Prof. John Evans Atta Mills
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills

Three years after his death, former Ghanaian President Professor John Evans Atta Mills continues to receive accolades as both an intellectual giant and a man of peace.

Prof. John Evans Atta Mills
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills

Dr Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Ekiti State in Nigeria, described Prof Mills as ?belonging to the finest traditions of politically responsible intellectuals in African governance?.

Dr Fayemi was speaking at the Third John Evans Atta Mills Commemorative Lecture organized by the John Evans Atta Mills Centre for Law and Governance in partnership with the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Library.

The theme for the lecture was ?Intellectuals in Politics and Governance in Africa: The Lessons and Legacy of Professor John Evans Atta Mills?.

The late Law professor died suddenly on July 24, 2012, shortly on admission at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
Dr Fayemi labeled late Mills as ?a self-described social democrat? who was a big believer in the virtues of personal ambition, hard work and achievement.

He said Mills? political journey linked him inextricably to two of Ghana?s political giants ?Dr Nkrumah and Jerry Rawlings.
Dr Fayemi stated that though the late President could be regarded, in a sense, as the heir of both Dr Nkrumah and President Rawlings, ?many will agree that he was in tone and substance less abrasive?.

?It is fair to say that Mills combined some of the best attributes of both men becoming a hybrid of the man of thought and the man of action,? he added.

He said Prof Mills was a gentleman ?whose professional mien often seemed to make him ill-suited for politics but he was personable and had a rare knack for making people feel at ease around him.?

He said, though calm, President Mills could be passionate about his convictions and occasionally emotional, adding that he ?practiced the politics of civility, and was typically courteous to colleagues and rivals alike?.
He said the late president had a remarkable ability to stay calm and unruffled under pressure, in addition to his other formidable gifts that set him on the path to national leadership.

Ghana?s Members of Parliament (MPs) also eulogized the late President Mills, describing him as a modest and peaceful man who had good leadership qualities.

Contributing to a statement made by the MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, to mark the third anniversary of Prof. Mills?s death, the MPs described him as a humble man who refused to be vindictive and sought to unite the country.

But Minority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu cautioned against comments made to portray the former President as a saint.
Majority Leader Alban S.K. Bagbin described Mills as a “servant leader” who “worked and died for his nation”.
He said the qualities of humility, modesty, selflessness and hard work that the late President had, needed to be inculcated in the youth of today.

“He was not a saint. He was human,” he added. Enditem

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