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06.11.2008 US & Canada

Obama Weeps

By Daily Guide
Obama Weeps

The 47-year-old son of a Kenyan immigrant could not hold back the tears of joy as the mantle of leadership of the world's greatest superpower fell on him early yesterday local time.

Senator Barack Husein Obama's triumph over Arizona Senator John McCain, with whom he has been engaged in an electoral war of words across America, was savoured by Americans and the rest of the world including Africans.

In Kenya where his father hailed from, a national holiday has been declared in commemoration of the triumph by a man they consider as their own.

As early as 5am yesterday, most Ghanaians, who had shown interest in the America polls and followed it to its end, had started calling each other to share in the joy of Senator Barrack Obama.

Mobile phones were busy with assortment of tones as friends called each other. There were but a few bets if any at all on the outcome of the polls because most Ghanaians were on the side of the late Kenyan man's son.

When news about the final outcome of the polls emanated from Virginia and resonated around the world in a twinkle of an eye at about 4.15am, Senator McCain the flagbearer of the Republican Party conceded defeat.

His speech was iced with humility and a heavy dose of reconciliation, by and large, unknown in our part of the world.

Within a quarter of an hour of the McCain concession of defeat speech came the post-victory speech of his Democratic Party counterpart.

Ghanaians, thanks to technology, listened live to the speech as did Americans thousands of kilometers away from their shores.

As early as 7.30am on Wednesday some streets of Accra were bedecked with Obama paraphernalia like pens with the president-elect's effigy and other items.

For those who had not heard the news because they had turned early the previous night, they were overheard asking their friends for the outcome.

While some exclaimed at the victory others merely remarked “Obama”.

A few hours after the Obama victory had found space among the catalogue of developments in the news rooms of the media houses came congratulatory messages from the major political parties- National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP).

With a touch of cynicism, the NDC flagbearer, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, greeted Obama for his victory stating that the victory was a testimony that no force can change the march of history.

Continuing, he said Obama has proved cynics wrong adding that it is heartening to note that in the US the wind of change could not be stopped.

For him what has transpired in the US will be replicated in Ghana when his party triumphs over the NPP on December 7.

He expressed the wish that his party, which he describes as Social Democrats will work together with their American counterparts, Democrats.

On their part, the ruling NPP while congratulating the President-elect through their General Secretary Nana Ohene Ntow stated that the development showed that people vote on positive issues and not necessarily on personalities and negative things such as ethnicity or colour.

Obama launched his campaign in Illinois, Chicago in February 2007, promising to effect change in America if voted into power.

President-elect received the largest popular votes in the history of the US by garnering 51.9 percent. His Republican Party counterpart attracted 46.8 percent.

While mostly youthful Ghanaians relished the triumph the more mature persons worried about how Ghana's elections would go on December 7, many wished their country would be blessed with uneventful polls.

By A.R. Gomda