John Dramani Mahama - at the Flagstaff House in Accra.
The meeting, which was held behind closed doors, offered the President a rare opportunity to seek counsel from his predecessors on some critical measures his administration intends to take.
At exactly, 10:55am, former President Rawlings, the first to arrive for the meeting, was ushered into the President’s office followed by former President Kufour who arrived a few minutes later.
The immediate past President, John Dramani Mahama arrived around 11 am to complete the assembly of the Johns in that momentous interaction at the Flagstaff House.
For some two hours, the sitting President and his predecessors were engrossed in discussions on various subjects of national importance and drawing from the experience of men who once bore the duty torch as Presidents.
A communiqué issued by the presidency after the meeting said the four gentlemen of the state had very frank and fruitful discussions.
President Akufo-Addo stated that the meeting afforded him a unique opportunity of being able to draw on the wisdom and experience of three former Presidents, who he described as, “representing the continuity of the institutions of our Republic, for which we thank God.”
This statement reiterated in the President’s message to Parliament on the State of the Nation, on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, where he said that “I am in the enviable position of being the first Ghanaian leader to be able to draw on the experiences of three living, former Presidents. This should, definitely, enrich my tenure of office.”
The President has, however, hinted of his resolve to make such meetings with the former presidents a regular feature of his government.
Dr Franklin Oduro, Head of Research and Programmes and Deputy Director at the Centre for Democratic Governance (CDD), has welcomed the development as a positive sign in the country’s strive for democratic excellence.
According to him, the move by the President sends positive signals of a country that is gradually maturing in its democratic credentials.
“It shows that even if we disagreed on the campaign platforms we can unite for a common purpose,” he said.
The move, he added, shows that the country can come together in unity of purpose irrespective of the ideological differences of the leadership of the various political parties.
The historic meeting, he stated, should serve as precedence for successive presidents, who would need to tap the experience of their predecessors for national development.
He suggested that the meeting with the former presidents could be held twice in a year.