A record crowd of ecstatic citizens on Wednesday thronged the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in Tamale to partake in the 62nd Independence Day celebrations.
The 20,000-capacity sports stadium was filled, and scores of others remained outside of the stadium as they were denied entry to the facility in a bid to ensure safety for all.
For the first time, Tamale other than Accra, hosted the national celebrations and most people in the Northern Region, therefore, wanted to be part of the historic event, which was on the theme: “Celebrating Peace and Unity”.
In an atmosphere reminiscent of a carnival, hundreds of people also lined up the streets to wave at the President as he made his way to the stadium.
When the President was ushered to the stadium at exactly 0944 hours GMT by police dispatch riders and men on horses, the crowd went ecstatic shouting and clapping to welcome him to the parade grounds.
The President took the national salute after which he was accompanied by his two Aide de Camps; the Inspector-General of Police, and the Chief of Defence Staff to inspect the parade, which was mounted by members of the security services and students and pupils drawn from the Tamale Metropolis and Sagnarigu Municipality.
After the match past, a cultural troupe from the Konkomba ethnic group performed its powerful dance, which amongst others involved setting fire and sitting on it without getting burnt, a sight that surprised many especially those witnessing it for the first time.
The toast of the day was the gymnastic display by personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces as it received wild applause from the audience, and a standing ovation from the President.
There was a breathtaking moment for the crowd as they appeared to be in a prayerful mood when a military aircraft hanged over the stadium and officers, men and a dog of the Ghana Armed Forces, with the aid of ropes, jumped from the aircraft onto the pitch to carry out a display.
The 62nd Independence Day was held in Tamale to cap the historic resolution of the Dagbon chieftaincy dispute and the successful enskinment of a new Overlord (Ya-Na) for the people of Dagbon leading to peace in the area.
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