Friday night, at Ofori Panin Fie in Kyebi, the Etwienanahene of Akyem Abuakwa, Barima Kwuku Dua conferred the title AboetrƐwura on Nana Akufo-Addo, the 2012 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party.
Nana Akufo-Addo, a grandson of the Okyeman royal family, had his four decades of selfless service to his nation, Ghana, honoured by his household, in a ceremony which took place in the presence of the Okyenhene, Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin and his elders.
AboterƐwura translates into a "man of exceptional tolerance, perseverance, compassion and patience".
The citation, which summed up the reasons behind the award stated, With patience, tolerance, courage and a pragmatic sense of urgency, you have, for the last four decades, led from the front the processes that have today made Ghana a peaceful, democratic and respectful nation in Africa today. You have contributed more than your quota to making Ghana a role model for the rest of the continent. Still, you continue to contribute. You continue to serve. You continue to lead.
The low key but colourful ceremony was part of the three days of events to mark the first anniversary of Barima Kwaku Dua's enstoolment.
Reading the citation, Mrs Rhoderline Baffour-Gyimah, said, "We honour you, for your selfless sacrifice to humankind. For your courageous patriotism to your country. For your depthless tolerance of all that is done falsely against your person. For your patience. For your sincerity. For your consistency. For your conviction. For your determination to see Ghana becoming a free and prosperous society. For your commitment to building a society of opportunities for every Ghanaian, no matter the circumstances of birth."
She continued, "The freedom that we tend to take for granted today were fought and won by patriots like you, who used the exuberance and courage of their youth to struggle against the dictatorship that we were compelled to endure in apathy and fear. Over the years, you have used your wisdom, knowledge and energy to fight, without the tools of war, but with your courage and conviction as your weapons. You fought for our democracy and development. You did not fight for your family, for your ethnic group or for your region. You fought for all Ghanaians. And you did so because you love Ghana. You have fought all your life for what is good for Ghana. You did so because you believe in Ghana. Nana, this is to say to you that we believe in you. That Ghanaians believe in you."
She continued, When the roll call of the freedom fighters for Ghana are mentioned, Nana, we know yours will be among those at the top. When the roll call of selfless, loyal and trusted Ghanaians are called, Nana, we know your name will be among the top list. You are Ghana's leading living campaigner of free, fair and democratic elections. You are Ghanas living campaigner for opportunities for the ordinary masses. You are the champion of the poor; of the voiceless; of the Defenseless.
The citation which focused on Akufo-Addos patriotic service to Ghana, his fight for the ordinary people and his vision to transform Ghana, also described him as a role model and symbol of hope for the youth of Ghana.
You have reminded us that royalty means loyalty to people and nation. To you, every Ghanaian is an Odehye and must be helped to grow and stand on his or her own two feet. That is the mark of a champion of the masses.
Your character as a servant, a leader, a team player and a compassionate, fair but resolute human being of conviction is a character that is most admired by the youth of today.
Referring to Akufo-Addos concern for the young people and their response, it reads, When the youth of Ghana heard you say that Ghana needed a leader who thought about the next generation and not the next election, in fact, they believed you. Because they know you. They know you better now. Because they know what you have stood for and fought for, and for them to now have the space to dream big.
The citation highlights Akufo-Addos consistency and praised him for standing firm on what he believes in and his dream for Ghana, describing him as the faith carrier of the fulfillment of the dreams of our founding fathers. The dreams that here in Ghana we can build a free, modern and prosperous nation to rival all others. We can do it, because people like you believe it can be done!
It continues, You have been patiently persistent and consistent on the path that you believe Ghana needs to travel. Your message has not shifted with the convenience tide of saying what may win you a particular election. That temptation for saying what is convenient is not you, Nana.
It sums up Akufo-Addos vision: Ever since you expressed a desire to serve Ghana at the very top, you spelt out your vision: access to free quality, education for every child; access to employable skills for every young person, winning the fight against corruption, playing by the rules of the game, and pulling the human and material resources of Ghana together to industrialise and diversify our economy in order to transform Ghana to transform the lives of the citizens of Ghana.
It reminds us, Some doubted you. But you stayed true, despite all the vilifications and insults. Today, your name is mentioned whenever school fees are to be paid. Whenever corruption denies funding to a social intervention. Whenever the cedi struggles against the dollar in an economy that struggles to compete. Whenever these things that pull us down happen, Nana, your vision is remembered.
It concludes with Akufo-Addos statesmanly acceptance of the decision of the Supreme Court of Ghana a year ago, when he lost the petition to challenge the 2012 presidential election results by a close 5:4 decision.
Your act of statesmanship after you lost the controversial 2012 elections was not new to those who knew you and trusted in you.
You showed what a true patriot you are: selfless, loyal, and trustworthy. You accepted the defeat and in a way that brought peace to a nation on the brink of conflict and social strive. Nana, Ghanaians thank you!
It ends, Nana, your patience, your tolerance, your love for nation, your perseverance, your capacity to get up, dust yourself down and move on with a smile, after a fall, and go on believing and still believing and working harder and harder to have that belief fulfilled for this and all that you stand for and live for, we, Etwienananom, hereby, with great pleasure bestow upon you the title: ABOTERƐ-WURA NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO.
Those at the ceremony included Odehye Atta Akyea, MP for Abuakwa South, Odehye Nana Poku, Edward Akufo-Addo, Ken Ofori-Atta, Chairman of Databank, Joe Ofori-Atta, Director, Woolworths Africa, Michael Ofori-Atta, CEO of Buildmart, and Asare Otchere-Darko, CEO, Global Dynamix.
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