The wind of political change in Africa, which started in Nigeria and headed to the Gambia, has recently reached Ghana, where the opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo has defeated the incumbent President John Mahama. Like in Nigeria and the Gambia (at least, based on President Jammeh’s initial reaction and acceptance of the election results), the incumbent has, like a Statesman, called Mr. Akufo-Addo to admit defeat.
Mr. Akufo-Addo, a Human Rights lawyer from the New Patriotic Party, who had previously contested fruitlessly for the presidency for the third time, promised to fix the economy, which many believe is in a mess.
Any patriotic African must commend the political metamorphosis and maturity going on in Africa. It has become a common procedure for incumbents to gracefully accept political defeat and congratulate the opponent ““ something unthinkable some years back. While we criticize the snail pace of economic development in Africa and certain undemocratic activities on the continent, we must equally accept the fact that Africa is setting some positive political steps of recent. Theoretically, the president of the USA might be considered the most powerful man in the world, but in terms of their raw power within their countries and lack of separation of power amongst the three arms of the government in many African countries, many African leaders are in practice, more powerful than president Obama of the USA. In many African countries where the power of the presidency can be enormous and intoxicating, it has been incredibly difficult for many leaders not to succumb to the seductive power of incumbency. The acceptance of election results and defeat had become a taboo in the past. So was the graceful quitting of the political arena when the political euphoria is high. Happily, some African leaders are setting a powerful and respectful precedence. It has happened in Nigeria with President Jonathan. President Yahaya Jammeh of The Gambia had initially done the unthinkable by letting the world see the degree of his / African political maturity. Let`s hope he will accept the will of his people and eventually leave respectfully. In Ghana, by accepting defeat, President Mahama has again gallantly shown the rest of Africa that Ghana is indeed the new African oasis of political stability. History will judge those leaders who have rather chosen the peaceful path as well as respect for the rule of law, at the expense of their personal aggrandizement. They must be commended.
We at the Kata Kata wish all our brothers and sisters in Ghana, The Gambia, Nigeria and all other African countries, struggling for democratic reforms, all the best, in their difficult attempts to bring some political transformation in their various countries. At the beginning, it is often not easy, but with togetherness and commitment, you will achieve the unthinkable ““ socially, economically and politically.
The newly elected President of Ghana Mr. Akufo-Addo has promised all Ghanaians (“whether you voted for me or not“) never to let them down. He has promised free high-school education and more factories for the country. These are very ambitious promises, however, with the full support of all Ghanaians, nothing is impossible to achieve.