Here in this picture is a 20-year-old Rebecca Griffiths-Randolph. Unassuming, coy, and bustling in her post-teenage fickleness. Like many young girls around that age, I’m not sure I knew exactly what my life held for me.
I must have had dreams – or fantasies even, and I did care a lot about this country because I knew people who served her. Like my father, Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph, the first African Commissioner of Income Tax. He was a Judge and later Speaker of Parliament who woke up every morning putting in his bit, hoping that Ghana got better. Did I possibly see myself leading any of these charges? Most likely not.
Yet the last four years have been humbling. I wake up every morning, adjusting to this charge of First lady; partnering a man not only for love but in deep service of our country – the first gentleman. Today, I wonder what the 20-year-old Naa Okaikor understood of marriage and of service to country. Whether she ever imagined that she would become a First Lady. And that the nation’s love would be her love and the nation’s companion would be hers too and moreso, the nation’s worries.
It’s a reality a 69-year old Rebecca Akufo-Addo has had to get used to – that if you marry a man whose heart beats for his nation, yours must beat for it too.
Indeed, many of the things Nana talks about and has achieved these last four years are things he’s talked about ever since I’ve known and been married to him. I feel privileged to see a much closer view of a man who cares more about keeping his promises. As a citizen, I’m confident about the future of this country; that it is led by a President who has shown the clearest vision about Ghana, about the economy, education, agriculture, industrialization and about young people.
And so more than ever, I feel married to politics; the kind that changes the life of a young Thomas Amoaning of Adeiso SHS who although walked 6 kilometres everyday to school never wavered in his ambition to become an Economist.
Today, I feel connected to parts of our country and our stories through the Rebecca Foundation. Ghana may be a land of possibilities but what I have seen from these last four years is that our children can only attain their fullest potential if we have a leader who is obsessed with these possibilities and who would not catch any sleep until young boys can have a country to believe in and young girls can dare to dream; to be Presidents, Business Leaders, Scientists or First-ladies if they choose to.
Fellow Ghanaians, this is why I appeal to you passionately in this election. Whether you are a first-time voter or have voted in previous elections, I humbly implore that you let your voices be heard more than ever. That you put our country first and vote massively for President Akufo-Addo and the NPP to protect our progress and make Ghana a beacon of hope to the world.
Know that leading this great nation comes with its own burdens. There are some days when you have to take decisions that are unpopular and there are days when it would feel like everybody disagrees with your stance. Indeed, there is a part of our country that constantly questions your loyalty to the nation, your commitment to her peace and progress and your faith in Ghana’s institutions and her people. And often than not, you are called to do something about it because when you are President, doing nothing is the hardest job of all.
But we have in my husband, a man whose faith in the goodness of this country is unwavering. He neither quavers in despair nor shirks responsibility even if it feels convenient. In the last four years, you have supported us with your loyalty to the country, your friendship and most importantly your prayers. As I have prayed this morning, as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forever more. I urge you once again to be our voice on the 7th of December and we will be yours for the next four years as we work together to move Ghana towards her manifest destiny.
For the battle is the Lord’s.
Vote 4 more to do more.