Was Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills a good man?

Atta Mills234 Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills

Mon, 27 Jul 2020 Source: Mohammed Rabiu Adam

As the clock tickles, so do days and nights revolve to make years rolled over one another. Ghanaians are aware death does truncate man’s existence in this world but little did they know that their sitting president would be pronounced dead on 24th July 2012.

The news of death Professor Mills shocked the walls of every building in Ghana due to how humble he was in his human relation. So soon, its eight years now. The late Professor Mills would be remembered covertly or overtly in every house because he was the then sitting president for republic of Ghana.

From religious and cultural perspectives, Professor Mills once lived like the other departed souls. Why was the late president exceptional to the NDC party and Ghana as whole? An attempt is hereby made to demonstrate that the late Professor John Fiifi Evans Atta Mills harboured characteristics of servant-ship whose love for the nation supersede all other things.

The late Professor of Law appeared on Ghana’s political scene as a running mate to Jerry John Rawlings towards 1996 general elections. His role as vice president was cherished and adored by Ghanaians on how he handles himself in public space. Later, the Swedru declaration was believed to have caused sharp division in the hierarchy of the National Democratic Congress as some people in the then government believed they were more or less the next of kin when the then President Rawlings leave the political stage. The confusion led to formation of parties like National Reform Party by Goosie Tanoh and later Democratic Freedom Party led by Obed Asamoah.

As the president of Ghana in 2009, the late Atta Mills the difference in approaches in executing government business brought a sharp rift between himself and his former boss. Former president Jerry John Rawlings constant character assassination on his successor was appalling. “Atta wo fei slow, Atta mortuary man, konongo kaya” were some of the jabs Chairman Rawlings launched on the servant of the people.

Were you surprised when the former president Rawlings visited the Asomdwe Park yesterday and later described the late Professor Mills as a good man? Ernestina Naadu Mills who was well known, as a reserved person has to pour out her ‘consumed’ patience on the how the former president Rawlings treated the late Mills after latter’s death. Aaabaaah. Why now and not yetsreday?

It could be said that Professor Mills demonstrated tenacity with agenda to serve the good people of Ghana devoid of any bloodshed. To a large extent Professor Mills won 2008 presidential election due his humility and the composure on which he advance his campaign.

The “I Care For You” slogan with visit to households did the magic the for the NDC. His body language speaks volume in his interactions with the electorates. It was not surprised when he won the heart of many Ghanaians thereby affectionately called Asomdwehene.

His focus to deliver on the campaign promises yielded positive results after his death. The University of Ghana Medical Center, University of Health and Allied Science, University of Energy and Natural Resources, and University of Environmental And Sustainable Development were evident to the late professor believing in the development of human capacity for national building.

The late president Mills will also be remembered for being the only Head of State to ensure the continuity of projects initiated by his predecessor John Agyekum Kufuor for the Ghanaians. When the George Walker Bush Highway was due for commissioning, Professor Atta Mills invited the former President Kufuor to join him as appreciation and acknowledgment of good work done for the country. A remarkable gesture by the late president meant he was voted by Ghanaians for Ghana and not for only the ruling NDC.

Another characteristic of the President John Atta Mills was to help position the NDC as a political party and not an individual sole proprietorship entity. He received the bullets and unprintable descriptions from all manner of people with short foresight for the courage and understanding of service to the people. The resilience of the then president yielded a fruitful result when all the aggrieved and defected leading members of NDC who have hitherto formed political parties and contested against John Mills in general election later re-joined the party.

Hon Bede Zeideng, the general secretary of DFP was later appointed as a minster by Prof Mills. Truly, it takes only people with vision to present themselves as sacrificial lamb for the future generation.

Professor Mills output in the academia witnessed several publications in both local and international journals. He has also authored books on taxation. The tax expert also contributed to the current state of Ghana’s taxation restructuring at the Ghana revenue authority (GRA). As an academician, his death brought to light some of his students in the political landscape who were active in political discourse.

The likes of Hon Alan Kyeremanteng and Hon Ursula Owusu-Ekumfi and many others. Hon Alan Kyeremanteng described the late Mills as “…I will say that the good work that Prof. Mills did while he was alive will always be remembered.”

Professor John Fiifi Evans Atta Mills was truly a man with integrity. He was able to diffuse Socrates assertion that no one goes into politics and regain in his integrity. The Professor is dead but he lives in the good memories of Ghanaians.

How will you be remembered in your public service to the people by the people for the people you served? The one time lecturer, former vice president and president of Ghana, hockey player and enthusiastic football fan Professor John Fiifi Evans Atta Mills is dead but not forgotten.

Columnist: Mohammed Rabiu Adam
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