, ACCRA, Ghana, Jan 7 — Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday joined other African leaders and dignitaries at the inauguration ceremony of Nana Akufo-Addo as Ghana’s new President.
Ruto represented President Uhuru Kenyatta at the swearing-in ceremony that was attended by 13 Heads of State and Governments, diplomats and other dignitaries.
The leaders present lauded the people of Ghana for holding a democratic election and a peaceful transition of power.
In particular, they said outgoing President John Mahama had shown statesmanship and put Ghana first for conceding defeat and relinquishing power to opposition leader Akufo-Addo.
Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is the chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said Ghanaians had charted a new destiny.
“Thank you the people of Ghana for showing political maturity and patriotism. You have come together after a hard fought election and demonstrated togetherness,” she said.
In his inaugural speech, President Akufo-Addo said he was honoured to assume leadership and he would “commit our lives to the service of the people”.
“I am humbled for the opportunity to lead this nation at this time and take it to another level,” he told thousands of Ghanaians who thronged the Black Star Square to witness his swearing in as the fifth president in the capital Accra.
Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara, Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, Zambia President Edgar Lungu, and Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma were among those in attendance.
Presidents Idriss Deby (Chad), Ali Bongo (Gabon), Faure Gnassingbe (Togo), Alpha Conde (Guinea) and Patrice Talon (Benin) were also present.
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn were among other leaders who witnessed the new President take the oath of office.
Ruto was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
In December last year, President Mahama of the governing National Democratic Congress lost to Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party.
Mr Mahama received 44.4 percent of the vote, while Mr AkufoAddo got 53.8 percent. He later conceded defeat in a telephone call to the opposition chief.
As Vice President, he succeeded John Atta Mills, who died in office in July 2012. Mahama was elected as president later that year and served one term.