Journalists, photographers and members of the general public are barred from taking pictures of the mortal remains of the late President John Evans Atta Mills when it is laid in state.
Chairman of the Funeral Planning Committee, Kofi Totobi-Quakye, who made this known at a media briefing in Accra yesterday, rolled out a number of tight security measures that had been put in place to stall a breach of laid-down procedures.
Under the provisions, media men would equally not be allowed to take pictures of the tomb in which he would be buried at a location in-between the Marine and Castle drive in Accra, the nationâ€™s capital.
The measure, according to committee, was adopted due to security reasons and to equally prevent photo journalists from disrupting the order of events at the programme which would begin today at the forecourt of the State House.
In view of this, members of the various security agencies including the police, military and allied agencies would be dispatched to various points to maintain law and order.
Consequently, a riser has been erected at the Independence Square for the use of media men including photo journalists, to restrain them from surging forward and disrupting the main event on Friday.
Mr. Totobi-Quakye indicated that the various security agencies had been instructed to ward off groups and individuals who would approach the funeral grounds with party paraphernalia.
He explained that the move was to ensure that the ceremony took place in a more serene atmosphere, devoid of party politics.
â€śThis is a national loss and we want to organize this funeral in a decent manner that is why we believe bringing party paraphernalia to the grounds could disrupt the event,â€ť he noted.
Mr. Totobi-Kwakye rubbished media reports that President Millsâ€™ casket, which was imported from the United States of America, cost the state a whopping US$75, 000.
This, he said, was in view of the fact that his research had proven no casket in the world could cost that much and thus wanted the report to be treated with disdain.
â€śI have done some research on the internet and never came across any casket that comes close to US$75, 000. In any case, President Mills will turn in his grave if we make any attempt to spend that kind of money. He will resurrect the next day and tell us his peace of mind. He will be upset if we spend any large amount of money to organize this funeral,â€ť he said.
Mr. Totobi-Quakye also debunked allegations that the cost of the funeral for the late president will amount to GHÂ˘30 million, describing it as â€śa figment of someoneâ€™s imaginationâ€ť.
Instead, he said, there was no budget for the late presidentâ€™s funeral since, in his own words, â€śyou donâ€™t budget for funeral at the beginning of the year and when you are confronted with it you look at how things will shapeâ€ť.
Mr Totobi-Quakye noted, â€śWe feel that the donations that are coming will be sufficient to pay for the cost of the funeral. If it doesnâ€™t, weâ€™ll let you know what the cost is. But I can assure you that the GHÂ˘30 million is a figment of someoneâ€™s imagination and wants to cause confusion.â€ť
By Cephas Larbi