Akufo-Addo's win proves that anything is possible

Saturday, 10 December 2016

This month began with the people of the Gambia choosing Adama Barrow as their president – ousting Yahya Jammeh, a man who vowed to rule his nation for “a billion years” (and who has since rejected the outcome of the elections). Not only would Barrow's election be a notable change because it involved the usurping of a seemingly immoveable object, but it will be significant because Barrow used to work as a security guard in Argos on the Holloway Road in North London. What seemed inconceiveable became reality. The joke had the last laugh.

Just days later, we find ourselves bearing witness to another African fairy tale. 

Many people had long pleaded with to Mr Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to quit and direct his energies elsewhere. Having already taken two shots at the presidency of Ghana, a third seemed to many as too long a shot, too much a waste of time. And yet this time round, it seems Akufo-Addo had his finger on the pulse of the nation, his oratory in tune with the rhythm of Ghana’s heartbeat. He has now been deemed the man of the moment. On 9 December 2016 when the Electoral Commission of Ghana declared him president-elect.

What had seemed inconceivable had become reality. 

I have watched this election from afar with a range of emotions:

  • Pride: The world has been a fractured and dangerously febrile place this year. It seems every election has brought down fire and brimstone upon countries. Ghana had long been held up as a beacon of peaceful democratic elections, but with the stakes high and emotions even higher, people expected this to finally be the time all decorum was lost and all hell would break loose. How proud am I that, despite the stakes and despite the delay in confirming the result, Ghanaians as a vast majority remained calm and composed. The example continues.
  • Empowerment: I am sure I speak for many when I say that this is a particularly empowering election result. Ghanaians are enlightened and empowered because this election has demonstrated that they have the ability to dictate change. In many countries, the inhabitants feel disenfranchised, fatigued, feeling that they do not have the means to affect the course of their nation. Ghanaians have been frustrated. Ghanaians wanted change, and with fingers padded with ink, they have made Ghana sing a new tune and changed the course of the country. Ghana has shown that power belongs to the people, that power is supposed to fuel the will of the nation in order to propel it towards the greater good. I have worked with some great figures from the outgoing ruling party who have played a wonderful part in shaping Ghana, but this election has shown that people overwhelming were dissatisfied with the fruits of their labours. President Mahama should be congratulated for that which he has achieved in office, and should also be praised for respecting the will of the people and stepping down without rancour. 
  • Optimism: It takes the people of Ghana to move the nation forward - and this is my hope, this is my dream for my mother nation. Similar to the surprisingly competent cabinet being formed in the USA, I believe its time for government to be a conglomerate of the successful: the brightest minds of the nation coming together to work in one accord – regardless of tribe, of background, of class, belief, or creed.
  • Hope: Across the Atlantic, many despaired because they saw a man who ran a hateful and spiteful campaign ascend to power. But this election has rendered me hopeful. The election of Akufo-Addo has made me hopeful because it shows how important it is to remain humble, regardless of what life throws at you. Times change. Seasons shift. Positions transition from one hand to another. And so keep working, keep trying. Sometimes when you push a door, it doesn't mean the door is locked - it just means that you need to push harder to force it open! Akufo-Addo kept knocking because he knew what he wanted. Because of his example, I remain hopeful that anything is possible.

Well done to our outgoing president and his team. Ayeeko for the wonderful work done. And congratulations Mr Akufo-Addo, president-elect! #ProudOfGhana #oneGhana

Dentaa with Nana Akufo-Addo