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Anyidoho: Mills’ Dream Lives On As Mahama Fulfils Wishes

Sunday July 24, 2016 will be exactly four years. That fateful day when the nation’s heart was broken. The news spread like wildfire and many initially raised doubts. Few media houses privy to fast developments at the 37 Military Hospital where he was rushed that ‘Black Tuesday’, held on to sensitive information they had picked.

Clouds filled the sky that afternoon, the weather became dull and people felt grief in their breath.

President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills, a sitting Ghanaian President had passed on. Security was beefed up across the country, dirges all over on radio and TV. For once, even his die hard critics openly confessed that a great loss had hit the nation.

He abhorred vindictiveness, was overly tolerant, a patriot, firm and determined for a paradigm shift in governance.

His close aide and former Director of Communications at the Presidency, Koku Anyidoho describes him as a unique mentor who stood by his commitment to be ‘Father For All’.
In fact, this popular quote was his mantra, “I will not condone actions that will pitch one citizen against the other as a way of settling political scores”.

“Then former Vice President Atta Mills himself was harassed, his home then occupied by his wife was ransacked by state security personnel while he was lecturing in Canada, former President Rawlings, his wife Nana Konadu, the Ahwois, Tsatsu Tsikata, Sipa Yankey, Victor Selormey, Kwame Peprah, Dan Abodakpi and many MMDCEs had sleepless nights. Yet when he became President, he did not seek revenge,” Mr Anyidoho noted.

Witch hunt
In deed his own party faithful heavily descended on him, as many felt Professor Atta Mills had betrayed them for refusing to take on targeted opponents, appointees of the Kufuor administration after they [the NDC] had suffered eight years of political harassment and witch hunting.

Anyidoho, who is a key Planning Committee member of the Atta Mills Memorial Lecture series, said some of those people are still bitter and have not forgiven him. He is, however, optimistic, down the line, they will come to accept how that is influencing the path of democratic governance in Ghana today.

On Monday, July 25, President John Mahama will commission the John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library, in honor of the late Mills at Chapel Square in Cape Coast. This year’s lecture, which will be the fourth in his commemoration, is under the theme: ‘Atta Mills: the Servant Leader’.

The event takes place at the main auditorium of the University of Cape Coast.

As an astute Tax Expert and Law Professor, Fiifi as his peers called him was a reluctant politician, though he was a Young Pioneer in the Nkrumah era. Long before he became President, his personal humility, devotion to the Christian faith and his unflinching believe in and support for peace earned him the title ‘Asomdweehene’.

The manifestation was all over him and one of his favourable quotes remains relevant, “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.”

He had a big heart, endured insults within and without and remained focused on a legacy that posterity will judge. Those were the four themes on which he campaigned – Investing in People, Expanding Infrastructure, Building a Strong and Resilient Economy as well as Governing in an Open and Transparent Manner.

Dreams live on
Koku Anyidoho is full of praise for President Mahama who has carried on his dreams after succeeding the late Mills.

The massive investments in infrastructure are there for all to see. This is in spite of the huge challenges the economy faced over the last three years largely as a result of the power crisis, pressure on the local currency and associated problems.

Mahama’s regime is reviving many of the collapsed industries Kwame Nkrumah built. Komenda Sugar Factory, Kumasi Shoe Factory, GIHOC Distilleries, Pwalugu Tomato Factory are a few already on stream.

Major highways which hitherto had always been captured in budget statements but were never constructed are now first class roads or near completion. All major cities and districts have been given a face lift from the asphalt overlay project while cocoa road projects are opening up access to farmlands and the hinterland in general. Expansion of the sea and airports, investments into oil production, the transport sector and agriculture among others have created the enabling environment for accelerated development.

Massive state of the art health facilities like the University of Ghana Medical Center, Kumasi Military Hospital, Maritime Hospital at Tema, Ridge Hospital expansion, expansion of regional hospitals and Polyclinics and scores of district hospitals and CHPS Compounds will add over 6,000 beds, a major policy initiative that is saving lives already.

As an astute academician, late Atta Mills was passionate about quality education. John Mahama who mentors him interestingly has matched his word with action in the provision of school infrastructure.

Over 1,500 schools under tress have been replaced, the shift system in major cities now a thing of the past, over 123 Community Day SHS under construction, in fact 10 already commissioned and two brand new Universities built, University of Health and Allied Sciences and the University of Energy and Natural Resources and the expansion and conversion of polytechnics to Technical Universities are a few of the feat achieved over the last three and a half years.

Today, enrolment in Teacher and Nursing Training Colleges have shot up by over 60 percent following a bold but painful decision to replace student allowances with the student loan scheme.

Several other interventions in the energy sector have increased installed capacity to over 3,600 megawatts, a situation which would have ended the power challenges but for technical problems at the Aboadze Thermal Enclave.

Commitment to peace
“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.”….quotation by a virtually frustrated then President Mills.

In spite of the political ramifications, which the NDC government is facing today, President Mahama has remained committed to press freedom, fight against corruption by investigating his own and making findings public while prosecutions continue.

Like his mentor Egya Atta Mills, President Mahama has cultivated admiration as a patient, affable and committed to sustaining the peace in Ghana.

“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.” …this quotation should guide all as we eulogize him and prepare for the 2016 elections slated for December 7.

By Daniel Acheampong/Freelance Journalist

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