Prof. J.E.A Mills
Prof. J.E.A Mills

This week we celebrate the passing of an icon that walked the surface of this earth Professor John Evans Atta Mills.

Prof. J.E.A Mills
Prof. J.E.A Mills

I have known Professor Mills from a distance. Indeed, young then, I did not take much notice of him in the year 2000 when he contested for the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Having arrived from the village, it would have taken a miracle at age 20 to know much about politics. It was only after he suffered defeat in the 2004 elections that I noticed the kind of personality he possessed.

I concluded that he was God fearing, calm and above all, a lover of humans. He showed his benevolence ever 21st day of July as he would visit an orphanage to donate items to young girls and boys who needed smiles on their faces to face the future. He did provide those smiles.

Knowing him as a man who loved and lived peace, I had no regrets walking to a polling station in Aburi in the year 2008 to hand him a mandate to govern this country during that year?s general election. The victory never came easy but he had it eventually.

In the heat of the politicking that took place prior to the 2008 elections, the country became more polarised politically as the votes that separated him from the defeated candidate was a little about 40,000. Well, it made some people feel they should have won the elections which made them feel they could carry parallel powers although not with much force as the public kept lashing at such developments.

A very intelligent man who was reported to have attained his PhD at age 27, a lawyer and a lecturer who became the Commissioner of the then Internal Revenue Services and later a Vice President of the Republic, one would have thought his journey in the various public offices he held would have been tainted causing his opponents to use such records against him. But it appears the more he is placed on the examination board, the more he comes out squeaky clean.

He was excessively humble, unusual of an African leader who wielded so much power as president of a rich resource nation especially that oil was produced in larger commercial quantity under his term as president.

If for nothing at all, his penchant for prefixing all his statements with ?my brothers and sisters? when addressing his fellow Ghanaians stood him out as a man who accepts everyone as his. His love for peace which resulted in him conceding defeat; a ?luxury? he never had from his contender when he won, to the man he inherited the presidency from, and his admonishment for Ghana to remain peaceful even when he knew he would have had cause to challenge certain issues, won him the accolade ?Asomdwehene? to wit, King of Peace.

Then he embarked on what he termed the Better Ghana Agenda which he championed religiously. He touched lives in the hinterlands.

He was committed to abolishing the shift system for students especially in the greater Accra Region. That he achieved by providing additional school blocks to the various schools across the city.

Then he committed himself to eradicating the over 4,000 schools under trees identified. Being a teacher, he knew very well that students required some comfort in their various schools with the number one being structures in order to be able to perform to expectation. He eradicated a minimum of 1,600 at the time he was called to glory.

As president who inherited a school feeding program that was cancelled due to corruption detected by the donor country through an audit at their instance which was feeding some 400,000 students, he made room to generate funds internally to feed not only the 400,000 he met, but expanded it to cover over 1,600,000 students with the policy well directed to schools that needed them.

He managed the economy in such a way that regardless of the infrastructural development and expansion we witnessed, inflation reduced? from the over 18 percent he inherited to below 8 percent and sustained a single digit inflation for over 24 months.

Indeed, his term as president has received the highest of criticism from his opponents whose leader called him Professor Do Little. As expected of him, he replied ?I am glad he did not say Professor do nothing?.

In Parliament, he was not spared by the opposition. On one such occasions, he remarked ?Although I expected some heckling, I did not expect such heckling to be so gargantuan?. He was a lively and a lovely man with a beautiful spirit human as he was.

His passing on that fateful day the 24th of July 2012 remains a memorable day to me. I made my way back to Accra to rest instead of heading to town to sell as a Sales Representative. While on my way, I tuned to Citi FM an Accra based station. Per their reportage, although not straightforward, I knew someone dear to me had passed. Then lo and behold, the news was broken of the death of His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills. The pain remains. But there is much to be inspired to live on from him.

To the young and old, the rich and the pour, the educated elite and the less educated, Professor Mills has shown us that no matter what you have attained in life, no matter what you possess in life, no matter your connections in life, Humility, Love, Hard work and Respect for one another would grant us the peace to always coexist.

Source: Stephen Kwabena Attuh-Ask! ,spy news agency

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