Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: Ghana's President Mahama Pledges to Make Country the Best

Accra — PRESIDENT John Dramani Mahama was, Monday, sworn in for another four year tenure at the Black Star square with a promise to Ghanaians that the promises he made of better education, employment creation and good health services would be kept in the interest of the Ghanaian people irrespective of their political, ethnic or religious affiliations.

The inauguration which was witnessed by twelve African heads of state including President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, Jacob Zuma of South Africa and a host of others came against the background of a boycott by the New Patriotic Party in protest against what it said was the fraud that characterised the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

But the Ghanaian president who apparently was conscious of the anger of the opposition delivered a speech that was widely seen as conciliatory as he called on the opposition to see his victory from the 'limitlessness of the potentials of Ghana and not from powerlessness of their defeat'. His acceptance speech was read from an Ipad.

Challenge by the NDC

President Mahama came to power following the sudden death of the former president, John Attah Mills, last year and contested in December in a poll that he was strongly challenged by the New Democratic Congress of former President John Kuffuor.

In a speech that was intermittently punctuated with applause from the capacity crowd, Mahama said the success or failure of Ghana's future does not lie in the government alone but in the hands of all Ghanaians no matter their position and status in the society.

He said: 'In the last fifty five years, Ghana has made tremendous progress but also there is no denying the fact that Ghana is still a young country and every young country goes through its share of instability and difficulties as it struggles to find direction towards prominence. Over the course of the last four years, a tremendous amount of work has been done and there is still a tremendous amount of work still to be done. More jobs must be created, more roads must be built. Bridges, schools and hospitals must be built. Infrastructures that have been established must be strengthened.

State of the art equipment

"Equipment must not be the only that is the state of the art in our institutions. Systems, procedures and staff must be brought up to standard. Best practices must be implemented. We need to look beyond temporary fixes to find lasting solutions for the complications we have experienced with power, water and sanitation. We must continue to invest in our agriculture sector and grow our economy so that it lifts the bulk off our most crippling financial burdens especially among the poorest of our population.

"A country's most valuable resource is its human resource and that is why it is imperative that our citizens have access to good health care. These issues and concerns are all works in progress. They are realistic goals that have been set and that are within our capabilities to be met sand in a timely fashion. I have just taken an oath that as the president of this nation, I will work hard to place us in the right path and I will lead us over the hurdles and pass the obstacles that might threaten to keep us from meeting our goals. The promises that I have made are promises that I intend to keep."

In a apparent reference to Ghana's new status as an oil producing country, the president said he would ensure that the challenge that comes with such status does not affect Ghana negatively as witnessed in other countries of the world.

He said: "Ghana is on the course of enormous transformation. We are moving forward at a rapid pace. New resources are at our disposal, new alliances are being formed. These new opportunities could result in self sufficiency that was always imagined and desired but was never a realistic occurrence in our foreseeable future not in the way it is right now.

"It is true that other countries have made adversities while trying to make the most of such prospects as we have before us but those countries are not Ghana. They do not have the benefit of our history or the examples of our heroes. We have been the best before, we have been a success story, we have blazed the trail before for others to follow and we can do so once again. I believe that with God and in Ghana, all things are possible."

He promised to provide an enabling environment for Ghana's business community to enable them prosper for the benefit of the people of the country.

Speaking on behalf of other visiting African leaders, the chairman of African Union and president of Benin Republic, Yaya Boni extolled Ghana's democratic virtues and promised that other African countries would work hard to support and emulate the shining examples of Ghana.

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