General News Wed, 14 Jan 2004

Information Minister Slams Atta Mills

NDC Presidential candidate Professor John Evans Atta Mills has been heavily criticised by Information Minister Nana Akomeah for joining in the celebration of the 31 December Revolution two weeks ago.

Akomeah, who is also a member of parliament told the Statesman newspaper whiles Mills presents himself as a man of peace, he still finds time to celebrate a violent military takeover even though its celebration has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.Mills joined several people at Ashiaman on December 31 2004 to mark the day when Jerry John Rawlings overthrew the constitutionally elected government of Dr Hilla Limman.

Akomeah said that brought out the contradictions in Mills' statements and actions. "You just don't know who the real Mills is", Akomeah said. "I think he is an enigmatic fellow. He presents himself as decent and asomdwehene whilst allowing the old bad ways to thrive all round him."

Akomeah proceeded from there to launch a scathing attack on Mills' leadership of the NDC so far calling it a disappointment.

It's very unfortunate that the current leadership of the most viable opposition party has failed to institute a significant departure from the past that Ghanaians rejected in 2000.

"The NDC was rejected at the 2000 polls because of the Rawlings legacy. Prof Mills basically had no real record but the crucial factor was that Ghanaians were not convinced that the Professor had anything significantly new to offer. The NDC crash landed in that elections losing their parliamentary majority of 133 seats to 94."


The information Minister is of the view that Mills has done little to change the NDC's image, which caused its rejection in 2000.

"You would have thought that after that massive rejection of the Rawlings legacy, the NDC would have tried to remake itself. Prof Mills comes across as a bit removed from the militaristic Rawlings. One would have thought, therefore, that he would take great strides to make his party gravitate more towards a purely libertarian system. So for him to go back and celebrate the 31st December revolution, I think is a sad reflection of the shattered hope that many held for his leadership."

Akomeah said Mills was in an attempt to sell the NDC to the electorate channelling his energy in the wrong direction.

"He has been expertly marketed to Ghanaians as an honest man representing the new image of the party. Yet I can't register any significant image he has made in all his years at the top. The ghost of the past appears to be still overshadowing the party under Prof Mills.

Rather than apportioning his time and effort to reform his party and convince the electorate with sound, factual and practical alternate policies, he seems to believe that that holding press conferences to criticise the NPP's sincere commitment to reversing the long periods of inertia in good governance and economic management that marked Ghana under Jerry John Rawlings is the right thing to do."

Source: Statesman