President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama
Muhammad Bello and Dele Ogbodo
The newly-sworn in President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama has appealed to the opposition political parties to accept his victory as infinite political triumph for the entire country as against their feelings of loss.
Mahama, who may have taken a cue from the absence of the leaders of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which boycotted the occasion over allegation that the president’s mandate was a stolen one, said the success or failure of Ghana is in the hands of the citizenry.
Mahama, who was sworn-in yesterday for another four-year tenure before a large crowd at the Black Star square, pledged to improve the quality of education, create more employment opportunities and provide good health services to the Ghanaian people, including those who did not vote for him and do not share his religious conviction.
Twelve African Heads of State including President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Jacob Zuma of South Africa graced the event lending it the credence of being Pan African union of some sort, which Mahama used to urge his opponents to see his victory from the ‘limitlessness of the potentials of Ghana and not from powerlessness of their defeat’.
President Mahama came to power following the sudden death of the former president, John Attah Mills in July last year. Mahama was Ghana’s vice-president.
Hailed by the capacity crowd as he spoke at the Black Star square, the new president of Ghana said: ‘in the last fifty five years, Ghana has made tremendous progress but also there is no denying the fact that Ghana is still a young country and every young country goes through its share of instability and difficulties as it struggles to find direction towards prominence. Over the course of the last four years, a tremendous amount of work has been done and there is still a tremendous amount of work still to be done. More jobs must be created, more roads must be built. Bridges, schools and hospitals must be built. Infrastructure that have been established must be strengthened.
Speaking on behalf of other visiting African leaders, the chairman of African Union (AU) and president of Benin Republic, Yaya Boni extolled Ghana’s democratic virtues and promised that other African countries would work hard to support and emulate the shining examples of Ghana.
Ghana’s opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) boycotted the swearing in, saying Mahama won the election fraudulently.
He won the election with 50.7 per cent of the vote against NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo’s 47.7 per cent which was enough to avoid a run-off.
NPP is currently challenging the election result at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Tinubu, has said that Mahama has what it takes to lead Ghana.
Tinubu in statement made available to THISDAY last night, praised Ghanaian democracy, saying that it remains a signpost of good governance and democratic values which Africa is in dire need of.
He noted that the transition from democracy to democracy in the West African country marked a sparkling moment in the history of the country.
He noted that Nigeria’s electoral system was overdue for a biometric voting system.
“Our electoral system needs an overhaul. Ghana has shown the way. Nigeria and other African nations must follow the lead.”
Also, the Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, charged Mahama to unite the different shades of political interests in his country by running an inclusive government.
Ekweremadu, in a goodwill message to the president and people of Ghana stated that Mahama’s emergence as winner in the country’s last general election should be seen as “rendezvous with destiny.”
Ekweremadu also urged the President to take another look at the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Foreign Investment Act, 1994 and the recurring issues arising from it with a view to ensuring the protection of the businesses of all West African nationals in the spirit of integration and relevant ECOWAS Protocols.