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Feature Article of Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Columnist: Sita, Ahmed

Congratulations to the Presidential Candidates

, the Electoral Commissioner and to all Ghanaians

By Ahmed Sita
Cleveland, Ohio

With the conclusion of the 2012 elections in Ghana, all the participants deserve congratulations for a job well done. It is never easy to achieve any great objective. Great goals are only achieved with determinations and perseverances. Ghanaians have once again lived up to the peaceful electoral expectations many nations yearn for. Peace in Ghana, a noble subject that comes with many advantages, is the result of the entrenchment of our national culture, which is hospitality. Hospitality everywhere always brings professionalism, and consequently, harmony.

There are winners and losers in every contest. That is exactly what contests are designed for. With reference to the results of elections, one party often wins eventually and another loses. But winning and losing is not all there is to elections. All elections must be conducted freely and fairly to be meaningful. All the participants are also expected to accept the results graciously so long as there are no gross manipulations. Even so, we know without any doubt that there will never be perfect elections anywhere. As with our imperfect human nature, we should always expect problems. So long as such predicaments are either accidental or fall within the natural unavoidable limits, the results should be acceptable.

Congratulations to President Mahama and the NDC for winning the presidential contest and the majority of parliamentary seats. A presidential victory of this kind, desirable anytime, still comes with huge responsibilities when the festivities are over.

The electoral commissioner declared President Mahama the clear winner in this election. President Mahama has so far shown maturity and humility. Hopefully, he will not let the thrill of victory cloud his judgment and, thereby, modify this noble conduct. He must govern as the President of all Ghanaians. And as the guardian of a modern state, all Ghanaians expect commendable leadership, fair treatment and even distributions of national development programs. President Mahama’s declarations show that he is determined to use a laser-beam approach to finding solutions to Ghana’s socio-economic problems.
Congratulations to Akuffo Addo and the NPP for a competitive election. Every individual would rather win and not lose. All of us prefer to occupy first places and not second positions. This is the result of the natural instinct for winning and for self-preservation in every person.
We must praise Akuffo Addo for pursuing his dream to become a President of Ghana regardless of all the obstacles and distractions that come with presidential contests. Akuffo Addo deserves more praise for his self-confidence, determination and perseverance. Even in losing, he is still a winner in many ways. He is eloquent, broad-minded and will always be remembered as one of the great Ghanaian leaders. Akuffo Addo would have been a great president. All the same, he is the only person that must determine his future. Whatever he decides to do, it is appropriate for all Ghanaians to wish him well.

The other presidential candidates deserve many happy returns also. A National Party, no matter its size, still has some influence. The results of the elections show that all the presidential candidates received votes. No one should underestimate the powers of minor political parties. In a close election, some minor political parties sometimes end up in positions to make huge differences. Then, they become potential kingmakers and are pursued enthusiastically. There is no such luck this time. But as history shows, it is possible that any of these minor parties may one day be in a position to determine the outcome of a future run-off presidential election. While we wait for that day to come, let us deal with the realities of today. These minor parties will not influence the outcome of this election. They, however, deserve every respect and congratulations for contributing to the political maturity of Ghanaians.
Congratulations to the Electoral Commissioner and his team for giving Ghanaians yet another peaceful, free and fair election. They deserve congratulations even though there were some problems. Problems occur with voting machines in all elections and in every nation. In the case of this election, it appears that such setbacks were anticipated and corrected eventually. Ghanaians had to deal with new voting machines and some uncomfortable delays.

As a human being is imperfect, every man-made product is accordingly subject to malfunction from time to time. A new machine may be new, but that does not guarantee it will not fail. The proof is that all machines require preventive maintenances routinely to prevent the probabilities of breakdowns during operations. There will never be perfection anywhere. And yet, it makes a great deal of sense to learn from our mistakes. The idea of learning from one’s mistakes is a time-honored means of making continuous improvements. The Electoral Commissioner is mature and professional enough to rectify all the problems that cropped up with this election.
Complaints of voting irregularities naturally came up. These problems also, as with the malfunctioning of voting machines, were expected. All elections come with some complaints about misdeeds one way or another regardless of the effort to make the voting as transparent as possible. In this case, the Electoral Commissioner is duty-bound to investigate all serious and credible allegations.
With the elections over, all those who participated directly or indirectly must be applauded for contributing to another peaceful election in Ghana.

Differences are part of human nature. After all, nature is responsible for dividing people into races, tribes and sub-tribes. Consequently, there will always be differences with other people you have to deal with. Even identical twins have their differences. Brothers and sisters sometimes fight but they are still siblings. And what is the lesson? It is always better to make advantageous uses of all differences. The place to start is to be open-minded and to apply the golden rule to all the things we do. The belief in the golden rule makes people walk imaginary miles in the shoes of others.

Every country has problems unique to its history and demographics. There are, nonetheless, some universal predicaments that seem to confront many nations. In the case of Ghana, the ruling party must exert every effort and use an even-handed approach to eliminate corruption, tribalism and general mismanagement of government resources. This is a reasonable demand even though every Ghanaian is aware that it will not be easy to honor this request. Every problem has a solution. As a result, it is possible to achieve these goals and to manage them to acceptable levels. The possibility of this achievement can begin with honest, diligent and exemplary leadership.

As for those in opposition and all the other Ghanaians, let us remember the beauty of peace as opposed to the horrors of national instabilities and remain civil. Malicious hooliganisms as an instance, cannot serve any useful purpose. There is nothing to gain from insolence and offensive behavior. That kind of conduct produces nothing but punches and counter punches. In the end, it can lead to a disorganized society.

You do not have to be adversarial to be in control. An adversarial behavior is counter-productive to the development of a professional and sophisticated conduct. On that note, every Ghanaian should be determined to contribute to the maintenance of peace in Ghana regardless of their affiliations, political or otherwise.

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