Ghana mourns President online
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The use of social media in Ghana shot to a peak yesterday, following the unexpected death of the President of Ghana, Prof John Evans Atta Mills.
The President died yesterday afternoon, after taking ill late on Monday.
Many Ghanaians, both home and abroad, who could not come to terms with the news of the President’s death, took to facebook, Twitter and blogs to authenticate the news and mourn his death.
Even before an official confirmation of the President death could reach them, some high ranking officials within the corridors of government confirmed to BiztechAfrica that they had heard the sad news through text messages or facebook posts.
Within hours, thousands of facebook and Twitter messages of condolence were streaming in.
Popular radio stations in Ghana including Joy 99.7Fm, Vibe 91.9 Fm, Citi 93.7Fm and Peace 104.3 Fm recorded hundreds of facebook likes on the various stories they posted on their respective websites and Twitter feeds.
The Ghanaian blogger was not left out in the quest for accurate information by the public. Most of their blogs that carried the story of the President’s death saw sharp rises in the number of comments left by readers on their blog. According to one blogger, he was surprised at the massive rise in reader comments on his blog.
At 16:00 GMT, major mobile network providers, including MTN, Vodafone and Tigo, saw massive surges in traffic as the news spread, making it difficult even to make or receive calls without interruption. The situation stabilized at about 20:48 GMT, when the Vice President H.E. John Dramani Mahama was officially sworn in as the President of the Republic of Ghana by Parliament.
At the Kaneshie Market Complex, normally a scene of brisk business activities, many Ghanaians, especially the market women, were left devastated this morning. Many were seen weeping with their mobile phones to their ears this morning, either receiving calls about the President’s death or monitoring one of the radio stations.
Many internet cafés Biztechafrica visited in suburbs like Kaneshie, Odorkor, Darkuman and Mataheko, all within the capital, Accra, crowds of customers were surfing the internet this morning, to read more about the sudden death of one of Ghana’s most respected and revered Presidents.