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Watch live: Aliu Mahama's final journey home
From: Ghana l Myjoyonline.com          Published On: November 18, 2012, 9:17 GMT
 
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Watch live: Aliu Mahama's final journey home

Aliu Mahama died Friday, November 16, 2012 (Photo by David Andoh)


The body of the late former Vice-President of Ghana, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is being conveyed to his birth place Tamale in the Northern Region for burial.

The body was airlifted from the Airforce Base in Accra.

The deceased's family objected to initial plans to bury him beside the late former president, John Evans Atta Mills in Accra at the Asomdwee Park.

Television pictures showed a simple grave dug in accordance with Islamic traditions in Tamale.

Early Sunday morning, the body of the late former vice president was laid at the State House to enable some selected dignitaries pay their last respect.

Prayers were also held for him at the Black Star Square in Accra during a short funeral ceremony.

His son Farouk Mahama, accompanied by some of his siblings, delivered a tribute saying: "Our late father was a special father...he insisted we do the right thing..."

"Alhaji Aliu Mahama, may the almighty Allah give you eternal rest..."

Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Akufo-Addo in a tribute delivered on behalf of the party, said: the NPP has lost a hardworking activist.

"I had my last conversation with him 2 weeks ago in Tamale", he recalled and stated that the former vice president can only rest in peace if full peace and reconciliation in Dagbon was achieved.

"Ghana has lost a patriot and a dignified national, Dagbon has lost its most illustrious son. May the almighty Allah grant him eternal rest."

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor in his tribute said Aliu Mahama “was not only my Vice President but my brother…We grew closer together and our families became close”.

My family shares deeply in the pain his demise has caused, he was the best veep any president would ever want to have, Mr Kufuor said and noted that throughout his eight-year rule, he and the late veep had no notable disagreements.

The former President said Aliu Mahama always carried himself very well as Vice President even though he was "self-made" before becoming the number-two-man in Ghana.

Aliu’s kind and cool nature endeared him to me, the former President said, adding "he was hard working, diligent and contributed immensely to my government".

He was above all, a good human being; the NPP has lost a stalwart, Ghana has lost a patriot. May his soul rest in perfect peace, Mr Kufuor prayed.

Recalling the death of his predecessor John Evans Atta Mills in July, President John Mahama said Alhaji Aliu Mahama’s death has rekindled a sense of togetherness among Ghanaians.

He described him as an honourable man and prayed that Allah grants him peaceful and eternal rest.

In his sermon, Chief Imam of the Ghana Armed forces, Sheik Aremeyaw said death is not necessarily evil but a means to eternal life. He asked Allah to forgive the late former veep his sins and also urged Ghanaians to do away with bitterness.

The funeral ceremony ended with the National Anthem after which the body of the late veep was carried out of the Black Star Square on a gun-carriage for a procession - along with a 19-gun salute.

Several dignitaries including former President Kufuor and his wife Theresa, former President Rawlings and his wife Nana Konadu, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Members of Parliament, Ministers of State and Muslims from all over the country attended the funeral service.

In Tamale, Joy News' Gifty Andoh reported there was no aircraft at the airport.

She added that people had gathered around television sets to follow the funeral ceremony in Accra as well as other preparations for the burial of Alhaji Aliu Mahama.


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