Ghana’s deceased ex-President John Evans Atta Mills was without an iota of doubt a unique African leader.
His unique brand and legacy were characterized by his personal humility and devotion to the Christian faith, his unflinching believe in and support for peace, his unbridled respect for the rule of law and his often self-effacing and tension deflating sense of humour.
As president, his statements and proclamations have always been in consonance with these admirable qualities. we take you down memory lane with some of his memorable remarks:
1. “I have always said that I will be President for all Ghanaians whether they voted for me or not, and without consideration for which part of the country they come from. It will be my duty as President to heal wounds and unite our dear nation. I intend to pursue relentlessly all avenues for entrenching peace and unity in all parts of the country as I am enjoined by the constitution to do.”
2. “As we approach the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections, it is my prayer and hope that we shall continue to preserve and maintain the peace, remain united and focused as people with one destiny. We can hardly achieve meaningful development if the citizenry on whose behalf we are managing the country do not support and cooperate with us.”
3. “As a nation, we consider a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty an indispensable step in preventing the flow of conventional arms to destinations where they are likely to wreak havoc and mayhem by either fuelling conflict and undermining both national and regional peace, security and development or exacerbating tensions that in many instances could likely create the conditions that necessitate the deployment of international peacekeepers in the first place.”
4. “My solemn pledge to the youth of Ghana is that Atta Mills and his government will do everything possible to make sure that Ghana remains a haven of peace and unity. The rich talents and rich human qualities given to us by God will enable us overcome the challenges posed by the global economic downturn and our inadequacies in the management of the nation’s economy.”
5. “This administration does not intent to parade scapegoats or seek refuge in excuses. We will focus on the things that matter and which will enable the economy recover some degree of stability. We will do this in collaboration with organised labour, the business community and with industry”.
6. “I will not condone actions that will pitch one citizen against the other as a way of settling political scores. That is unacceptable and will not be the Ghanaian way of doing things. The Ghanaian way should be that, under the Rule of Law, and with the benchmark of due process, any violations of the laws of Ghana will be addressed in the manner that is fair, balanced, and right in the sight of God.”
7. “As a people, our greatest achievements have come when we have lived up to the ideals that unite rather than divide us and have attached ourselves to a common sense purpose. Let this day not just see us enjoying just the holiday part of it; let us find time to reflect on the way forward as we strive to build a Better Ghana. We must reflect on the legacies that our forebears bequeathed to us; consider what we have added to that legacy, and commit ourselves to leaving a solid legacy for the generations after us.”
8. “As a nation, we have no other option but to “sustain the peace” we are enjoying in order to broaden the frontiers of our democracy and development. At no point in time should we take the peace we are enjoying for granted. Our fallen heroes and Founding Fathers toiled to give us this dear nation and we dare not destroy what they have toiled to build. Standing here every 6th March as President since 2009, and watching our youth partake actively in this celebration, there is no doubt in my mind that they are filled with dreams; big dreams of taking over from us and becoming responsible adults…We must not destroy their dreams.”
9. “Let me state here and now that I remain undaunted by attempts to thwart the fight against corruption by legal and technical means… I do not care whose ox is gored when it comes to the fight against corruption. And neither will I be off-tracked by all the sideline comments that are being made to befuddle the hardcore issues.”
10. “…On a lighter note, before I came here, I knew I would be heckled because it is the routine, but I didn’t expect the heckling to be this gargantuan.”