Once again, the focus of the international community is firmly fixed on the West African nation Ghana, as it prepares to go to the polls to elect its next President.
Most of us have nursed a deep seated longing, a yearning even for the change and transformation that we have so often been promised and have long desired to see but which has so often eluded us. We talk about it, dream about it and ask ourselves when we are going to see it, and where are the agents who are going to deliver it?
As a people we know that we should have achieved a lot more than we have in our post independence journey. We have the resources both human and natural and we are not lacking in potential. We are acutely aware of the extent to which our development has been hindered by the purposeless pariahs who have for much of our post independence era, dominated our political landscape. Had it not been for their lack of vision and foresight we would have made much greater progress both socially and economically.
Every well meaning Ghanaian whether at home or abroad, should be particularly worried, about the dark destructive clouds of corruption that have gathered over the nation since the dawn of the (Mills) Mahama administration.
There are two kinds of change. Change by default and change by design. The first we don't necessarily have much control over, the second is for us to determine and define. The good change that can transform communities and build nations isn't the result of a 'Big Bang' or some chaotic and haphazard approach to nation building. It is the brainchild of careful planning and close attention to detail that is brought about by dedicated men and women whose destiny is to impact their generation by giving it its greatest hope.
It was the author of Proverbs who said, 'that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people', and in the Chronicles it is written, 'if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land'.
The promised healing of the land is itself an important and integral part of the process of change that human agents are used to effect.
Who are these men and women who in their generation stand separate from the regular. Those whom it would seem come into this world wired with an agenda for change and transformation. Gifted and called, assiduous and assertive, brave and balanced, courageous and credible, dynamic and dependable, energetic and efficient, fearless, gallant and honest. Energised it seems by an all-consuming passion and desire to fulfil their calling and purpose which they understand, lies in serving their fellow men and improving their lot during their sojourn, on this mortal plain.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a man who, over the years has demonstrated many of these virtues. He has tirelessly campaigned for and championed the recognition of and respect for the human rights of others. On occasion placing himself in harm’s way in the fight for the return to democratic rule and the establishment of the rule of law in Ghana.
On any objective, open minded analysis of the development and entrenchment of Constitutional democracy in Ghana one has to pause and pay tribute to the leading role played by this man in that important journey and the assistance that advocates of his ilk have afforded to Ghana’s Supreme Court in its interpretation and usage of our supreme law.
It is with admiration that we have observed his distinguished career as a Barrister-at-law, Member of Parliament, Attorney General, Foreign Secretary and latterly a listening opposition leader and Presidential candidate for the NPP.
If one thing is clear on hearing him speak or from the thoughts expressed in the numerous articles he has written, it is the fact that this is a man of purpose who has a passion to serve his fellow men. One who gained the extreme admiration of many within and beyond the shores of Ghana by the statesmanship he displayed by placing principle before the pursuit of power and personal ambition during and after the 2008 elections. In the process he demonstrated in the clearest possible terms that peace and stability must always triumph over personal ambition.
The evidence in support of the assertion that he is the right man to introduce and implement an agenda for meaningful and lasting change and transformation is in my respectful opinion, overwhelmingly stacked in his favour and although his achievements speak for themselves we should not cease to announce the measure of the man, his achievements, and the importance of the things he stands for.
It would be a mistake, a mistake of monumental proportions for Ghanaians not to realise the man in our midst. A man whom the Good Lord has raised up and given to us, one who is diligent, persevering, industrious, tireless. The weight of the destiny that he carries and the difference that his inspirational and visionary leadership will make to our country and our continent should not be underestimated.
When rare gems (like Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo) walk amongst us in the form of mortal men we need to stand back from all the clamour, hullabaloo and palaver that so frequently associates itself with our politics and make an assessment of what we really have before us. He has been raised up for a time such as this and under his leadership Ghana has the potential to rise to new levels where her start will shine like never before. He possesses the vision the virtues and the valour that are needed to lead our nation and take it to its next level.
It will take a man who is not corrupt to root out that which is corrupt, incompetent and inept, to restore hope and confidence and to lay a firm foundation for the future. We cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by. May the Almighty grant Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo strength for the work that lies ahead and may victory be his portion.
The author is a Barrister, Company director, Lay preacher & Trustee of a UK based Charity.