The Theme for this Year’s Ceremony: “GIRL CHILDS RIGHT TO…
SPEECH DELIVERED BY NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE REPUBLIC OF GHANA, ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2016, AFTER THE DECLARATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
Ladies and gentlemen of the media, fellow Ghanaians,
A few minutes ago, at 7:51pm precisely, the President of the Republic and the NDC presidential candidate, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, called me on the phone to congratulate me on my victory in the presidential election of 7th December 2016. He wished me the best of luck and God’s blessings, and assured me of his full co-operation in organizing the transition from his administration to mine.
I thanked him for this graceful gesture, which is in the finest traditions of Ghanaian statesmanship and, on my part, assured him of my cooperation for a successful transition. I also thanked him for his service to our nation and said that I felt sure that his contribution to the welfare of our Republic was by no means over. I have also received words of congratulation from my other competitors, Mr. Ivor Greenstreet, our former 1st Lady, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, Dr. Edward Mahama, and Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah. I am grateful to them.
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei, who is the returning officer for presidential elections, in fulfilment of her constitutional obligations, has tonight, at 8:54pm, declared me the winner of the 2016 presidential election, with 5,716,026 votes, representing 53.85% of the valid votes cast. I am grateful to her for the announcement and her words of congratulation.
I thank Almighty God for His grace and favour in granting victory to the NPP and myself in this election. As His Word says in the Book of Holy Scripture in Ecclesiastes chapter 3 verse 11, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
There has never been a more humbling moment in my life, and I thank you, the good people of Ghana, for this massive show of support and the confidence you have reposed in me and my party. I make this solemn pledge to you today – I will not let you down and will do all in my power to live up to your hopes and expectations. You are to be commended for the mature, peaceful and orderly manner in which you, once again, exercised your democratic franchise. The democratic credentials of our nation have been further enhanced by your conduct.
The Electoral Commission, under its new leadership, with Charlotte Osei in the Chair, is to be congratulated for organising this credible election. She and the Commission have allayed the fears of many about their capacity to conduct a good election. This election has contributed to strengthening the principles of democratic accountability in our body politic and the Commission will take a considerable part of the credit for that welcome outcome.
Our security services are to be commended for ensuring a generally peaceful conduct of the poll, and doing so in a professional manner. That is what the nation expects of them.
To members and sympathisers of the great Elephant family, to our illustrious former President of the Republic, His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, to our founding members, leading figures, members of Party organs, parliamentary candidates and Members of Parliament, current and past national officers, regional, constituency, electoral area and polling station executives, thousands and thousands of volunteers, polling station agents, Kufuor-era appointees, campaign officials and staff, so ably led by Campaign Manager Peter Mac Manu, and to my running mate, the next Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and his dynamic wife, Samira, I say a big thank you to each and every one of you for your hardwork, commitment and encouragement, and for your belief in me and in my leadership of our party over the last 8 years. Whilst this occasion would understandably lead to widespread jubilation amongst party supporters, I entreat them to respect the peace and the property and lives of everybody, especially those of our political opponents. We are the party of the rule of law, and we should act accordingly with magnanimity in our moment of victory.
To the senior citizens of our country who have given me invaluable advice over the years, amongst them, the former President of the Republic, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings, the former Secretary General of the United Nations, His Excellency Kofi Annan, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, the former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. J.B. Danquah, the Chairman of the NPP’s National Council of Elders, the veteran statesman, C.K. Tedam, and Captain Kojo Tsikata, erstwhile PNDC member responsible for National Security, I thank you for your counsel and for sharing your wisdom with me, and hope I can continue to count on you during the challenging period ahead of me.
To the numerous priests and imams who have prayed for my soul and who have taken the trouble to intercede with the Almighty on my behalf, amongst them, Cardinal Emeritus Peter Akwasi Sarpong, Rt. Rev. Asante Antwi, Most. Rev. Dr. Justice Akrofi, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Martey, Apostle Opoku Nyinah, Bishop Yinka Sarfo, Pastor Mensa Otabil, Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams, Rev. Victor Kusi Boateng, Venerable Hansen Addy, Venerable Joseph Lamptey, Canon Noah Mensah, Canon Antonio Nelson, Rev. Dr. Jonathan Ayittey-Mensah, Very Reverend Emmanuel Kwabena Aryee, the Chief Imam, His Eminence Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, the Ashanti Region Chief Imam, Sheikh Abdul Mumin Haroun, Rev. Anthony Kwadwo Boakye, Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, Rev. Ebenezer Adarkwa Yiadom, Rev. Kofi Amponsah and Prophet Gideon Danso, I am deeply grateful for your spiritual solidarity of which I shall avail myself continuously, now and in the future.
I take this opportunity to thank you, members of the Ghanaian media, for your continuing engagement in the public interest of our country. Your vigilance and activism are now by-words in the consistent efforts our people are making to carve a secure, democratic future for themselves. Senior journalists like Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Gina Blay, Egbert Faibille, Ebo Quansah, Ken Kuranchi, Kwami Sefa Kayi, Samuel Atta Mensah and Kwabena Kwakye, amongst others, have set admirable standards of professionalism and ethical conduct which should guide the younger generation.
I want to thank the various observer missions who have assisted us to ensure a credible process for our election. I thank the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), under the chairmanship of the venerable former Supreme Court judge, Justice V.C.R.A.C Crabbe, for their important work, and that of the observer mission of our regional body, ECOWAS, led by the distinguished Liberian statesman, Dr. Amos Sawyerr, the observer mission of our continental body, the AU, led by the respected former President of the Republic of Namibia, His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba, and the observer mission of the Commonwealth led by the eminent African, the former President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, as well as the strong observer mission from our friends of the European Union, and the National Democratic Institute of the United States of America, led by the former U.S Assistant Secretary of State, the well-known diplomat, Ambassador Johnnie Carson. They have assured us of the great importance the international community attaches to the growth of Ghanaian democracy.
And to my beautiful wife, my beloved Rebecca, who waged such a great campaign in her own right, my daughters, Gyankroma, Valerie, Dokua, my sister Marigold, my brother Edward, and my entire family, I, firstly, must apologise for taking you on this rollercoaster ride. I am, however, very grateful for the love and support you have given me, and for standing shoulder to shoulder with me through the years till now. Long may it so continue.
Let me pause to remember colleagues who fell in the course of our campaign – Adams Mahama, Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, J.B Danquah Adu, Peter Wiafe Peprah, Abubakar Saddique, Kwabena Boadu, and others. May their souls continue to rest in perfect peace in the bosom of the Almighty until the last day of the Resurrection when we shall all meet again. Amen.
Fellow Ghanaians, you have not elected me to serve one party, but to serve the entire nation. The President of Ghana is President for every single Ghanaian, without discrimination, malice or ill-will to any ethnic group or political or religious affiliation. Whether you supported me or not, whether you campaigned for me or not, whether you voted for me or not, I can promise you one thing. I will do my best to serve your interests, and put our country back on the path of progress and prosperity. God did not put us on this rich land, a land blessed with an abundance of human and natural resources, to be poor.
- I am confident, and I have faith that, with God’s guidance and your active help and hardwork, we will move our country forward. Together, we will change Ghana, and use all the blessings that the Almighty has bestowed on us to bring prosperity to our people and nation in our time. Together, we will fulfil the destiny of Ghana, the destiny of freedom, justice and prosperity that the ancestors and founders of our nation defined for us.