President John Dramani Mahama has pledged to unite the country to tackle the myriad of socio-economic challenges confronting the country now that the election petition has been dealt with by the Supreme Court.
Mahama spoke after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the petition, which upheld his election as the president at the December 2012 elections, President Mahama said political uncertainty that that had gripped the country over the last eight tortuous months was over and that Ghanaians needed to come together to forge ahead as a nation.
The Supreme Court on August 29th dismissed a petition filed by three leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) including the party’s 2012 presidential candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, challenging the Electoral Commission’s declaration of National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential candidate John Dramani Mahama as President of Ghana.
President Mahama, in the nationwide broadcast, after being affirmed by the highest court of the land as validly elected, urged all political forces to put aside their differences and to work together so everyone will lead a better life, as all have a duty to the people to work so that the country remains united.
“I pledge to all the people who voted for me or the people who voted for the other candidates, to extend a hand to NPP and all political forces in order to achieve the unity we need and want. It’s time to unite
Even before President Mahama’s address, Nana Akufo-Addo had called to congratulate him after disagreeing with the ruling but accepting the verdict of the Supreme Court, pledging to support the President for the unity and development of the country.
“This afternoon, Nana Akuffo-Addo and I had a conversation and I am assured that with the court case over and the verdict announced, we can now all of us put this behind us and turn our full attention back to building this great nation.
“This government is ready to work for you, is ready to work for all Ghanaians. It is my expectation that all Ghanaians are also prepared to work to uplift our nation because Ghana must succeed and if together we face whatever challenges come our way, our systems and our institutions will continue to be strengthened. Our democracy will continue to grow and our homeland Ghana will succeed,” President Mahama reiterated.
He congratulated the nine Justices of the Supreme Court and his legal team for doing a great job on the election petition.
President Mahama said history has shown that Ghanaians have always possessed a distinct political maturity; one that has promoted stability in the country and has inspired other countries on the continent and even throughout the developing world.
He said the country has witnessed the evolution of the democratic process over the past eight months that has fulfilled “our mission of creating a free and just society.”
Quoting Dr. J .B Danquah, one of the big six who fought for Ghana’s independence, President Mahama noted that “the freedom to express an opinion and to act in terms to that opinion is not an abuse of power in a democracy. Free exercise of opinion on a political issue is the maximum expression of liberty and it is never an abuse of power.
He said the political maturity with which Ghanaians have received the verdict announced by the Supreme Court, coupled with “our ever present patriotism, will ensure that Ghana is the ultimate winner and not any individual or political party. Victory must always speak to the success of our nation. Victory must always be for the people of Ghana.”
Ghana, President Mahama emphasized, exists today not by accident but by providence, adding that, “We exist today because of the vision, hard work and shared determination of our foremothers and our forefathers. They built the institutions of our government and designed our very democracy with our nation’s future in mind.”
He pointed out that Ghana has always been fuelled by patriotism and “it is a patriotism that is visible all around us as we rally together at football matches, as we join hands at funerals of loved ones, as we support each other, even strangers in times of emergency and disaster.
“It is a patriotism that is also expressed in our everyday lives and the respect we show for one another’s differences of opinion and religious beliefs, in tolerance we display for different political persuasions, ethnic and cultural traditions.
President Mahama said Ghana is known the world over for the richness of “our diversity and our harmonious embrace of it.
“We have always held fast to the fact that we are first and foremost Ghanaians with an abiding love of country. We have always held firm to our conviction that Ghana will work, that Ghana must work.”
President Mahama said Ghana in her “56 years of independence, throughout the times of celebrations and the times of sorrow, throughout the times of frustration and the times of joy, the heart and soul of our mission as a nation has remained steadfast to create a free and just society for our citizens, to create a Ghana that we can be proud to hand down to our children and grandchildren and all future generations.
13 member commonwealth observer groups observe the election on December last year and declared it one of the peaceful and freerest elections in Africa in recent time.
By Awudu Mahama
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