President John Evans Atta Mills has directed the Ghana Armed Forces to give full military honours to the funeral of the late Vice Admiral Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah, former Chief of Naval Staff, who died last month.
He paid tribute to the late Naval Officer, appointed caretaker Defence Minister in very early days of the Atta Mills' Administration, describing his death as loss to the entire nation.
President Atta Mills gave the directive when the family of the late naval officer called on him and his Vice Mr John Dramani Mahama, at the Castle, Osu, to formally inform him about the funeral arrangements of the officer.
The President said he had least expected the death because they were scheduled to be meeting when the sudden death of the Real Admiral occurred, and asked the family to rest its hope and find comfort from God.
The President extolled the services of the late officer and asked for prayers for good repose of his soul in the arms of God.
Vice President Mahama described the late Real Admiral as a fine gentleman in demeanour, with a distinguished service.
The family, led by Naval Captain Yaw Mensah, the funeral of the late officer would come off from the 18 through 22 March 2009, at his hometown Antoa in the Ashanti Region.
The body would be conveyed to Antoa on March 18, 2009, followed by a burial on the March 19 and funeral gathering on March 20, 2009.
The funeral would then continue with a memorial service by the Presbyterian Church on March 22, 2009.
The late Vice-Admiral was one-time Chief of Naval Staff (Oct. 1996 – Mar. 2001) and served in the Army for 37 years. He was appointed into the Defence caretaker position on January 8, 2009; barely 24 hours after the new administration took office.
His appointment came along with those of Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni as Interior Minister and Brigadier-General Nunoo Mensah as National Security Adviser among others.
Until his last appointment, Vice-Admiral Owusu-Ansah was a close confidant of former President Jerry John Rawlings and was regularly in the latter's entourage during his nationwide campaign tour for Election 2008.
The family was accompanied by Defence Minister Designate Major General J.H Smith