Accra, Nov. 16, GNA – President John Dramani Mahama has declared five days of national mourning following the death of former vice president Alhaji Aliu Mahama at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on Friday.
He has also directed that all flags should fly at half-mast during the period.
An official statement released by Mr James Agyemim-Boateng, Deputy Minister of Information, has said.
“President Mahama had a personal relationship with the deceased vice president which transcended political lines. He was a personal friend of the President and the two had mutual respect for one another,” the statement said.
“Alhaji Aliu Mahama served his country well. In recognition of his services to Ghana, he will be accorded a deserving State burial in consultation with his family and in accordance with his Islamic faith.”
The statement said President Mahama’s thoughts and prayers were with the wife, children and family of our late vice president.
It said the President had also extended his condolence on behalf of the Government and people of Ghana.
Alhaji Mahama passed on at 0945 hours at the age of 66.
The former vice president will be buried on Saturday afternoon at the Military Cemetery, Osu, after Muslim prayers at the State House.
According to the programme for the burial, the body would be brought to the State House at 1200 noon and the Chief Imam would lead the Muslim prayers at 1330 hours.
There will be no wake and no file past.
Vice President Mahama was born on March 3, 1946 at Yendi and schooled at the Tamale Secondary School from where he proceeded to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) where he graduated as a Building Technology Engineer.
He partnered former President John Agyekum Kufuor to win elections on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2000 and 2004.
Former President Kufuor has also expressed deep shock and sorrow over the passing of his friend and former Vice-President Alhaji Mahama.
This was contained in a statement on Friday signed by Mr Frank Agyekum, Spokesman and Special Aide to the former President and copied to the Ghana News Agency.
The statement said former President Kufuor had visited Alhaji Aliu Mahama while on admission at the hospital and was hopeful of his early recovery.
It stated that the former President described his former second-in-command as “a diligent worker, a gentleman and a friend whom I will miss dearly”.
“Aliu contributed significantly to the success of my government and was a pillar of strength in the New Patriotic Party. The void he has left will be too hard to fill. The NPP and the nation have lost a true patriot and unifier,” the statement said.
“I join the entire NPP family to mourn this great stalwart of our tradition and hope that his demise will serve as a rallying call for all members to work hard for victory 2012,” he said.
“To the rest of the nation, I say let’s close ranks and be guided always by our love of our common humanity,” the statement added.