Buhari, US congratulate Ghana’s Akufo-Ado, America commend Mahama for conceding defeat

Buhari, US congratulate Ghana’s Akufo-Ado, America commend Mahama for conceding defeat

nana-akufo-adoPresident Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Nana Akufo-Addo, on his historic win of the December 7 Ghana presidential election. Mr Addo, 72,  had campaigned to be president of the country twice before.

President Buhari also praised the Government and people of Ghana, the National Electoral Commission, and candidates of political parties, for the decorum, maturity and peaceful conduct of the election that produced a winner from an opposition party, who was contesting for the third time.

President Buhari, who also won Nigeria’s presidency after the fourth  attempt,   said he hoped  that Akufo-Addo, being widely experienced and skilled in leadership, having been foreign minister and being a scion of one of Ghana’s biggest political families,  would  build on the legacies of President John Dramani Mahama.

The Nigerian leader extolled the statesmanship and great leadership qualities of Mahama, who came into power at a trying period for the country with the passing away of former President John Atta-Mills, and kept pushing for a better life for all Ghanaians, and strengthening diplomatic relations with countries in the sub-region, especially Nigeria.

He particularly commended Mahama for the great courage to call his opponent and concede defeat, stressing that leaders must always honour their pre-election pledge to accept the results of polls as the will of the people.

President Buhari said he remains  optimistic that the future of African development rests on building strong political, democratic institutions, ensuring free, fair and credible elections, and respect for the sanctity of the ballot. He urged  Akufo-Addo  and other winners of the parliamentary elections in Ghana to be magnanimous in victory while losers should explore peaceful and legal mechanisms to challenge the outcome of the polls where necessary.

Meantime, the US also congratulated Ghana and President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo on the successful Dec. 7 polls. Mr. Mark Toner , the Deputy Spokesperson of U.S. Department of State, said in a statement on Friday that the outcome of the election was a proof of Ghana’s vibrant democracy.

“The U.S. has congratulated the people of Ghana on the successful conclusion of the December 7 general election.

“We also congratulate President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo. The peaceful and inclusive nature of the election is a testament to Ghana’s citizens and its vibrant democracy,” he said.

The U.S. also commended Ghana’s President, John Mahama, for demonstrating sportsmanship and statesmanship by respecting the outcome of the election, and the country’s electoral commission..

“We commend President Mahama for respecting the results announced by the Electoral Commission, calling on his supporters to do the same.

“We also commend him for demonstrating the leadership and commitment to democracy for which Ghana is known throughout the world.

“We commend Ghana’s Electoral Commission for administering a credible election process.”

He said the U.S. has also recognised the civil society organisations that contributed to a peaceful, transparent, and fair election.

Toner said the Secretary of State, John Kerry, in a phone calls with Mahama and Akufo-Addo, said the U.S. and Ghana had a close and enduring friendship rooted in our mutual commitment to freedom and democratic values.

“We look forward to working with President-elect Akufo-Addo and his administration on economic growth, health, governance and security in Ghana and throughout West Africa.

“Ghana has a long tradition of peaceful democratic elections and we congratulate the country on its sustained commitment to democracy.”