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General News
Parade turnout showed the unity of the nation -JAK 3/8/2007
Explains why he wore a suit instead of kente
Accra, March 7, GNA - President John Agyekum has described the huge turnout at the independence parade to commemorate Ghana''s important milestone of 50 years of nationhood as a demonstration of the unity of the country.
"That the nation is united is not in doubt at all. By and large, the entire nation - everybody was there", he declared, when asked by Journalists to comment on his impressions about the event during an interaction at the Castle, Osu, on Wednesday.

This was on the sidelines of a launch he hosted in honour of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was the Special Guest at the Jubilee Parade.

President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo; President Festus Mogae of Bostwana and President Ahmed Tejan Kabba of Sierra Leone, were also in attendance.

President Kufuor said seeing the big crowd filled him with much joy adding: "I knew it would be big but not as much as it turned out to be."

Responding to criticism by sections of the society for wearing a suit instead the traditional "Kente" cloth, he said he did not consider that to be critical for the occasion.

He explained that he found it more convenient since he was going to inspect the parade and spend the whole day meeting people from all over the world.

"I appreciate our tradition and our cultures as much as anybody else but the emphasis at this stage of the development of our nation is to join with the rapidly advancing world."

The suit, he said, was no more western but international, citing the Japanese and Chinese, who despite their great civilizations, cultures and traditions, these days in their typical celebrations, go out in suits.

President Kufuor noted that this type of dressing has become a uniting factor of humanity and that Ghana should be part of the on-moving world.

Meanwhile, President Obasanjo has conveyed his profound gratitude to the Government and people of Ghana for what he termed the overwhelming hospitality and honour done to him.
He was decorated with Ghana''s highest National Award, "Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana."
Additionally, one of the important roads in Accra, stretching from the 37th Military Hospital Roundabout through to Dimples Junction on the Achimota-Abeka Lapaz Highway has been named after him. President Obasanjo said he hoped he would be given the opportunity to reciprocate.
President Kufuor had earlier in the day met with various delegations that were in Accra to participate in the Jubilee celebrations.
They included the Duke of Kent, Prince Edward George Nicholas Patrick, who represented Queen Elizabeth II of England and Mr Abulaiti Abudurexiti, Deputy Speaker of the Chinese People''s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The meetings were held behind closed-door.


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