Opinions Wed, 9 Jan 2008

A vote For Atta Mills is a vote for unity

Effective leaders are humble, honest and peaceful. Effective leaders are always on a lookout for good people. Now what will determine whether the people you want are the people you get, and whether they will possess the qualities you desire? Believe it or not who you get is not determined by what you want. It is determined by who you are.

Now look at Prof Mills, rarely have I seen Atta Mills showing any negative attitude towards anyone. He treats every Ghanaian no matter how poor, how rich or their political persuasion with decorum. You never hear him insult his opponents as they do to him. Atta Mills? background as a learned and honest man makes him attract learned, honest men and not greedy men. Greedy leaders attract greedier men. It is no coincidence that the men who were all up in arms to challenge Mills for the presidency have amassed billions in less than eight years and are now all fighting to become president to amass some more.

People are attracted to a leader whose values are similar to their own. Think about someone like Adolph Hitler. He was a strong leader (as you can judge by the level of his influence). But his values were rotten to the core. What kinds of people did he attract? Leaders with similar values: Hermann Goering, founder of the Gestapo: Joseph Goebbels, a bitter anti-Semite who ran Hitler?s propaganda machine. It was Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the Nazi secret police, who ordered the mass executions of the Jews. They were all strong leaders and they were utterly hateful men.

When I met Prof Mills recently and spoke with him, I went: "Wow! Here's my candidate!? I saw a leader who will take control of the bickering and vindictive partisan approach, and bring respect to his office. And most of all a man who I think will have the same effect on most other people, even those of another party.

Mills has not been accused of being dishonest, hot headed, and has never displayed any form of vindictive actions against his political opponents. Mills has not been accused of ever asking anyone to vote ?skirt and blouse? against his party men. In fact Ghanaians can say Mills led a team to deploy the tax system which the NPP today uses to fund most of their lavish desires. Can anyone say any of his opponents left us with a legacy that all Ghanaians can benefit from?

We did not hear any vote buying charges against Mills when he campaigned for the presidential primaries. We did not hear Mills saying its time for a Fante man to be president. Atta Mills did not accuse his ex-president John Rawlings of bank rolling Spio Garbrah though Spio Garbrah himself said JJ Rawlings endorsed him. Atta Mills? opponents in their quest to gain political power descended so low to humiliate their own sitting president (president Kuffuor) as bank rolling one of the candidates without any real proof. Is power that sweet to go to that extent to gain it?

Mills has never been accused of promising tribal chiefs to vote for him to gain political capital. Many of the conflicts up north stems from this practice of ?vote for me and I will ensure you obtain your skin?. Mills is peaceful and he understands that power is sweet but not at the expense of peace. We saw him display this trait at the 2004 elections when instead of breaking under pressure from his own NDC executive leaders to challenge the 2004 electoral results, which can start chaos, he chose peace. What kind of men do you think Mills will attract as president of Ghana?

The biggest advantage Mills brings to bear is simply the fact that he is a ?uniter?. In fact if you take stock and delve into our body polity right now, you will see that Ghana is very much divided. It has reached levels where doing business with a fellow Ghanaian is preceded by partisan choice of that fellow Ghanaian. Specifically doing business with any one viewed as a sympathizer of the opposition NDC party is considered a taboo.

Is the politics more important than the results at the end of the day? I truly believe a vote for Atta Mills is a vote for a united Ghana moving with common goals and true development in peace. Mills himself said he will not waste time and resources going after men perceived as NPP businessmen because that action will kill businesses which will otherwise employ Ghanaians. Unlike his opponents, Mills understands that when you destroy businesses that belong to your opposition, you are in effect hurting your chances to salvage the unemployment problem in Ghana.

Mills represents a voice of change for Ghana. He is something that this country is in desperate need of. He's what people are waiting for, even if they don't know it yet. He is the man that will end the vindictive politics in Ghana.

Every leader?s potential is determined by the people closest to him. A leader also attracts people like him. A vindictive leader attracts a vindictive inner circle. Mills on the other is peaceful and thus attracts peaceful people willing to come and serve the people and not focus on the opposition and their business affiliates.

A vote for Mills is a vote for real unity and peace.

Email: kofiwebb@hotmail.com

Columnist: Webb, Kofi