Ghana’s new president takes office

Ghana’s new president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took office with a pledge to do all in his power to justify the expectation of his countrymen and accomplish his mandate.

“I am deeply humbled by the exceptional mandate and extraordinary show of confidence that the Ghanaian people have reposed in me and my party, the New Patriotic Party,” he said, at the open air Black Star Square in Accra, adding that he would not let them down.

He said his country no longer had any excuses for being poor and that he would to lead as president to meet their collective expectations.

And as it has become the tradition in Ghana, Parliament moved to the seaside open air Square where President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia were sworn into office by Chief Justice Mrs Justice Georgina Wood at a ceremony also attended by immediate past President John Dramani Mahama, former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor.

Several African heads of state, including African Union chairman Idriss Deby of Chad and chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf were also present.

President Akufo-Addo said former President Mahama would be remembered for his gracefulness and the manner he accepted the 2016 presidential election outcome, adding “(he) has contributed to the democratic consolidation of Ghana.”

He called on Ghanaians to be united and gave the assurance that he would do his best to make “Ghana the place where dreams come true.”

“After 60 years of nationhood we no longer have an excuse to be poor,” he said, pledging that Ghanaians would experience prosperity under his leadership.

President Akufo-Addo also pledged to protect the public purse and insist on the value of money on all projects.

Nana Akufo-Addo won with a 53.8% of the vote.

The Liberian President congratulated Ghanaians for once again showing their support for democracy after a peaceful election and transfer of power from one political party to the other and urged Gambians to follow the example.

She said the situation in Gambia presented a difficult problem and the sub-regional bloc was watching developments closely after President Yahaya Jammeh had petitioned the Supreme Court.

Jammeh first accepted defeat to opposition candidate Adama Barrow but later rejected the results and has said he will not hand over on 19 January.

President Johnson-Sirleaf said Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who also attended the Accra ceremony, was leading ECOWAS’ moves to resolve the challenge adding, “We stand with Gambians.”