Delivering the Inaugural Africa lecture by the Museum of the Bible in Washington, USA, President Akufo-Addo disclosed that, the critical part of his Christian upbringing drilled into him was that Christianity was a way of life, an everyday experience and meant far more than going to church, which by the way was obligatory in the Ofori-Atta and Akufo-Addo homes.
“My own parents, as you can imagine, were staunch Presbyterians. I was baptised a Presbyterian, and became an Anglican, much to the vehement protests of my parents, as a result of the secondary school I attended in England. Let us say I became enamored with the rituals, daily Matins and Evensong, and the additional Sunday Eucharist, which were constant features of my four-year stay at school in Lancing”, he recalled.
These, according to him have thoughtfully affected his practice as a Lawyer and Politician.
He thus conveyed in his lecture that, “often in law practice, things are not quite as cut and dried as they would seem or as one would wish. There would be times when no amount of experience or intellectual rigour would prepare you for the vicissitudes of the legal playground. On such occasions, it helps to be able to hark back to your faith and maybe the sound of your mother singing that ancient hymn: Who is on the Lord’s side? It helps to be on the Lord’s side, when you purport to seek or arbitrate for justice among humans.”
Citing sections of Sir Walter Beasant’s legal novel, “The Ivory Gate”, in which the author paints a most optimistic view of a lawyer in refreshing contrast to the way lawyers are usually portrayed in other books, he agreed with Sir Beasant’s quote that “the solicitor knows more than a Roman Catholic priest and carries greater responsibilities. It certainly helps to be a Christian and have an anchor that steadies you as you manoeuvre the turbulence of the everyday life that is legal practice.”
On his political trajectory, President Akufo-Addo said, the story of “my struggles to become president of my country are well known. My experiences have been a testimony of God’s love, and a vindication of the words of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, chapter 19 verse 26, which says “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”.
Recounting, he said, “it took three tries between 2008 and 2016 for me to get elected. By which time, the popular catch phrases of “Akufo-Addo cannot be President”, “God does not want Akufo-Addo to be President”, “Akufo-Addo is short, and does not have the stature to be President” had become so prevalent, you had to be firmly rooted in your faith to have had the courage to persist”.
Placing emphasis on his true faith, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that, as a result, “I committed that third election campaign to God, and indicated to the Ghanaian people that “The Battle is the Lord’s”. By God’s grace, I won a famous victory against an incumbent President by a gap of nearly a million votes, the largest margin of victory for two decades. And, by the same Grace, I won re-election in the December 2020 elections, and I am now in my second and last term as President”.