By Doris Yaa Yamoah


He bears the hallmark of perseverance. Tenacious and an astute lawyer and politician, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has persisted in the face of opposition and disappointment to attain the highest height.


Prior to the 1996 general elections, Nana Addo contested the Presidential primaries on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) but lost to John Agyekum Kufuor.


Nana Akufo-Addo again contested with 16 others when Mr. J.A. Kufuor ended his eight year tenure, 2001-2008. He won with a simple majority to become the presidential candidate for the NPP in 2008.


Coming close to victory over candidate John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the position of president of the republic of Ghana eluded him because he did not get the fifty plus one (50+1) vote required by the constitution of Ghana to make him the president. The 2008 General Elections went a third round that gave NDC John Evans Atta Mills the presidential slot.


Party faithful again chose Nana Addo over his close contender, Mr. Alan Kyeremanteng, to become the 2012 presidential candidate of the NPP. Some of his own who hitherto had campaigned for him in 2008 did not accept him as the best flag bearer for the party. This was clearly manifested in their writings and utterances. Perhaps they did not mean evil; they felt someone else could make their dream of coming to power easier.


Unperturbed, Nana Addo went ahead to contest John Dramani Mahama who succeeded President John Evans Atta Mills after his demise. Again, Akufo-Addo lost by a smaller margin of 40,000 votes. The aftermath of the elections, the court case, is now history.


Majority of his party members felt strongly he should try again and after a careful thought and having the passion for politics, he gladly accepted the challenge. This time, he and his party had learnt their lessons, having been told that elections were won at the polling station. They packaged themselves and their messages well to face the 2016 elections. It was a mixed feeling while some Ghanaians felt he was going to retire from politics after the 2016 elections, others believed he was poised to occupy the seat of government, the Flagstaff House ( Jubilee House).


The race for the 2016 polls was fierce and intense with both NDC and NPP leaving no stone unturned. This time, December 7, 2016 the heavens smiled at Nana Addo. Ghanaians voted massively for him with an impressive lead of approximately 54 per cent (53.8 Per cent minus four constituencies) indeed, the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.


In a non-denominational church service held at the Accra Sports Stadium to thank God for the party’s victory in the polls , he said that the journey had not been easy as he and the NPP struggled along the way and sometimes came close to victory but the gates were shut before their eyes.


Recounting his political life, Nana Addo said the journey to his present status started some four decades ago, saying; “Our Stamina has been tested but we kept going because we believed the battle was the Lord’s”.


To persevere is good but to persevere in the right and positive course is acceptable.


The writer is a Deputy Director at the Information Services Department

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