Address To The Nation By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, On Sunday, 6th December 2020, At 8 pm.
Fellow Ghanaians, good evening, and, once again, thank you for having me in your homes.
Tomorrow, from 7 am to 5 pm, we go to the polls to elect a President and two hundred and seventy-five (275) Members of Parliament, whom we shall entrust with managing our affairs for the next four years. This will be the eighth time we shall be going through this important activity in the Fourth Republic and we can safely say that each one has been an improvement on the previous one.
We have had five (5) Presidents in the history of this 4th Republic, with peaceful transfers of power from a governing to an opposition party on three separate occasions. Redress at the Supreme Court was sought, rather than recourse to street protests and agitations, when there was a dispute over the outcome of an election. Tomorrow, we have yet another opportunity to deepen further these excellent credentials.
I am fortified in my belief that we will, if, indeed, the successful holding of last Tuesday’s Special Voting exercise is the measure. The Electoral Commission has already assured the country of its readiness to deliver another successful process, and it has, to that end, compiled the most credible voters’ register in our history. So, it is in our collective interest to help ensure that tomorrow passes off in an orderly, peaceful, and transparent manner. At the end of the day, there should be no lingering question about the legitimacy of the election, and the winning candidate, at the end of the process, should receive the unalloyed support of all. That is how we can strengthen our democracy and the peace and stability of our nation.
Particularly, in the wake of the pandemic, let us all adhere strictly to the COVID-19 protocols put in place at all the thirty-eighty thousand, six hundred and twenty-two (38,622) polling stations, so we can cast our ballots in safety. We should, therefore, not panic or be afraid. Many countries around the world have conducted elections within this period, and I have no doubt that Ghana will join those nations in organizing a successful general election, even in the midst of the virus.
We should all remember the words of an ancient philosopher, who said, and I quote “the punishment suffered by the wise who refuse to take part in the government, is to live under the government of worse men”. Using your God-given and constitutional rights costs nothing, but staying home can come at a very steep price. So, I entreat all eligible voters to turn out in your numbers, cast your vote, and, thereby, exercise your sovereign right to the making of government in the country.
As President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, it is my responsibility to guarantee the peace of the nation. It is, thus, crucial that tomorrow’s vote be conducted in an atmosphere of peace and security, devoid of intimidation and violence. The Ghanaian people are entitled to go about the exercise of their civic duties in peace and in freedom.
The security services have assured me that they have made adequate preparations to protect the sanctity of the process. They have assured me of their determination to carry out their duties without fear or favour. Improper behaviour by any citizen, no matter their political colour, will not be tolerated, and I am encouraged by the assurance by the Inspector General of Police, as well as by the heads of the other security services, that they will be even-handed in their response to issues. That is the only way the rule of law can be upheld.
In view of the happenings on the continent, and, indeed in West Africa, the entire world is looking up to us to maintain our status as a beacon of democracy, peace and stability. In this 4th Republic, we have had the longest, uninterrupted period of stable, constitutional governance in our history, banishing the spectre of instability that disfigured the early years of our nation’s existence, and the benefits are showing. Together, let us continue to lay the platform for the evolution of a new Ghanaian civilisation, which will give true meaning to the foundational values of freedom and justice on which our nation was conceived by its far-sighted, visionary founders.
Fellow Ghanaians, we can do it. So, let us be up and doing, for our destiny beckons.
May God bless us all, and our homeland Ghana, and make her great and strong.
I thank you for your attention, have a good evening, and vote safely.