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General News of Friday, 7 December 2012

Source: myjoyonline.com

Ghana is bigger and more important than any of us- Prez Mahama

President John Mahama is calling for absolute peace before, during and after Friday’s election.

In an nationwide address, barely 12 hours into Friday’s elections the president said the election is “only a contest between competing policies and must not set families and ethnic groups apart.”

“Let us remember that Ghana is bigger and more important than any of us,” he stressed.

He charged all voters to go into the elections tomorrow in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

“The youth must be law abiding and do nothing to disrupt the activities of the security services,” he advised.

He said he has done every thing required of him as the president and Commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and hoped the security personnel will be up to the task.

He prayed for absolute peace in the elections.

But some critics, especially from the opposition New Patriotic Party are accusing the president of abusing incumbency.

Chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey told Myjoyonline.com the address was against the EC rules which prevented parties and contesting candidates from campaigning.

He said all the parties had already given their peace messages at the Kumasi declaration and wondered why the president will abuse his incumbency with another peace message.

He said the nationwide address was a "desperate" measure by the president "to make him look presidential."

Read below, the full statement of President Mahama’s broadcast to the nation:

STATEMENT READ BY PRESIDENT JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA IN AN ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON THE EVE OF THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL & PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS Thursday, December 06, 2012

Good Evening, Fellow Ghanaians

Over the past twenty years, Ghana’s democracy has become a beacon of hope for the entire African continent and in the process, drawn useful lessons for the rest of the world.

Tomorrow, for the sixth time in our fourth Republican journey, eligible voters will step out to deepen Ghana’s democracy by choosing our leaders through free, fair and peaceful elections.

On such a historic occasion, it is worth reminding ourselves that whatever our political differences are, Ghana’s stable institutions, democratic culture and the fortitude of its people have at each election, collectively risen to the occasion and made us proud as a nation.

Fellow Ghanaians, an election is a contest between competing policy visions and must never set families, ethnic groups and religions against one another.

Out of this contest of ideas shall emerge a President and leader whose character embodies and reflects our collective aspirations as a nation towards peace, unity and accelerated socio-economic development.

In all this, let us remember that Ghana is bigger and more important than any of us. The surest way to sustain and enhance our enviable image is to go to the polls tomorrow in an atmosphere of peace.

All registered voters are also encouraged to be an active part of the decision making process by exercising their franchise.

I further urge all of you, particularly my dear youth, to be law abiding and do nothing to obstruct the functions of lawfully mandated state institutions and bodies, that are all currently poised to discharge their duties professionally.

As President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I have done what is necessary through our very capable Security Services to achieve this noble goal of national Peace and Security; before, during and after the polls.

Let us all play our individual and collective roles to make Ghana the winner again tomorrow.

Indeed, I have every confidence that another significant positive milestone will be chalked.

We thank the Almighty God for the favour he has bestowed on us already as a nation, and further pray that he will see us through the election peacefully.

God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.

Thank you.

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