All is set for the inauguration of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Saturday, January 7 at an extended sitting of Parliament at the Black Star Square in Accra.
Briefing journalists on the preparations in Accra yesterday, members of the inauguration team said arrangements had been made for the President-elect and incoming Vice President, Members of Parliament (MPs), senior members of the outgoing government and the incoming government, foreign heads of state and other dignitaries.
At least 5,000 security personnel from the police, the military and the national security would provide security for the event scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Haruna Idrissu, the MP for Anyaa-Sowutuom, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botwe, and the MP-elect for Ofoasi Ayerebi, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, who gave the briefings, said the sitting arrangements had been classified into outer perimeter, middle perimeter, inner perimeter and international very, very important persons (VVIP).
The outer perimeter would be open to the public and would take about 6,500 people, the middle is reserved for the media and logistical service providers and the inner perimeter for 6,000 guests and 350 guests of the President and Vice President.
The Independence Arch area is reserved for former senior members of the incoming government, while the guest gallery area is kept for senior members of the outgoing government.
There would be master audio and television feeds for the media.
They said access to the middle and inner perimeters would be based on accreditation and indicated that no offensive weapons would be allowed in the area.
Foreign heads of state
A number of heads of state have indicated their readiness to participate in the inauguration.
President Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire would be the special guest of honour. Also in attendance will be the Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and President of Liberia, Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The presidents of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Gabon, Zambia and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia have also indicated their readiness to attend the inauguration.
The members of the committee said they could only give the full list of the heads of state attending the inauguration two days before the event.
There would also be representatives of international agencies.
In line with protocol, vehicles of dignitaries have been given different tags and places demarcated for their parking.
Following from the decision of the National Security, they said, no vehicle would be allowed beyond the Accra Sports Stadium or the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC), except vehicles with accredited tags (red tags).
MPs are to park at the Parliament House and would be chauffeured to the Black Stars Square.
Vehicles with yellow tags are to park at the Accra Sports Stadium and those with black tags would park at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park to be chauffeured to the inauguration grounds.
The team said after the inauguration, there would be a banquet for the President, Vice President and invited guests at 1p.m.
At 6p.m, there would be a cocktail at the Presidency, while the President will host the visiting heads of state to a reception at the Presidency at 8p.m.
There would be a musical concert at the Black Stars Square at 10:30 p.m.