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Opinions of Saturday, 10 December 2016

Columnist: Pryce, Daniel

Akufo-Addo’s rise from the ashes: Did God make him president?

By Daniel K. Pryce, Ph.D.

“Daniel answered and said, ‘Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdome and might are his. And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth Kings, and setteth up Kings: he giveth wisdome unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding’” (Daniel 2: 20, 21, King James Version, 1611 Edition)

“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to doe, doe it with all thy might; for there is no worke, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisedome in the grave, whither thou goest.”
(Ecclesiastes 9:10, King James Version, 1611 Edition)

December 9, 2016. The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, after consultations with the presidency of the Republic of Ghana, announced to the Ghanaian people and the global community that Nana Akufo-Addo, whose tenacious and relentless pursuit of the Ghanaian presidency started more than two decades ago, was the winner of the 2016 presidential election.

The turn of events that saw the EC convene a formal meeting to deliver the verdict just minutes after the incumbent, John Mahama, had called Nana Akufo-Addo to congratulate him on his resounding victory pointed to one irrefutable fact: that the EC knew all along that Nana Akufo-Addo had won the election, but chose to announce the results only after it got the green light from John Mahama to do so.

This is a splotch on the EC’s otherwise respectable achievement, and should be an important lesson for future EC officials on what it means to steer an independent agency tasked with conducting free, fair, and nonpartisan elections. In other words, had the president not called his chief opponent to concede the election, Ghanaians would not have known the official results on Friday, December 9, 2016.

Consequently, before we heap admiration on Charlotte Osei and her fellow EC officials, the Ghanaian public needs to know that the real credit goes to John Mahama, who kept a campaign promise to abide by the results of the general election. As a result, John Mahama now joins the pantheon of Ghanaian statesmen who put nation before personal gain, and I commend the president highly for his selflessness.

Nana Akufo-Addo will finally be president of Ghana. This is the culmination of Akufo-Addo’s political walk through the sands of time. But talk, we are told, is cheap. This is why the president-elect must get to work as soon as he is sworn into office in early 2017. The ugly economic situation in Ghana, exacerbated by the incessant power cuts, portended defeat at the polls for the Mahama-led administration.

Indeed, the collective incompetence of Mahama’s appointees was on broad display for all Ghanaians to see, and the emboldened press did a yeoman’s job by exposing corruption and informing the Ghanaian public about the administration’s failed promises and lack of foresight. And John Mahama, despite his affable personality and charming smile, will be remembered as a one-term president who failed to deliver on his promises to the Ghanaian people.

The Mahama-led administration was, arguably, one of the most corrupt in the annals of Ghanaian politics, and it was only a matter of time before Ghanaians showed the administration the exit.

For the first time in a long time, I felt irrefragably alive, as I listened to Nana Akufo-Addo deliver his acceptance speech. Akufo-Addo wants to preside over a united country, one nation under God, devoid of corruption and pay-to-play schemes that leave the taxpayer holding the bag. Akufo-Addo wants to preside over a nation that embraces the Akan and the Ewe, the Ga-Dangme and the Guan, the Gurma and the Mole-Dagbani, the Grusi and the Mande.

Akufo-Addo understands that our superficial differences, characterized by our many languages and dialects, are nothing compared to our collective desire to succeed, our willingness to build a cohesive society, our yearning to erase the blemishes of ethnocentrism and tribal superiority, and our willingness to fight poverty one household at a time.

I truly believe that there is a providential element to Akufo-Addo’s rise to the nation’s highest office. If the president-elect honors God and his fellow Ghanaians, God will honor him and bless the Ghanaian populace. As the president-elect embarks on this arduous journey to reverse the fortunes of the despondent and suffering masses, I call on all Ghanaians to give the man a chance to succeed. Akufo-Addo has asked God to give him humility and wisdom, and all Ghanaians should lift him up before God in prayer.

I wish to remind Akufo-Addo that it is God who “removeth kings, and setteth up kings,” so he needs to be humble and honor his promises to the Ghanaian people. If the president-elect becomes a tyrannical ruler and mistreats his fellow Ghanaians, God will remove him from office.

Godspeed, Nana, as you lead Ghana to greatness.

© All rights reserved. The writer, Daniel K. Pryce, Ph.D., is a Ghanaian American, criminologist, and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at North Carolina Central University. He can be reached at GoodGovernanceinGhana@yahoo.com.