Hundreds of mourners who thronged the Sekondi Railway Park yesterday to observe the 7thÂ Day funeral rites of late President Evans Atta Mills, were stunned, when the Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo, disclosed that some unscrupulous persons were allegedly, going round in some parts of the region, collecting money from unsuspecting victims under the pretext of leading them to see the late presidentâ€™s body during the final funeral rites in Accra.
He then warned the people to beware of such crooks who were bent on taking advantage of the demise of the president to defraud unsuspecting persons.
â€śIt is never true. No one has instructed anybody to go round and collect money to enable you see the corpse of the late president on the day of burial in Accraâ€ť, he stressed.
The 7thÂ Day funeral rites in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis was attended by people from all walks of life including the Clergy, Muslim Community, Nananom, non-governmental organizations, community based organizations, heads of departments, supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the general public.
It was also attended by representatives of the various political parties including the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention Peoplesâ€™ Party (CPP), Progressive Peoplesâ€™ Party (PPP) and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP).
Various traditional dance groups from the Western Region were also present to entertain the public with different types of customary dance.
A book of condolence was opened at the railway parkÂ for those who were willing to sign to do so.
Recounting how he heard the sudden death of the late President, Hon. Aidoo told the people that on that fateful day at about 1:45pm, as he was at the office working, he had a call that President Mills was sick and had been rushed to the 37 Military Hospital.
He noted that since he had never received any call on the health of the President before, he stopped working and quickly came out from the office to pray for Prof. Mills and in the course of that, he realized that the weather had changed.
Hon. Aidoo continued that he decided to visit the 2ndÂ Battalion of Infantry (2BN) at Apremdo, near Takoradi, and on his way back to the office, he had a call from his deputy, Emelia Arthur, who informed him about the death of the president.
He commended the people from the Western Region for attending the ceremony in their numbers adding, â€śyou have really shown that the president was indeed born in this region and to be precise, Tarkwa Nzema lineâ€ť.
On the issue of the selection of a vice president, the Regional Minister appealed to Ghanaians to be patient since theÂ nomination of someoneÂ to the office of a vice president was not like that of a District Chief Executive (DCE).
â€śIt calls for a lot consultation with a lot of people including the one to be selected whether the person will like the position or notâ€ť, he added.
At exactly 2:15 pm, all activities at the park were halted and a minute silence was observed in honour of the late president who died at exactly the same time last Tuesday, at the 37Â Military Hospital in Accra.
In related development, the family of the first president of Ghana, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, had extended their condolences to Dr. Mrs. Naadu Mills and the bereaved family on the death of President Mills.
Part of a statement signed by Abusua Kpanyinli, Adwoba Kpanyinli of Nkrumahâ€™s family at Nkroful read â€śWe can understand your pain because we have been there before.
Our son, Nkrumah, was vilified by Ghanaians and took refuge outside and died in faraway Romaniaâ€ť.
By Emmanuel Opoku