Many foreign dignitaries including heads of state and representatives of governments attended the inauguration of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as President and Vice President respectively of the Republic of Ghana.
The colourful ceremony, which was held at the Black Star Square, saw President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Bawumia take the Oath of Allegiance as well as the Presidential and Vice Presidential Oaths.
Among the foreign heads of state who witnessed the grand occasion included President Ali Bongo of Gabon, President Mahamudu Buhari of Nigeria, President Mackey Sal of Senegal and President Denis Sassou Ngueso of Congo Brazzaville.
The rest are President Theodora Ibiang Ngueman of Equitoral Guinea, President Idris Derby of Chad, President Alpha Konary of Guinea, President Patrice Talon of Benin, President Ibrahim Keita of Mali and President Faustin Archange Touadera of Central African Republic.
President Alansane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire, who was the Guest of Honour, said the transparent and peaceful election and the smooth handing over of power demonstrated that Ghanaians had, indeed, opted for democracy and peace.
He said the election, undoubtedly, contributed to the positive image of West Africa and Africa as a whole.
He reiterated his admiration of and pride for President Akufo-Addo and former President John Dramani Mahama for their patriotism, maturity and love for peace.
President Ouattara urged Ghanaians to preserve the current democratic ideals which, he said, were the foundations for sustainable economic development.
“Without democracy there is no peace, without peace there is no sustainable development,” he said.
He said Ghana, just like La Cote d’Ivoire, aspired for economic progress in the near future and to achieve this would need a climate of peace and social cohesion.
President Ouattara appealed to all the political leaders and citizens of Ghana to support President Akufo-Addo to succeed in his endeavour.
He said Ghana had shown solidarity with La Cote d’Ivoire on many occasions and, indeed, Ghana had for many years welcomed thousands of refugees from that country.
In addition, he said, Ghana had contributed large troops to the United Nations operations in La Cote d’Ivoire.
President Ouattara commended former President John Dramani Mahama for his remarkable accomplishment during his tenure as the Chairman of ECOWAS.
He said President Mahama, as the Head of State, had helped to ensure economic and socio-cultural co-operation between the two nations.
He said as the ECOWAS Chair, President Mahama helped to facilitate peace and security in the West African sub-region.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of ECOWAS, stated that the smooth handing over of power from one administration to the other marked a historic day in ECOWAS and Africa as a whole.
She said Ghana continued to make the continent proud with the consolidation of the democratic values.
President Johnson Sirleaf said Ghana’s political maturity and sense of patriotism had brought positive image to the sub-region and the continent as a whole.
She said ECOWAS, as a region, was the lead in democratic transition and that the region must ensure that there was no roll-back adding; “ECOWAS is the most respected economic block in the whole of Africa”.
President Johnson Sirleaf commended former President John Dramani Mahama for the free and fair elections as well as the smooth transfer of power which confirmed Ghana’s recognition as a bastion of democracy in Africa.
She lauded former President Mahama for strengthening the relations between Ghana and Liberia for the mutual benefit of the two nations.