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Opinions of Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur Kobina

Celebrations

Irmo, South Carolina

31st March, 2014

Times in Ghana are hard.

However, as the Akans say, “Even when we are crying, we pause to blow our nose”. Therefore, this week, let us celebrate some Ghanaians and then reflect on the concept of celebration. The first is the NPP’s 2012 Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo. He turned 70 last week and I join all those who sent him best wishes. His life has been long and consequential and he deserves our congratulations and best wishes. As he moves forward in his life, I wish him God’s guidance and guardianship. I hope that whatever he aspires to, if it is God’s will, will come to pass. I remember his trip to seek the face of God, after the Supreme Court verdict. He should continue to seek the face of God and to walk in humility. Regardless of what happens in the rest of his life, he has been blessed more beyond many others and he is a great man. May God bless him and lengthen his days.

The second is President John Dramani Mahama who was just selected by his peers to lead ECOWAS in Yamoussoukro at the 44th ordinary summit of ECOWAS. He follows Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor in that role. Regardless of what we think of his stewardship here at home, we should feel proud of his achievement and pray that he can do us proud leading ECOWAS. He will need it. West Africa is trying to feel its way forward in the Economic Partnership Agreement. Nigeria continues to be in the grip of “Boko Haram” and here at home, Dagbon, “Dum-SO” has become a greeting. You get the picture. May God guide and guard him in these challenges. With our prayers and God’s help, I hope that he will be a true representative of the many who are poor and voiceless in West Africa rather than the powerful who scheme endlessly to take advantage of us. May your efforts be beneficial to us, Mr. President.

I am an unabashed nationalist. Kofi Annan’s election to lead the UN made me joyous. Adiyiah’s selection as best under-20 star IN THE WORLD after Egypt in 2009 made me giddy. I watched Cardinal Turkson’s incredible journey to the brink of the first African papacy in centuries with bated breath and when he lost, I was inconsolable for some time. I was pleased and very proud when Kufuor led the Africa Union. My pride was boundless when Nkrumah was named as perhaps, the greatest African of all time.

That is why, when I heard all those people in “WIKI-LEAKS” damning other Ghanaians, I was saddened.

That is why, when Ghanaians were celebrating the fact that Kufuor did not win the MOH IBRAHIM PRIZE, I was crushed.

It is also why, when I learned that some people even condition their support for the Black Stars on which party is in government, I was stunned. I hope that these double celebrations will encourage all of us to feel more supportive of our fellow countrymen and women, as well as our country—regardless of who is in power and who is being honoured or celebrated. Let us move forward—together.

God bless you all and God bless Ghana.

Arthur Kobina Kennedy