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Ghana leaders “must overcome divisions”: CEN 1.16.09 p 7. January 16, 2009

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of the Province of West Africa, Politics.
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John Atta Mills

John Atta Mills

The Church of the Province of West Africa has called upon Ghana’s political leaders to put their political passions to one side and work together to ensure the peace and economic stability of the nation.

In a statement released on Jan 8 by the Primate of West Africa, Archbishop Justice Akrofi of Accra, the Anglican Church said “Let us continue to pray that each and all, especially the leadership, would be imbued with such right vision, sense of purpose and mission as will secure our peace, security and unity – no violence, no chaos, no bitterness.”

On Sunday Dec 7 Ghana went to the polls to elect a new parliament and president. Interest in the election was high as the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches in Ghana moved Sunday services back to Saturday evening or to early Sunday morning to give all eligible voters a chance to cast their ballot. No candidate received an outright majority in the first round, and a runoff was held on Dec 28 between former vice-president John Atta Mills (pictured) of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and former foreign minister and attorney general Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic party (NP).

Mills was certified as the winner on Jan 3 receiving 4,521,032 votes, (50.23%) to Akufo-Addo’s 4,480,446 votes (49.77%)

The Ghana elections were closely watched by democracy activists and church leaders, in the hope that a peaceful transition of power in the West African nation would remove the taint of the failed elections last year in Kenya and Zimbabwe and the military coups in Mauritania and Guinea, and serve as a model for political development for the rest of the continent.

In a message released following President Mills inauguration, Archbishop Akrofi said the results showed that although Ghana was politically divided, its political leaders should work towards building the common good of the whole nation. Political leaders should set an example and help Ghana “tame our tongues,” halting the political rhetoric that had led to minor outbursts of violence in the run up to the election.

“All must cultivate humility,” Archbishop Akrofi said.

“Humility does not mean lying down to be walked all over. It is the disposition that refuses to think more highly of oneself than one ought to; it means the generosity to make excuses for all others than for oneself.”

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