Just days ago, Daniel Kwaku Botwe and the 17 other aspirants congratulated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on becoming NPP�s flagbearer for the 2008 presidential election; they all in a show of unity promised him their full unflinching support. They all offered to start immediately to heal the divisions of the campaign and the contest through which we just passed.
Almost a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, "Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I'm with you, Mr. President, and God bless you."
Well, in that same spirit, The General says to Nana that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this party and country.
Certainly, the NPP anticipates a long and difficult road towards election 2008. I strongly believe The General is grateful to all those who supported him and supported the cause for which he fought. I feel a deep gratitude to all those numerous individuals who brought passion and high purpose to the Generals partnership and opened new doors, not just for the campaign but for our country. Thanks to the absolutely unbelievable, dedicated staff, led by a wonderful campaign manager, who did an extraordinary job. There's so much written about campaigns and there's so much that Ghanaians never get to see. I wish we could all spend a day on a campaign and see how hard these folks work to make Ghana better. It is its own unbelievable contribution to our democracy, and it's a gift to everybody.
This has been an extraordinary congress. But in one of God's unforeseen paths, the results can point us all to a new common ground, for its closeness and concession can serve to remind us that we are one people with a shared history and a shared destiny.
Indeed, that history gives us many examples of contests as hotly debated, as fiercely fought, with their own challenges to the popular will.
Many of the supporters of The General are disappointed. But our disappointment must be overcome by our love of party and country. And I say to fellow members of the Ghanaian community, let no one see this congress as a sign of NPPs weakness. The strength of NPPs democracy is shown most clearly through the difficulties it can overcome.
Some have expressed concern that the unusual nature of the high number of aspirants might hamper the process of electing a flagbearer. I do not believe that. Rather, NPP has had the opportunity as the General said in his concession speech to send 17 well-versed aspirants into every corner of the nation to spread the good works of the NPP.
Presidential-candidate elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo inherits a party whose citizens will be ready to assist him in the conduct of his large responsibilities to the party and nation. We, all the supporters of The General will be at his disposal, and I call on all Ghanaians -- particularly urge all INDEPENDENTS and NDC/CPP supporters who stood with us to unite behind our next president. This is Ghana. Just as we fight hard when the stakes are high, we close ranks and come together when the contest is done.
And while there will be time enough to debate our continuing differences, now is the time to recognize that that which unites us is greater than that which divides us. Now the internal political struggle is over and we turn again to the unending struggle for the common good of all Ghanaians and for those multitudes around the world who look to us for leadership in the cause of freedom and justice. Together we will campaign positively to ensure that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is elected the next president of Ghana, come 2008. We've seen Ghana in this campaign and we like what we saw. It's worth fighting for and that's a fight we'll never stop. We will also do everything in our power to ensure that our party, a proud democratic party, stands true to our best hopes and ideals. We believe that what we started in this campaign will not end here, and we know.
Our fight goes on to put Ghana back to work and to make our economy a great engine of job growth.
Our fight goes on to make affordable health care an accessible right for all Ghanaians, not a privilege.
Our fight goes on to protect the environment, to achieve equality, to push the frontiers of science and discovery, and to restore Ghana's reputation in the world.
We believe that all of this will happen, and sooner than we may think because we're Ghana and Ghana MUST always move forward.