Making the call during a courtesy call on him by a delegation from the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) in Accra yesterday, President Mahama said as a committed Christian, he believed that the voice of God was the voice of the people.
Members of the GCBC, led by its President, the Most Reverend Philip Naameh, were at the Flagstaff House to commend President Mahama for demonstrating statesmanship by calling Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to concede defeat in the December 7 general election.
President Mahama, who was the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the December 7 general election, lost to Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Nana Akufo-Addo secured 5,716,609 votes, representing 53.84 per cent, to snatch the Presidency from President Mahama, who secured 4,713,277 votes, representing 44.40 per cent.
“God speaks to us through the people and I have accepted and respected the verdict of the people. l am at peace with myself and I think that Ghana our nation is bigger than any personality. Leaders will come and go, but our nation will continue to survive.
“I, therefore, ask all of us to give our utmost support to the new government in order that it succeeds, because its success will bring prosperity to all Ghanaians, notwithstanding our ethnic or political affiliations,” the President said.
He asked the GCBC to extend the same support that they had given him during his tenure to the incoming President.
He again requested the church to continue with its intercessory prayers for Ghana because prayers to the Almighty God were what had made Ghana uniquely stable and one of the most democratic countries in the whole world.
President Mahama said the country’s recent elections had further consolidated its reputation as a stable democracy, saying: “I dare say that Ghana will continue to be respected for what we have carried out so successfully in this country.”
Unfortunately, he said, Ghana’s democratic consolidation was not being experienced in some African countries.
Therefore, he said, “we can take courage from that and work together as one people to build our nation into one that gives the life of decency to all our people”.
The President expressed happiness that he had inherited a stable and peaceful nation from his predecessor and was also handing over a stable and peaceful nation to his successor.
President Mahama said he was looking forward to the inauguration of the new President and indicated that the transition had gone smoothly so far.
“We are engaging each other in utmost good faith,” he said.
The President said as the country’s democracy was evolving, there were some constitutional issues as to whether the President still remained the President if he lost an election.
“I think that convention or legality will answer those questions. But whatever we agree to do, we set the pace for the future and so we will continue to work in the greater interest of Ghana,” he said.
President Mahama thanked God and the people of Ghana for the opportunity given him to serve as President of Ghana.
He thanked the members of the GCBC for coming to interact with him and for their cooperation during his tenure as President.
He promised that in whatever role he found himself, he would continue to play his part to ensure that not only the country, but the sub-region and the continent, continued to progress and improve the lives of the people.
“And I am sure that I will continue to interact with you when I leave office. I believe that together we can work to bring prosperity to our people. I believe that if we believe in ourselves and continue to work as one people, we should be able to achieve that additional blessing of God.
“We should all continue to pray to God to bless our country and bless the government and our people and continue to work together to ensure that our country continues to be a beacon of democracy and economic prosperity,” he said.
GCBC on President
The Most Rev. Naameh, who is also the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tamale, said soon after the elections, the conference sent the President a letter commending him for the very high demonstration of statesmanship towards the peaceful conduct of the December 7 general election.
He said the visit was a follow-up to personally reinforce the commendation and wish President Mahama well in his life after he had handed over power on January 7, 2017.
“We want to further state that Ghana will always remember you with admiration for the contribution and the tremendous infrastructure development that you have contributed during your tenure.
“Your friendly disposition towards all and your calmness, even in taking criticisms which were not justified, had given us great courage and also admiration,” he said.
The Most Rev. Naameh said members of the GCBC were also around to pray for him and all those who assisted him, so that God would continue to bless him in his life after leaving office.