A non-denominational church service was held at the Accra Sports Stadium yesterday for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to thank God for its victory in the December 7 polls.
A number of Ghanaian gospel musicians took to the stage at the service to give live renditions of their hit tracks to the delight of the congregation.
Some members of the congregation turned up at the event in white apparel to signify the victory of the NPP in the general election, while others were bedecked in the party’s colours and paraphernalia.
Intermittently, they blew vuvuzelas, creating an atmosphere resembling the senior soccer team playing a World Cup final at the stadium.
The service was on the theme: “We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of God we set our banners”.
Let go the past
The President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his message of appreciation, urged Ghanaians to let go the past and chart a new course of national unity, progress and development.
He said the whole world had saluted Ghana for the peaceful and orderly manner in which it went about the polls on December 7, adding that by the successful conduct of the elections, the people of Ghana had shown that they could rise to the occasion with dignity and in an environment of serenity.
He described the decision by President John Mahama to call him to concede defeat as a classic show of statesmanship and contrasted that with the situation in The Gambia where President Yahaya Jammeh had lost the election but had refused to relinquish power, in spite of promptings by international dignitaries to do so.
Nana Akufo-Addo said even though the December polls were generally peaceful, there had been certain altercations and violence and described those actions as unfortunate and in bad taste.
Forgive your offenders
He called on Ghanaians who felt offended by what happened during and in the aftermath of the polls to act with kindness and magnanimity to forgive those who might have offended them.
Recounting his political life, he said the journey to his present status started some four decades ago, saying: “Our stamina has been tested but we kept going because we believed that the battle was the Lord’s.”
The journey, he said, had not been easy, as he and the NPP stumbled along the way and sometimes came close to the proverbial city gates but the gates were shut before their eyes.
“We took inspiration from God’s word in Psalm 27:14, which entreats us to wait on the Lord and take courage,” he said.
He paid glowing tribute to the fallen heroes of the party who had worked tirelessly in the past but were not alive to witness the historic moment in the party’s history.
Nana Akufo-Addo also expressed his profound gratitude to successive generations of the party who stood for freedom and justice and also resisted all attempts to dismember and divide their front.
Lot of work ahead
“We have a lot of work ahead of us. We can only do that with the hard work, support and prayers of all Ghanaians. Let us renew our strength and faith and ready ourselves for the work ahead,” he said.
The Co-ordinating Minister of the Accra Ridge Church, Rev. Canon John Antonio Nelson, who delivered the sermon, said the real change that Ghanaians yearned for could only be attained with a change of attitude from the negative tendencies that had not benefited the people.
He urged Ghanaians to have an attitude of thanksgiving to God for taking the country through the apprehensive moments that characterised the elections and had brought the country this far without any negative incident.