Examining Akufo-Addo’s Historic Statement

Nana-Akofo-AddoTake it or leave it, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) 2012 presidential candidate will go down in the history of our great country, Ghana, regardless of whatever views anyone may have about him, considering the statement he made minutes after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict on the election petition on August 29, 2013.

The statement clearly painted a completely different picture of Nana Addo that was at variance with what some supporters and sympathizers of his party (NPP) have about him by their utterances, actions and presentations.

I was deeply touched when Ii read Nana Addo saying that “everything in my bones, in my upbringing and in what I have done with my life, thus far, makes it imperative that accepts a decision made by the highest court of the land however much I dislike or disagree with it… for the sake and love of our country.

QUANDARY
For several days after I read the statement, I kept asking myself whether or not the statement really came from Nana Addo and for several days too, I was in a quandary about the authenticity of the statement.

One of the lessons I learnt from Nana Addo’s statement was that a lot of wrong impressions may have been in the minds of some Ghanaians about him during the run-up to the December 7, 2012 elections.

From the tone of the statement made by Nana Addo, one may not be wrong to conclude that he is not the belligerent type who sees election as a do-or-die affair.

Nana Addo has shown that he is indeed, a man of peace who wants the best for his country.
It is now up to all of us Ghanaians to put the dispute behind us and come together and work to find solutions to the challenges that confront our people.

Above all Nana Addo ended his statement with a call on Ghanaians to “wish our President well and thank the Almighty for his mercies upon our nation”. No Matter the interpretation that one may put on the wording of the statement, it was also clear that the decision to go to court was not his, but that of the National Council of the NPP.

There is only one unavoidable conclusion, that the NPP flagbearer is really a man of peace. It is that statement that calmed the nerves of restive and agitated party supporters and contributed in no small measure to the relative peace that exists in the country now.

Certainly, the state of fear and anxiety and growing concern about the security of the nation on or after August 29, 2013 when the judgment of the Supreme Court was to be delivered ought not to have arisen.

If that situation ever arose it may have been be understood, to an extent, considering the bitterness and the do-or-die attitude of the politicians who contested the elections and the luckluster approach with which the law enforcement agencies handled the isolated scuffles and the resultant deaths and injuries that occurred after the Electoral Commission announced the results of the elections.

Public concern is that during the pendency of the petition at the Supreme Court, Ghanaians did not only display a worrisome attitude of ignorance about the sanctify of the court and the need to avoid actions or statement that might be prejudicial to the court but also went ahead to pass comments on a matter as sensitive as it was and even tended to malign the integrity and the very persons of the honourable Justices, using intemplate and vulgar language.

The period witnessed the total classless state of Ghanaians, including both the educated and the uneducated about the court system in the country which has been in existence for well over a century.

It also exposed the peoples’ attitude to difficult times because of the do-or-die nature of the politics of our time and the strange approach some of us thought could be adopted to get things done our own way.

When the situation appeared to be getting out of hand, the apex court decided to crack the whip after several entreaties for decorum. Indeed, some colleagues of the inky fraternity and even some legal practitioners fell foul of the apex court’s order to the generalities of people not to cross the red line.

In the end, two gentlemen were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment for contempt of court by way of intemplate language, printed or spoken by them. This appeared to have paved the way for the acceptance of its judgment by the generality of the people and it appeared to have succeeded, in bringing sanity into the society.

Indeed, a few days after the two men were jailed for contempt of court, no less a person than former President Jerry Rawlings speaking at a peace forum organised by the National Peace Council in Kumasi referred to the unfortunate incident and remarked, “I hope we have all learnt out lessons”.

That was no mean achievement by the Judiciary towards ensuring discipline, peace as well as decorum among the people after its verdict on August 29.

By the same token the National Media Commission will be enjoined to crack the whip by exercising its powers contained in Article 167 of the 1992 constitution.

The NMC is required to take all appropriate measures to ensure the highest journalistic standards as journalists in both electronic and print media who will have to interpret the judgment into the various local languages will be required to do so accurately without running their own commentaries on it.

The political history of this great country explains why we needed to do everything to keep the peace after the judgment of the Supreme Court on August 29 2013, not minding which way it went.

In May 2007, big brother Nigeria conducted presidential and general elections which saw the late president, Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’ Adua emerge as President on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) amidst political murders, assassinations, electoral malpractices that left bitter memories in the minds of Nigerians.

At the inauguration of Yar’Adua as President, his closest opponent, General Mohammadu Buhari, who contested on the ticket of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), refused to attend, having been so embittered by the result of the election.

In December 2008, Ghana became the envy of all when Ghana peacefully conducted presidential and general elections which brought Professor John Atta Mills to power on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress, moreso, when the presidential election had two run-offs with each of them was generally peaceful and transparent.

To crown it all, during the inauguration of Atta Mills, outgoing President John Agyekum Kufuor whose party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lost to the NDC was in full attendance.

Soon, Ghana had become the beacon of democracy in Africa, a part from being the Black. Star of Africa. These were unique accolades that were capable of making fellow African countries envious of Ghana.

At that time, Ghanaians living in Nigeria were hailed publicly by our brothers and sisters, in that from then we could walk the streets of Lagos and elsewhere with our chests out and our heads high in the sky.

INVESTORS

At every high-profile political fora gathering, where the cream of the Nigerian society was present, Ghana becomes the reference point. As a result of this political feat, there was a mass influx of investors into Ghana and this boosted the economy.

Enormous damage may have been done to the economic and political advancement of the country because of the petition, but all hope is not lost. Ghana still commands respect for the political feat it chalked in the 200, 2004 and 2008, presidential and general elections.

Our record is still one of the best in the world, comparably. This is why everything must be done to keep the peace after August 29, 2013 verdict.

Now that the dust has settled, let President Mahama and his team take up the gauntlet and begin to find solutions to the heart-throbbing problems of corruption, energy or electricity, suitable employment for the people, healthcare, quality education, just to mention a few. Long live Ghana.

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