Tuesday, 13 December 2016

2016 General Elections

Ghanaians have once again demonstrated to the entire world Ghana's impeccable democratic credentials.

Last Wednesday, the nation went to the polls in what was expected to be a keenly contested general election.

At the end, the main opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of the New Patriotic Party, was overwhelmingly endorsed by the electorate to steer the affairs of this country for the next four years.

This is the first time in Ghana's political history that a sitting president lost an election.

The beauty of it was that even before the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, declared the results, the defeated incumbent president, John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, called his opponent, congratulated him and conceded defeat.

There is no doubt that the road leading to this historic moment has not been smooth sailing.

The process was characterised by tensions, acrimony, accusations and counter accusations and suspicions. Of course, every election is a hard fought battle and this was no exception.

It is also true that in every election, there can be only one winner.

We have been commended world wide due to the success of our election.

It is however regrettable that we are hearing reports of vandalism and lawlessness on part of some supporters of the winning party.

It is unacceptable and the leadership of the party must immediately reign in their followers.

The police and the other law enforcement agencies must also as a matter of utmost priority, move in to restore law and order, and ensure the safety of lives and property.

We cannot allow the success of this election to be marred by the actions of a few over zealous party loyalists.

The international media is hungry and scavenging for any negative news to paint the continent black, and they will not hesitate to push to the back burner the positives and rather flag the negatives. As President Mahama stated in his concession speech, Ghana is a powerful nation with a history of taking the improbable and making it possible.

We have been a leader on so many fronts, not just on the continent but also in the world from our attainment of independence, to our development of a democracy, that maintains at its core a pledge of stability and a respect for the rule of law.

We have been able to do this, because we have always endeavoured to function as one nation with a common destiny. Notwithstanding, our diversity, religious faiths, ethnic groups and political affiliations, we have always recognised that we are all, ultimately, on the same side, the side of Ghana and its progress.

The election is over and it is time for work. In line with constitutional provisions, the President yesterday inaugurated a Transition team co-chaired by himself and the President-elect. 
It is expected that unlike previous transitions, this one will be smooth. The NPP must not forget that, the people of Ghana voted for the party massively on the back of many promises made to them.

The incoming President and those he will appoint to various positions must bear in mind that expectations are high and Ghanaians will not tolerate any excuses.

The NDC must also take stock of what caused it this election. Already, the diagnosis has commenced among party faithful.

Various reasons have been attributed to the party's humiliating defeat. The blame game, now coined, blamestorming, has begun.

Be that as it, the moment belongs to the President -Elect, Nana Addo.

He tried repeatedly to get into this high office, and has finally gained it in a stunning fashion, despite being ruled out by his main opponents and a few pollsters or pundits.

As a former NPP flagbearer hopeful, Dr. Arthur Kennedy stated, Nana Addo, deserves not only our heartfelt congratulations but also our well wishes and goodwill.

As the saying goes, one does not quarrel with success.

The slogan of the NPP campaign has always been the Battle is the Lord's.

It is written in the Bible that those who wait upon the Lord shall have their strength renewed and this has been made manifest in the life of Nana Addo.

As the task ahead is certainly a herculean one, the new president, his appointees and party, must continue to be guided by their campaign slogan.

Psalm 127 verse one says, Except the Lord himself builds, they labour in vain that try to build. Once again, congratulations to both the President -Elect and the incumbent and to all Ghanaians.


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