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Accept Supreme Court Verdict - Mahama Tells Ghanaians


Accept Supreme Court Verdict - Mahama Tells Ghanaians

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With the countdown to the delivery of the verdict of the Supreme Court on the election petition on, President John Dramani Mahama has urged Ghanaians to preserve the peace in the country, no matter the outcome of the petition.

He asked the people to accept the verdict of the court, saying that “it is Ghana’s peace that has endeared the country to foreign investors”.

"Ghana is bigger than all of us and the country will continue to exist after we are all long gone,'' he declared.

President Mahama made the appeal during separate interactions with journalists and members of the National Peace Council at the Flagstaff House, Kanda in Accra yesterday.

The President’s meeting with journalists was in connection with the first anniversary of the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, while the meeting with the NPC was to discuss peace and security in the country.

The delegation from the NPC was led by its Chairman, the Most Rev Prof. Emmanuel Asante.

Also present at the meeting were a presidential advisor, Mr Baba Kamara; the Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr Valerie Sawyer; the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr Raymond Atuguba, and another presidential advisor, Mr Baffoe Bonnie.

In attendance was the nine-year-old Peace Ambassador, Ms Angela Mensah.

Peace and security

During his interaction with the journalists, President Mahama recalled fond memories of the late President Mills and the attributes he learnt from him.

He said it was crucial for Ghanaians to continue to live in peace and underlined the fact that the peaceful acceptance of the election petition verdict would be the greatest tribute that Ghanaians could pay to President Mills, the first anniversary of whose death coincided with the final phase of the petition.

President Mahama said "hate him or love him”, President Mills stood for peace and unity.

According to him, President Mills’s love for peace and unity resulted in all Ghanaians joining hands to give him a fitting burial when he died.

“The international community also showed solidarity with Ghana by participating in the funeral service,” he added.

President Mahama said the late President Mills's peaceful attributes resonated in the 2012 elections, which were acclaimed worldwide to be peaceful.

Unfortunately, he said, the outcome of the presidential election had become a legal tussle, adding that the electoral petition was an attestation to Ghana's democratic governance.

The President said he had learnt the attribute of resoluteness and perseverance to succeed in the face of challenges from President Mills, who he described as his mentor and friend.

He said the government had laid the foundation for some important projects in the areas of energy, transport and school infrastructure.

For instance, he said, the project to construct 200 senior high schools and the rehabilitation of the Kotoka International Airport and the Kumasi Airport had started.

He mentioned the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and the improvement of the Motorway as some of the important projects.

National Peace Council (NPC)

At the meeting with the members of the NPC, President Mahama said peace and safety were the brands that Ghana had and used as an attraction for investment.

He said the international business community usually invested in areas where its investments could be secure.

''In West Africa, I dare say Ghana offers that kind of attractiveness and so our peace is not something that we must toy with. Peace is something that will continue to advance the progress of this country,'' he said.

The President said peace was Ghana's most priceless possession because everything else rested on the foundation of peace.

''You cannot make any development or achieve any progress as a country if you do not have peace,'' he said.

He said it was coincidental that the meeting was taking place at a time when the country was celebrating the first anniversary of the demise of President Mills who was recognised as a king of peace.

''I hope that his spirit is with us and it will ensure that any turbulence and challenges that we are currently undergoing will be over,'' he said.

President Mahama commended the NPC for its involvement in conflict resolution in many theatres where the country had seen the outbreak of violence or tension among communities, people and political parties.


He mentioned the Bawku, the Dagbon and the Nkonya and Alavanyo conflicts as some of the conflicts in which the NPC had intervened.

The President said one of the most difficult areas of intervention for the NPC in the maintenance of peace was in the political arena.

''It is the most vicious aspect of social tension you can find anywhere in the world,'' he said.

President Mahama expressed the hope that as a result of the intervention of members of the NPC in some of the conflicts before, during and after the elections and the post-election period, they would be able to continue to advance peace in the country.

He noted that the council had been vilified and explained that ''often in our politics, tension rises so high that it becomes difficult for people to reason with the person who is coming to restore peace''.

He urged members of the NPC not to be discouraged but continue to work towards maintaining peace in the country.

The President commended the NPC for holding the peace dialogue and indicated that the message of peace at the forum had gone down well with the people.

He gave an assurance that the government would do its best within the constraints of the budget to give the council the resources and logistics to be able to carry out its work.

In his remarks, the Most Rev Prof Asante said Ghana was enjoying international reputation for being a stable and peaceful country.

However, he said, many countries in the West African sub-region, including Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, had suffered from conflict situations.

He said Ghana itself had its share of spots of conflicts in some parts of the country.

He commended President Mahama for constituting the committee to bring about a ceasefire in the Nkonya-Alavanyo land dispute which had raged for more than 90 years.

The Chairman of the NPC said the council had facilitated the national peace summit before the elections and again organised another peace forum to ensure peaceful acceptance of the outcome of the electoral petition.

He said the NPC had evolved the national architecture for peace which had attracted other African countries, including Kenya, The Gambia and Liberia.

The Most Rev Prof Asante said the council would hold a regional meeting on peace in Accra from September 9-10, 2013, saying the meeting was to showcase Ghana's peace-building mechanisms.

He extended an invitation to the President for the meeting.

Meanwhile, President Mahama was scheduled to leave Accra yesterday for Congo for a two-day working visit.

The visit is at the invitation of President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

The two leaders are expected to hold discussions on trade, diplomatic and cultural relations.

After their meetings, Presidents Mahama and Nguesso will participate in the Forbes Afrique forum in Congo.

Background of the case

On December 7, 2012, Ghanaians went to the polls for the sixth time since the ushering in of constitutional democracy in 1993.

However, after the declaration of President John Dramani Mahama as the winner of the presidential election by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, the presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and two others decided to contest the results at the Supreme Court.

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, are the other leading members of the party who joined in filing the petition against the declared results.

The initial writ of the petitioners was filed at the Supreme Court on December 28, 2012 and the court, on January 22, 2013, allowed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to be joined to the writ after it had applied to the court to be joined.

The issues the court will consider before arriving at its final judgement are whether or not there were statutory violations, omissions, irregularities and malpractices in the conduct of the presidential election.

It will also ascertain whether or not the said violations, omissions, irregularities and malpractices (if any) affected the outcome of the results of the elections.

July 30, 2013 fixed for filing of addresses

As per the rules of court, the court gave lawyers in the case up to July 30, 2013 to file their addresses simultaneously.

The court will resume sitting on July 31, 2013 to iron out issues that may arise and finally give a date for its judgement on whether or not to annul 3,916,385 votes due to statutory violations, omissions, malpractices and irregularities recorded during the polls.

Source: Daily Graphic



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