Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Good-Bye to the 'Gentle Giant' and Hello to 'The Prof.'

Tomorrow, Ghana marks a special occasion. We say good-bye to President John Agyekum Kufuor of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and hello to President John Evans Atta-Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The world is watching and Ghana has supposedly demonstrated for the whole of Africa how an incumbent government can give way to an opposition party peacefully. Of course the most interesting fact for me is that this is the 3rd successive president with the name "John".

I will miss President Kufuor for the dignity and humility he gave to the Ghanaian presidency over the past 8 years. I had the honour of meeting him twice . Once as "Candidate Kufuor" in 2000 and the second time as "President Kufuor " in 2006. I was struck by the fact that despite the obvious changes to his circumstances his warm demeanour remained the same. Time will indeed judge JA Kufuor's legacy so there is no need for me to catalogue the Kufuor administration's credits or mis-steps.

With a winning margin of 0.46% (or is that 0.23%?), we welcome Professor John Evans Atta-Mills as President of the Republic of Ghana. Unfortunately, I will miss seeing the ceremony on television but hopefully a lot of Ghanaian rather than party flags will be waved. Our country is in dire need of unity. Best of luck to President Atta-Mills as he takes up office!

11 comments:

posekyere said...

yea, he really needs the luck.
Hopefully he will come across as a unifying force and not give in to the hotheads on the varanda.

Nana Yaw Asiedu said...

Nice, direct observations. I am as sad to see JAK go and as expectant of (and for) the Mills presidency as you may be. What you said about unity is good and true.

Abena said...

Indeed Posekyere, I'm a little terrified about the hotheads on the veranda!

Abena said...

Nana Yaw, good to see you back! Unity is important but just from the discussion that is taking place in my office as I type, I realise this is quite an up-hill battle at present. This election was way too close and too acrimonious.

Maya said...

Abena, I think I share your experiences, it seems unity is the last thing on many people's minds. (As I write the children next door are screming 'the umbrella has killed the elephant! the umbrella has killed the elephant!).

I guess we can only hope that as the memory of the election fades away, party flags will do the same. If all else fails, I assure you that by the football world cup in South Africa next year, we will definitely come out as one united Ghana!

patrick said...

The hawks in his party will mess him up...Look at what happened to Bush,the hawks got to him and see what turned out,may be wrong..peace y'all...

Abena said...

Maya,
I think you are right; time heals all wounds and there is nothing like a little football to instantly unite any country! In the meantime, we have to contend with the bitterness. Hopefully, when the price of fuel comes crashing down; there will be smiles on all our faces...well, until the economy collapses that is! Look at me being an incessant pessimist again. I really have to try and be more of an optimist. With President Atta-Mills, we will indeed move forward!

Abena said...

Patrick,
You are correct, the hawks within the party may be up for some retribution/ venegeance. Interestingly, this seems to be the universal opinion of a lot of older people (50+ years) that I have talked to. The new catch-phrase I heard today was the "return of the culture of silence".
I personally think that it is up to President Atta-Mills to keep his party hawks in check. At last he gets to prove that he is indeed his "own man".

novisi said...

Abena,
let me rate the pics as follows:

1. Yours...collourful and catchy. beautifully beautiful...

2. Kufuor...suit and presidentially cut! side-attracted gaze!

3. Mills...white & party colloured! smiling at everything and anything!

enjoy!

Abena said...

Thank you Novisi, I do aim to be colourful!
With regards to the picture, I actually struggled to find a picture of President Atta-Mills without the party colours but to no avail. This was actually the nicest I could find.

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