"No spin on my apology" President tells politicians
President John Agyekum Kufuor has prayed for officials of the electoral Commission (EC) to feel the presence of the Lord in their work and ensure the results of the December 28 presidential run-off “are clean, pure and acceptable as the decision of Ghanaians”
He asked officials involved in the exercise not to do anything to discredit the fairness of the results in the run-off
Speaking at a non-denominational thanksgiving service at the Independence Square in Accra on Saturday, President Kufuor repeated his appeal to those he might have wronged during his eight-year administration to forgive him, as he could not have ruled successfully for eight years without stepping on toes.
He said it was, however, unfortunate for sections of society to be politicising the apology, affirming that this amply demonstrated his humility.
Organised by Aglow International, the service was to thank God for ensuring peace in the country before, during and after the December 7 election and also to pray for peace to reign during and after the December 28, 2008 presidential run-off between Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and Professor John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
It was on the theme: "Celebrating the Goodness of God 2008" and was attended by about 1,500 women drawn from the 1O regions of the country.
Many of them were dressed in the Ghana @ 50 cloths with necklaces and chains to match.
Present were Mrs Ama Busia, a Member of the Council of State; Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, wife of the NPP's flag bearer; Rev. Yaw Owusu-Ansah, Accra West Regional Overseer of the Resurrection Power and Living Bread Ministries, Ransford Tetteh, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), women lawyers, diplomats, business executives and wives of current and former Ministers of State. They waved the national flag and their white handkerchiefs to signify peace, unity and victory for the country.
"During my almost eight years of presidency of Ghana with a population of more than 20 million, I might have offended a section of society or I did not pay adequate attention to the needs of some areas and to all such people Kufuor says again that please forgive me", he said to loud applause from the gathering.
He explained that no Head of State can please everybody, adding that "I am not ashamed to say that by the nature of my work, it will not be possible to pay attention to the concerns of all. Certainly, some will be let down".
President Kufuor urged members of Aglow not to relent in their prayers but to pray for the election of a leader on December 28 who will continue his good work.
"The next date of decision is December 28 and God willing, if Ghana decides well, we shall converge on the Independence Square of the Golden Jubilee House for Kufuor to hand over functions of the state peacefully to the next President", he said.
President Kufuor used the opportunity to wish all Ghanaians a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
He said Ghana had made tremendous progress under his presidency and expressed optimism that under the next President, the development process would zoom or move forward at a faster rate.
President Kufuor said the December 7, 2008 proved to be peaceful, despite hints of violence and prayed for the December 28, 2008 presidential run-off to be more peaceful.
He said he expected "not just fairness, but justice to all in the presidential run-off, and cautioned EC officials against hanky-panky dealing.
President Kufuor said the country was at a crossroads as it was preparing for the presidential run-off to get his successor. He prayed to God to look into the hearts of the two presidential candidates "to give us the person to do the work for us".
He said having served as President for almost eight years, he had realised that the work of a President was not one man's job and that it was teamwork, saying that “the beauty and size of a building is in the facilities" .
He, therefore, asked the electorate to look at the hearts and companions of the presidential candidates to see whether they were capable of contributing to the forward movement of the nation.
President Kufuor defended his eight year record, saying that "Kufuor has not abused the trust of the nation and on the balance, I have performed creditably. Everybody who will be objective Will know that this President has served the country very well," he stressed.
President Kufuor said during his reign, Ghana's name stood tall on the African continent and in the comity of nations.
The National President of Aglow International, Madam Dorothy Danso, in a speech read on her behalf, prayed for peace to reign in the country during and after the December 28 presidential run-off.
She reminded the people that there would be challenges in the coming year, but asked them not to be discouraged.
She said after the Golden Jubilee celebration, Ghana was ushered into a period of rest, and said next year would be a period of rest.
The National Prayer Director of Aglow International, Mrs Gifty Affenyi-Dadzie, who led the prayers, said God had blessed the country with peace during the December 7, 2008 election, and had also saved the country from any conflict or instability.
She commended the security agencies, the media, EC officials and political leaders for conducting themselves well during the period. She also prayed to God to once again guide them during the presidential run-off.
Rev Owusu-Ansah, prayed to God to let Ghanaians go through the election in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
Representatives of the various regions took turns to thank God for blessing the nation with food, peace and tranquility throughout the year and asked for more in the coming years.