The swearing-in of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo as the fifth President of Ghana’s Fourth Republic has overthrown the reign of Johns at the Presidency.
This is because all the four previous Presidents of the Republic were Johns in first or middle names.
The trend gave grounds to speculations that Johns had been predestined to rule Ghana in these days, therefore, anyone who wanted to steer the affairs of the nation should find a John in his name.
Research indicates that John is the English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), which is derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning “YAHWEH is gracious”.
According to the “Behind the Name” website, the name John, in various spellings, has been borne by 21 popes and eight Byzantine emperors, as well as rulers of England, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria, Russia and Hungary.
It was also borne by the poet John Milton (1608-1674), philosopher John Locke (1632-1704), American founding father and president.
The name John has for generations been common Ghana, though, its preference has waned in recent times, partially because of the return to traditional names.
The Fourth Republic began with Jerry John Rawlings who won Presidential election on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress in 1992 and 1996, while former President John Agyekum Kufuor also served as President on the ticket of the New Patriotic after winning elections in 2000 and 2004.
In 2008, power then switched on to yet another John, John Evans Atta Mills, who took over power after winning the 2008 Presidential Elections, Sadly, he could not end his term of office, as he died on July 24, 2012, barely six months before the end of his term.
Former President John Dramani Mahama who was then serving as the Vice President under the late President, succeeded him the same day in line with Constitutional provisions.
The former President later contested in the 2012 presidential election as the NDC’s candidate and won the election.
However, he has ended the mystery of the Johns with his defeat to Nana Akufo – Addo.
Apart from ending the mascot associated with the Johns, Nana also distinguishes himself as the oldest among the Presidents of the Fourth republic.
While Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo is 72 years, former President Jerry John Rawlings assumed office in 1992 at age 44.
Former President Kufuor also assumed the office of the President in 2001 at 62, while late and Former President John Evans Atta a Mills also assumed the Presidency at age 60.
President John Mahama the immediate past President assumed office at 54.
Another significant feature of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo is his perseverance in his political career.
Having lost twice to grab the Presidential ticket of the NPP, the President also made two unsuccessful attempts as a Presidential Candidate before finally getting there on the third attempt.