All the eight presidential candidates in tomorrow's general election have extended felicitations to one another and committed themselves to ensuring peaceful elections.
They were of the general view that no matter the outcome of the elections, their paramount interest was for peace to prevail before, during and after the exercise.
The candidates are Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of the Convention People's Party (CPP) and Dr Edward Nasigre Mahama of the People's National Convention (PNC).
The rest are Mr Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi of the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP), Mr T. N. Ward-Brew of the Democratic People's Party (DPP), Mr Kwabena Adjei of the Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) and Mr Kwesi Amoafo-Yeboah, the independent candidate.
Prof. Mills reminded his colleagues that one went into elections to either win or lose and urged them to behave like sportsmen to accept defeat in grace and victory in humility.
“I lost the 2000 and 2004 elections and in both instances I accepted the verdict of the people,” he stated.
He, however, said the 2008 elections were an opportunity for change because Ghanaians were suffering.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, Nana Akufo-Addo said, “I wish all the candidates and the entire nation the best of luck and call on every voter to exercise his or her franchise on Sunday.”
“We, as leaders, should make it clear to our supporters that elections and democracy are not causes for fights and so on Sunday the vote should be peaceful,” he told his colleague candidates.
He said only one person could win after the exercise on Sunday, adding, “Not only should losers congratulate the winner but the winner should also be humble enough to seek from the losers whatever assistance he can tap from them.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said he was confident that the Electoral Commission (EC) would live up to its constitutional responsibility and further expressed confidence that the security agencies would also work to guarantee peace, as well as safeguard the integrity of the elections.
He said that would ensure that the will of the majority of Ghanaians prevailed and could be openly demonstrated.
Dr Nduom thanked God for bringing the CPP this far and promised that the party would bring about a change that Ghanaians could really feel.
He said the CPP had conducted itself in dignity throughout the campaign, saying if elected, he would bring the best of all worlds to enhance Ghana's development.
Thanking both the NDC and the NPP for each rendering eight years of service to the nation, Dr Nduom promised that he was going to form a government of inclusion so that the right calibre of persons would get the right jobs to do.
Dr Mahama of the PNC pledged to stand by the choice of the people, saying, “These elections are about peace and the party that will work for the future of the country and its people.”
He said the elections were about informed choices and called on Ghanaians to vote for the PNC for progress, peace and unity.
“I trust Ghanaians will give me the mandate,” he noted.
For his part, Mr Amoafo-Yeboah said, “We have only one Ghana and this one Ghana is bigger than any political party or candidate.”
He said Sunday's exercise came every four years for “us to choose our leaders who will oversee the development of national policies and programmes that seek to improve the lives of all Ghanaians”.
Therefore, political leaders must make sure that at the end of the exercise there was a Ghana that was intact and peaceful so that the effort of the process would not be in vain, he said.
He expressed the hope that “all of us, as Ghanaians, will think hard as we go through the process and remember that the process is about us and we must live to see its benefits”.
He wished all presidential and parliamentary candidates very well and said “as we all know, there can be only one winner in each of the races, so let us exhibit leadership by accepting defeat if we are not adjudged victorious”.
The presidential candidate of the RPD, Mr Kwabena Adjei, also promised that he would abide by all the electoral rules and accept the outcome of the polls, provided the elections proved to be free, fair and credible.
"Should I lose this election, I will wholeheartedly congratulate the winner and re-strategise to enable me to win the next elections. This is because the future is very bright for my party and at 45 I have more election years before me,” he stated.
Mr Emmanuel Ansah-Antwi of the DFP said a vote for his party would make Ghana the beacon of Africa and usher the country into an era when the poor would be helped to live meaningful lives.
“We need to help the poor in society and a DFP government will embark on a Green Revolution to expand the economy,” he stated.
Mr Ward-Brew of the DPP, for his part, reminded his colleagues that the vanquished was equally important in the scheme of governance, saying without the vanquished we could not have successful elections.
He was hopeful that nothing would be done to exclude the vanquished in the governance of the nation. Story by Kobby Asmah