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Opinions of Friday, 29 March 2013

Columnist: Nyarko, Stallone

Happy birthday Mahatma Akufo Addo.

A good friday indeed; happy birthday mahatma akufo addo.
By Stallone Nyarko.

Today is the 29th day of March. It’s Good Friday. A day on the Christian calendar which marks the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. Interestingly and possibly by divine design, it happens to be the birthday of another illustrious son of our Country, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo. There could be no better way of knowing how blessed you are than a ‘Good Friday’ doubling as your birthday in a year which appears the most critical in your life. I am no prophet, neither do I possess any powers of sorcery but I can feel the message being sent by this ‘coincidence’ is huge. It’s no fluke a day on which Christians commemorate the greatest sacrifice ever in humanity is coinciding with your birthday. Just like our saviour, you have been vilified, your dignity insulted and even your laudable feats are not spared the scorn from your detractors. Even in the face of all these, you remain undaunted in your genuine quest to save your country. The aftermath of the elections have deepened the belief some of us had about your genuine and burning passion to effect change. The days after December 7 saw this country in a very tense and delicate situation. Many people dominantly your supporters felt their mandate had been stolen in the election. Like in every uneasy situation, some people were pushing for extremist options in getting redress for the perceived ‘injustice’. Remarkably and in an unusual manner, you the most afflicted person became the man consoling your embittered supporters. With adrenalines rising, they thronged your home amidst chants of readiness to prove how ‘manly’ they could be. I readily recall the scenes in the 2008 elections when in the face of serious agitation from your support base, you conceded defeat with the slimmest margin in an election which was later found to have had problems similar to what we have today. It was obviously a difficult situation going back to these agitated supporters to restrain them once more. This is where you showed stark leadership, I remember your words at the Obra spot whiles addressing thousands of enraged supporters who had gathered there. As expected, you gave your supporters hope and also reminded them of the need to desist from acts that would disturb the peace of the country. In a rare instance, your party chairman charged the security forces to arrest any supporter of his party who was fomenting trouble at the time. That was decisive and nipped the pockets of violence that was witnessed at the time in the bud. Your critics say you had no option because any aggression by your supporters who have been crushed by the security forces. I agree with them to some extent. The reality however is, You had more than an option . What you had, in that instance was a responsibility. In that tense situation, you were responsible for the actions of the millions of agitated supporters who voted for you. It is this responsibility which other opposition leaders in other jurisdictions shirked, leading their countries into some volatile situations. In the event of violence, I know the security forces would have lived up to expectation but that would have weighed a great toll on the development efforts of our nation. Today, you are on a path that has once again proven that the African is able to handle dire situations in mature ways. You have proven our laws and not our fists are the most potent tools in seeking redress. You seem to have lit the torch of hope in Africa finally. Today, Kenya a country that has been on a thorny war path recently has taken a cue from your bold step. They were once again confronted with another electoral debacle and they obviously took inspiration from you in resorting to the court other than the street. Listening to Raila Odinga after he filed his election petition, I was convinced Africa had indeed opened a new chapter in her politics. Nana, this is where you stand and no amount of vilification can rewrite the history you made in going to court to challenge the results of the 2012 election. I strongly believe fate has already smiled at you looking at how boisterous you look even at 69. Whether you become President or not, Whether you prevail in this legal battle or not, your name is written boldly in our history books. No proper history of our country can be recounted without reference to your episode. There is one assurance we can give you. The young people of this country would surely vindicate your beliefs in the future. Today, I confer on you, the title ‘Mahatma’ meaning great soul. Nana Until you breathe last, never look back. Soldier on.

Happy Birthday Sir. Happy birthday Mahatma Akufo Addo.