Day 1 of Mills last 3 days on earth
Thousands thronged the State House and precincts of the House of Parliament in search of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to catch a glimpse of the mortal remains of the late President John Atta Mills.
There were tears galore as ministers of state who owe their jobs to the fallen president and ordinary Ghanaians wept and wailed.
Below is our live updates on the day's activities.
Dan Abodakpi: I am overwhelmed with emotion to say anything meaningful. Mills’ altruism is unassailable; he didn’t allow political power to overcome him; he lived what he preached; he was a consummate democrat. But for Mills, Ghana wouldn’t be what it is today given what happened in 2008. If we had politics of tolerance, this country would be a better place.
Nana Ato Dadzie: All Ghanaians should be congratulated for a smooth funeral arrangement. Mills was a man of peace, a man of justice and so people are proud to be here. Day 1 must be reasonably successful.
Arrangements have been made for the vigil tonight. Thursday, the body will be laid in state till 7pm when the gates will be closed and a second of night vigil – a special vigil – will start. With the goodness of the Ghanaian, we can scale through the momentous occasion of Friday.
Ras Mubarak: Mills was an embodiment of peace. We had a very, very good man for a president but we vilified him. I combed through the hundreds of tributes and was drawn to tears. Well, God knows the best; He knows why He called President Mills at this time.
1:40 He said we (Ghanaians) need to advise ourselves, particularly those who have been fighting each other on the political scene. Mills was a good example of why professionals should go into politics. He was a person of positive character. Its important those who take the lead after him, do so in the manner in which he did – with discipline and with respect.
1:38 Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom and his entourage just filed past the body.
Ward Brew: Friends for over 42 years. Hoping public will come to appreciate what he did and also hopes posterity will always remember that Mills stood for a cause and it was not an easy one.
Mensah Otabil: He was very sincere about his desire to know God and to serve him. He had a desire to see God work in his personal life. Death is a great leveler and when you encounter it. Unfortunately we often forget about what has happened. I hope we resolve to be courteous to one another.
Nii Afotey Agbo: We’ve learnt how to be calm; to be tolerant. Under President Mills we dealt with our political opponents as friends not as enemies. And the grassroots are appreciating what we are doing.
Kofi Capito: Mills was friendly; he cracked jokes even in difficult times. I have mixed feelings about him; he was peaceful but some people close always want to show power; to show that they are in charge but Mills himself was not like that. He is crying.
Dr Sipa-Yankey: Mills was very punctual; he loved Ghana; unfortunately, we didn’t show him the needed love. Every president must be respected and loved. If we continue vilify politicians, good people will not get involved in politics and we will have only mediocre people in politics.
Hassan Ayariga: Mills taught us how to be tolerant; he served Ghana with all his life; if he was alive to see what is happening today, he would be happy. Even before Mills died, he always preached politics of peace and politics of law and order so his death must remind all of us that we must make peace our watchword.
12:53 MP for Tafo Pankrono, Dr Osei Akoto: Mills was a good person; he respected us a Members of Parliament and we respected him as President. I remember this joke he told, that he expected to be heckled but he didn't expect the heckling to be so gargantuan. We can sustain the unity in the country.
12:25 Taxi drivers in Sokode in the Volta Region are providing services to passengers free of charge.
Agbeko Ben Coffie reports the drivers as saying the gesture is just to pay their last respect to the late Ghanaian leader who they say has undertaken a lot of development project in the region.
12:20 From Cape Coast, 8 giant screens have been mounted and people are watching the filing procession. Richard Kojo Nyarko reports the entire capital is deserted. Vehicles have been parked and passengers who want to travel are stranded.
12:18 Mr and Mrs Rawlings filing past the body of Mills. Rawlings bows.
12:18 Alfred Woyome just file past the body.
12:14 There is tension as people are pushing to get their way into the Banquet Hall. They say they don’t understand why political party leaders who come after they have been there for hours are given the right to file past the body. Military officers have been called in to save the situation.
Former President Jerry Rawlings’ convoy is still parked and waiting for clearance.
12:11 Kufuor files past the body. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Kwadwo Mpiani, Osafo-Marfo and other former government officials also just file past the body.
12:09 Mr Kufuor greets family of the late president, but he did not get the chance to greet former first lady Naadu Mills because she has left the place.
12:08 NPP party officials, led by chairman Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey are also entering the house
12:07 He just entered the house.
12:03 Former President JA Kufuor has just arrived at the State House. Mr Kufuor and his wife Mrs Theresa Kufuor has just arrived with his former vice Aliu Mahama.
11:25 Attorney-General Benjamin Kunbuor and members of the clergy filing past the body.
11:22 Kofi Awoonor, Chairman of the Council of State just took his turn. Followed by Ato Ahwoi, Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu, Arnold Quainoo.
11:21 Naadu Mills is sitting with the family and receiving greetings.
11:20 Mrs Mary-Grant, Chief Justice Wood, Sheikh IC Quaye have just filed past the body.
11:19 House Speaker Bamford-Addo and Deputy Speaker have just filed past the body.
11:17 President Mahama and his vice are leaving the grounds.
11:15 Vice President Amissah-arthur has just filed past the body. He is shaking hands with family members of the late president.
11:13 Naadu Mills is standing at the foot of the body of her late husband.
11:13 President Mahama has just finished filing past the body of his late boss. He is shaking hands with family members.
11:12 President filing past the body.
11:12 Former First Lady, Naadu Mills following the president.
11:11 President John Mahama preparing to start the filing past the body. He is making his way into the Banquet Hall.
Family relations have gone in to perform some rituals.
Rev. Fred Degbe: It really is a sad day. Condolences to all Ghanaians. When we look beyond politics, we see a man with great qualities. He left us unprepared. He didn't belong in politics but he showed us that we can be gentle even as politicians.
It has suddenly dawned on us that this is real. The man is gone. Ministers are crying; everybody is crying.
Rev Sam Korankye Ankrah: The clergy committed the body in the hands of God before the filing past.
9:52 Religious leaders praying with hands on the casket. Prayers over.
Security personnel placing the casket properly for filing past.
9:48 Sammy Darko reports there is weeping all over the State House. Ministers of state are shedding tears, to crown the sadness morning in the nation.
9:40 Door to Banquet Hall has been opened and the casket draped in a huge Ghana flag is being carried inside. Casket appears too heavy for military officers who struggled to carry it.
9:38 Casket has been removed from the hearse whilst traditional leaders perform rituals. Traditional leaders from his family leading the procession.
9:35 Hearse just arrived at the main door to the Banquet Hall at the State House. Security officers open door of the hearse to take out the body. Religious leaders ready to take possession of the body from security officers. Minister weeping as fontonfrom displays.
9:29 Communications Director at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho, and other loyalists of the late president are walking by the hearse.
9:25 Cortege is moving slowly as crowd eagerly wait. Hearse pulling up in front of the State House.
9:24 Cortege has just arrived at the State House.
9:21 Police have stopped people from moving. A very old lady who fell to the ground in tears has been carried out of the venue.
9:19 Cortege arriving at the State House. Nobody will be allowed to touch the hearse as it arrives.
9:17 IGP just arrived as well as lots of other senior security chiefs.
Religious leaders will receive the cortege when it arrives at the State House. It will be sent to the main chamber for final traditional rites before it will be brought to the Banquet Hall for the dignitaries to file past it.
9:04 Hearse is leaving the Castle to the State House for the filing past to begin. Castle Security escort hearse to pay their last respects.
9:03 Son of president Mills just touched the casket, crying.
9:01 They are mounting the guard of honour.
9:00 They are singing a hymn (Till we meet again) amidst sobs.
8:59 Prayers over.
8:58 They recite the Lord's Prayer.
8:57 All are gathered around the Hearse. Chief of Staff praying.
Totobi Kwakye, Chairman of the funeral planning committee has also arrived. More people trooping in.
His son just arrived. The Chief of Staff and other dignitaries are there to see the body. Bebako Mensah, Secretary to the late president, crying.
“It’s a very sad moment here”. Castle staff are weeping uncontrollably.
His bodyguard is leading the ambulance carrying the body.
8:49 The body is entering the Castle. A lady is sobbing. Security officials have lowered their flags.
On the plate of the vehicle carrying the body of the late president is written, "His Excellency."
Seth Kwame Boateng reports there are signals the body is arriving at the Osu Castle.
Sammy Darko reports the procession is extremely beautiful.
Body just bypasses the State House and driving towards the Osu Castle.
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