The end of another season has come; the end of a political dispensation that ensures one political party goes down and another rises, and despite your extraordinary service to the country, your name was mentioned as the one to go down. Indeed it is a great blow not only for you but everyone who is associated with you and who wishes you well in your political journey.
Mr. President, you have had one of the most distinguished political careers in the nation, having risen from the ranks of an assemblyman to becoming a member of parliament, a deputy minister, a minister, a vice president and a president, you go with such wealth of experience and one wonders why we should go for a winner-take-all approach to governance. Why should such enormous exposure and experience be ignored when it could be put to the service of our dear nation.
During these years of distinguished service to the nation, you have championed many policies that have brought changes to the lives of Ghanaians such that the good people of Ghana would forever remember you. Your selfless dedication to the duties of the state cannot be overlooked.
You may be thinking now that you have been defeated and that Ghanaians have not appreciated your work; you may even be thinking of never putting yourself up for service in any capacity in Ghana, but the good news, Mr. President, is that the greatest service you ever rendered to Ghanaians was that distinguished moment when you called Nana Addo-Danquah Akuffu-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to congratulate him on his victory in the 2016 general elections.
Only God knows the relief and easement you brought to the Ghanaian people as well as the international community. On the 9th of December 2016 when the Electoral Commission (EC) had not yet declared the results, pressure was mounting, akin to the one that mounted during the ascension of Professor Mills in 2008. And as the case in other African states, the incumbent’s refusal to concede defeat and hand over power to the opposition has brought untold hardship to their citizens.
But you averted that and quickly accepted the verdict of the people. Not only have you shown yourself to be a true statesman who would put everything aside and work in the interest of the state, you have also proved yourself to be an honest man who stands strictly by the principles of truthfulness and accountability.
Today, if Ghana enjoys peace, and if we have not given any headache to the international community, it is simply because, unlike others, you have refused to be carried away by extreme desire for power and focus on substantive issues that work in the interest of common good.
As you rightly put it during your campaign, it was not under your watch that Ghana was going to be plunged into hostilities. You said it and you have done it, and as you put it again during your concessionary speech, posterity will judge your work.
Even in your moment of dejection, you are called upon to mediate in election dispute in The Gambia where President Yahya Jammeh is refusing to concede defeat despite overwhelming evidence to his loss. It shows you to be a man of great resolve to fight for the common good irrespective of the circumstance.
Indeed the economy was bad. Nobody would pretend otherwise, but we also know that the state of the economy was simply because you felt you must tackle infrastructure which would lay the foundation for an economic boom. But we did not understand it that way, or to some extent, we were carried away by hunger and joblessness to think that you were starving us. The result is that Ghanaians voted you out when everything showed you should have continued.
Understand this simple fact, that Ghanaians have an attitude. We are too quick to dismiss the “bad fetish” who have stayed with us all through the difficult moments because we always look forward to a “good fetish” who would turn our lives around overnight. You should not be worried because we did it to Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
All of a sudden the one who gave us independence became a devil who was castigated and rejected by the very people he suffered for. Jerry Rawlings after stepping down was vilified and insulted when indeed we had hailed him as Junior Jesus when he bounced onto the Ghanaian political scene with his probity and accountability rhetoric.
Do not despair and worry over your lose. That is how we are, and it is only a matter of months and Ghanaians would start looking for you in every corner. We like new faces and soon the new face becomes old and the cycle continues.
Like students, we are always eager to see a new teacher and we would tell them how the old one taught nothing even when he might have taught everything. This is our nature and understanding this fact would make you go to sleep over this matter.
For the record, you did your best and even the new leadership knows and would appreciate you the more when they finally assume the reigns of government. Your efforts would never be forgotten.