NPP flag-bearer Nana Akufo-Addo says the outcome of the party’s presidential primary is an indication that Ghana God has a special interest in the protection and promotion of Ghana’s multi-party democracy and in the NPP’s major role in that national project.
He was speaking at a thanks-giving ceremony at the Ridge Church on Saturday – a week after he swept to a massive victory in the elections.
Below is the full speech read by Nana Addo at the event.
NANA AKUFO-ADDO’S SPEECH
AT THE THANKSGIVING SERVICE FOR THE NPP
THE RIDGE CHURCH,
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14, 2010
Let us give thanks to Almighty God for His dominion over last Saturday’s historic presidential primary of the New Patriotic Party. Praise and Glory be to His Name for the peace and solidarity that prevailed. Amen.
I have been humbled by the fact that I received from our party the greatest endorsement ever of any leader of our political tradition. The Hand of God was clearly upon that outcome. And, I draw further inspiration from the words of Micah 6:8 for He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? That you should act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
We are here today to pray also for God’s guidance in our party’s quest for power in 2012to lead this nation again and serve well, in all humility and with confidence, the people of Ghana.
On Saturday, at Efua Sutherland Park, I thanked all 107,000 delegates and executives of the party, who, under the able chairmanship of Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, participated and voted in the event. I extended equally my gratitude to the many Ghanaians who encouraged and supported my candidature and the powerful prayer warriors who prayed for my victory and the overall success of the election. In the end, God listened to both prayers. To His Mighty Name be the Glory. Amen.
The outcome of the presidential primary of August 7 was another monumental testament, that — without hopefully being too presumptuous — God has a special interest in the protection and promotion of Ghana’s multi-party democracy and in the NPP’s major role in that national project.
The sincere efforts by everybody involved, from candidates to their supporters, to use the success of Saturday to foster unity within the NPP offer us ample evidence of the significant benefits that can be derived from a peaceful, free, fair and transparent election process.
Permit me, Reverend Fathers, to pledge in this Holy House of the Lord that for the December 2012 general election the behaviour and attitude of the NPP will be proactive to ensure that the integrity of Ghana’s electoral process is enhanced for the sake of our democracy and the peace of our nation.We must all play an active role to renew trust in our democracy. An election, marred by violence, intimidation and widespread irregularities, will not promote the nation’s peace and unity nor its democracy. It will only generate tension and unrest. Our beloved Ghana must be spared such an outcome.
Besides confidence in the electoral system, the ultimate test for our democracy is winning the enduring war against Africa’s old enemy — mass poverty. I believe we can only win this war by building a New Society of Opportunities. It means intensifying radically our efforts in pursuing the transformation and modernisation of our national economy, so that it could create jobs and prosperity for the broad mass of our people on the basis of social justice, the rule of law, respect for human rights, the principles of democratic accountability, and individual liberty and enterprise. This is the new paradigm of human development to which our generation is summoned.
This New Society of Opportunities is what can realise the dream of the founding fathers that all Ghanaians shall have a right and duty to engage in, contribute to and profit from the country’s economic growth and wealth. We in the NPP believe that every individual is endowed with God-given talents. Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Hence, we see it as the fundamental duty of government to create an environment that allows the individual to use that talent positively for the benefit of him- or herself, his or her family and society, at large. A critical element of that environment is the systematic encouragement by government of the culture and spirit of enterprise in all its citizens.
It is my most respectful submission that the philosophy and programmes of the NPP are premised on God’s desire for humankind – happiness. Indeed, the true goal of human life is exactly what the Almighty wants for us all — happiness, dignity, peace, enlightenment and reconciliation with our fellow human beings.
In our view, Government has a responsibility to ensure that all its citizens have the relevant skills and opportunities to create their own individual wealth. A new society of opportunities, as we envisage, means establishing a system of governance that provides the very best of public services for every citizen, including an effective, humane public healthcare system, access to a secure and reliable justice system and unfettered access by all and sundry to a quality education in Ghana that rivals any in the world. It means also a governance system that helps unleash the energies of its citizens so that enterprise is appreciated and duly rewarded, not vilified and made the object of envy.
Thus, our goal of building a property-owning democracy in a free, independent Ghana has never meant, does not mean, and will not mean, luxury for the elite at the expense of the majority. Rather we mean to extend the benefit of property ownership to each and every citizen to enhance their dignity and welfare. Our mission is, therefore, to create a New Society of Opportunities for all, for, without everybody on board, our democratic ship risks sinking under its own domestic weight.
On that fateful Saturday of 4th August 1947, when the founders of Ghanaian nationalism met at Saltpond to initiate the process for national independence and freedom by the establishment of the UGCC of blessed memory, Danquah, its moving spirit, spelt out clearly its goals:a Ghana free from foreign control, and a Ghana that nurtures and respects the freedoms of its citizens, in his words, our “ancient liberties”.
In other words, not a society where freedom of religion is absent, freedom of speech is suppressed, the media is distorted with propaganda and; citizens go to jail for expressing honest opinions. Not a society where the safeguards of trial — the rule of law — are set aside. Not a society where individual property rights are disregarded by the state because the citizen has no assured rights. Their dream was for free men and women, boys and girls, living ever-enhancing lives under orderly liberty as the masters of the state, rather than slaves of despotism.
To achieve liberty you must possess a constant will to work, sacrifice and risk for it. We have democracy now because other patriots of our and earlier generations willed it, fought for it and risked their lives for it. They had a mind and a heart attuned to sacrifice. We must aspire to a higher degree of nationhood with virtues of excellence, sacrifice and dedication to country. It was the belief of the founders that Ghanaians and Africans could build a great civilisation like any peoples of the world.
It is through the creative and productive impulses of free men and women that we can grow our economy, create jobs and thereby abolish mass poverty. Paradise can never be attained through force or coercion.
We are determined to build here in Ghana a brighter future in a New Society of Opportunities — so that the mass of our people will be wellschooled; well skilled; well employed; well clothed; well fed; and well housed.
As Christians, we say, as in Leviticus 25:10, “Ye shall…proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof”. You cannot be free when you remain poor. However, there are no shortcuts to that brighter future of true freedom. Only hard work, creativity and a sense of enterprise can produce the accelerated economic development that will significantly enhance the living standards of all the Ghanaian people.
God, indeed, helps not only those who help themselves but those who cannot help themselves, as well. As we are told in Proverbs 14:31, “He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker. But, he who honours Him has mercy on the needy.”Yet, God’s help is more likely to be more effective if we try earnestly to do our part to help ourselves. The doctor cannot cure you for long if you are busily making yourself sick all the time. What use is the builder putting up a house for us today, if we tear it down tomorrow? And what use is God’s forgiveness if we won’t forgive ourselves? Ghana needs a leadership that is sincere and dedicated to helping the people help themselves, and making reconciliation among the people not a slogan, but a reality.
I, personally, draw inspiration from the words of Philippians 4:13, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And, furthermore, the Bible tells us, “I shall in all the ways acknowledge Him and He will direct my paths.”
Let me thank the Almighty for giving me a second chance to aspire to be able to serve the Ghanaian nation at its highest office. I trust that the Almighty will give me the necessary strength, compassion, humility and wisdom to lead our great party not only to victory in 2012, but also to be a good and effective President in whose time significant growth and prosperity of the Ghanaian nation will occur.
I will plead with all my party members and sympathisers, let us stay together, dream together, think together, pray together, work together to succeed together, so that we can all celebrate together and give God the glory.
Finally, my compatriots, “Whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise worthy – meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
God bless you
God bless his Church
God bless the NPP
God bless Ghana.