Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Saturday conceded victory to President-elect Prof. John Evans Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), saying, "I acknowledge the Electoral Commission's declaration and congratulate Prof. Mills".
He, however, reiterated concerns raised by the NPP on the conduct of the elections particularly in the Volta Region, where it claimed its party agents were barred from parts of that area during the elections because of violence meted to them by NDC supporters, questioning the impression created by the Electoral Commission in announcing the poll's results.
"By stating that there is criminal conduct in some constituencies of the Volta Region and yet announcing the results, the Electoral Commission has given the unfortunate impression that it does not matter how votes are being obtained as long as they are duly recorded", he told reporters in Accra.
"The use of violence for electoral advantage is unacceptable in all circumstances" he said, adding that, the courts would have to resolve the "illegalities".
Whilst appealing to his supporters to show restraint in the face of provocations by NDC supporters, Nana Akufo-Addo urged Prof. Mills to condemn publicly, acts of violence and intimidation by his sympathisers and to take concrete steps to restrain them in order not to undermine the peace and stability of the nation.
He also called on President J.A. Kufuor, the security forces and the law enforcement agencies to ensure the safety and security of the party's supporters, because "I am concerned that if positive steps are not taken to protect and to reassure them, they will be compelled to defend themselves.
"This is a divided country and these times call for leadership, from all of us so that we can both continue to build this country.
"Both Prof. Mills and I have an obligation to foster conciliation and consensus and I pledge to do my part
Our nation is at the crossroads and we must work together, to build it peacefully", he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo urged all members of the party to "remain steadfast, united and ready to confront the new challenges that we face in our efforts to build Ghana as a democracy, where human rights and the rule of law are respected", adding, "I believe in Ghana, and God willing, we shall be back".
The Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan on Saturday declared Prof. Mills, candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the winner of the Presidential Election Runoff held on December 28 2008 and January 3, 2009.
Prof. Mills polled 4,521,032 votes or 50.23 per cent while Nana Akufo-Addo of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) had 4,480,446 votes or 49.77 per cent.
Total valid vote cast was 9,001,478; rejected ballots were 92,886; and total vote cast was 9,094,364 with a voter turnout of 72.91 per cent.