Ghanaians have decided to embrace change in the 72 year old candidate of the main opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, by electing him as their new President, saying bye to continuity, represented by the incumbent President and candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), 58 year old John Mahama.
Akufo-Addo, who ran for the office for the third time, comfortably edged out incumbent Mahama by almost 10 points.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana (ECG) tweeted late yesterday, Friday, two days after the election, that Akufo-Addo was the victor in the largely peaceful poll.
“We declare Nana Akufo-Addo as President-Elect of our Ghana. God bless Ghana. Thank you,” ECG tweeted.
A breakdown of the result showed that NPP won 53.85 percent of total vote cast while the ruling party managed to score just 44.4 percent of the votes.
The announcement confirmed the projections of local media, which have predicted from provisional results and result collated from polling stations that the opposition candidate was on course to unseating the incumbent.
Akufo-Addo, a former foreign minister, has made the country’s worsening corruption the focus of his campaign.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Akufo-Addo, on his historic win of the December 7 Ghana presidential election, even as he also felicitated with the Government and people of Ghana, the National Electoral Commission, and candidates of political parties, for the decorum, maturity and peaceful conduct of the election that produced a winner from an opposition party.
Buhari said that as a scion of one of the biggest political families in Ghana, and with the lessons learnt from previous unsuccessful attempts preceded by years of service to the country, “most notably as foreign affairs minister, President Buhari believes Akufo-Addo is widely experienced and skilled in leadership to build on the legacies of President John Dramani Mahama.”
President Buhari commended the statesmanship and great leadership qualities of Mahama, who came into power at a trying period for the country with the passing away of former President John Atta-Mills, and kept pushing for a better life for all Ghanaians, and strengthening diplomatic relations with countries in the sub-region, especially Nigeria.
He commended the incumbent President for the great courage to call his opponent and concede defeat, stressing that leaders must always honour their pre-election pledge to accept the results of polls as the will of the people.
President Buhari is optimistic that the future of African development rests on building strong political, democratic institutions, ensuring free, fair and credible elections, and respect for the sanctity of the ballot.
He called on the President-elect and other winners of the parliamentary elections in Ghana to be magnanimous in victory while losers should explore peaceful and legal mechanisms to challenge the outcome of the polls where necessary.
President Buhari said that the greater interest of the country and the stability of the sub-region should be uppermost in the minds of all stakeholders.
The President wished Ghana a smooth transition of power and looks forward to working with the new President. [myad]