As a former student leader at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, I was extremely delighted by the news that the National Union of Ghana Students has decided to award the highest award of students to none other than the 2012 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party.
From international world organisations like the United Nations, the European Union; to the clergy, political parties across the country, Nana Akufo-Addo’s singular and swift action in not seeking a review of the judgement and preserving the peace of the nation has been acknowledged by all and sundry.
Even his political opponents who described him in all manner of ways have today eaten humble pie and are now calling him a “True Statesman”. Thus the decision to award Nana Akufo-Addo, the highest award of students of Ghana in the 47-year history of NUGS is welcoming and in the right direction.
The statement by the NUGS, indeed, did indicate that the petition filed by Nana Akufo-Addo & Co. exposed enormously the inequities in the electoral process which might have affected the individual and collective will of the Ghanaian people at the polls.
However, the so-called majority of the Supreme Court Justices, in their own wisdom, decided that the 2012 Election was sacrosanct and saw nothing wrong with it, despite the evidence adduced in court and seen by the majority of Ghanaians who watched the hearings live on TV.
But like the true statesman that he has always been, Nana Akufo-Addo bowed out graciously and decided not to seek a review. I, however, believe that the accolade of him being a “True Statesman” has been too long in coming.
At age 33, Nana Akufo-Addo became the General Secretary of the broad-based People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), which was composed of political stalwarts such as Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa, William Ofori-Atta, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah, Adu Boahen, Sam Okudzeto, Obed Asamoah, Godfrey Agama, K.S.P. Jantuah, Jones Ofori-Atta, Johnny Hanson and Nii Amaah Amartefio (Mr. No). This group led the “NO” campaign in the UNIGOV referendum of 1978, ultimately bringing about the downfall of the Acheampong military government on 5th July, 1978, and the restoration of multi-party democratic rule to the country in 1979. Nana had to go briefly into exile after the referendum, when his life was in danger. But, from Europe, he could be heard constantly on BBC World Service, fighting against the military rulers back in Ghana and calling for a return to democracy.
In 1995, Nana led the famous “Kume Preko” demonstrations of the Alliance For Change (AFC), a broad-based political pressure group, which mobilised more than a million people onto the streets of Ghana to protest the harsh political and economic conditions of the Rawlings era. It is well established that those demonstrations helped create the environment for the victory of the NPP in the 2000 elections.
His selflessness in always looking out for the best interests of Ghanaians for well over 35 years is unmatched in this country and I certainly believe that “there is more for him to contribute to the Ghanaian people and the coming years offer enough avenue for him to contribute his quota in the development and governance of Ghana.’’
I urge all well-meaning Ghanaians to join the National Union of Ghana Students on the October 11 at Erata Hotel in Accra to confer on Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the highest award of the students of Ghana in its 47-year history.
Aspiring NPP Youth Organiser