposition party has petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the result of the presidential election. The opposition party says it took that action after gathering voter data from more than 26,000 polling stations across the country.
Clottey interview with Fritz Baffour, Ghana's information minister