Members of Parliament last Friday eulogized former President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills describing him as a peace loving man, honest, modest and bold, whose leadership and positive attributes would never be forgotten.
Former President Mills died on Tuesday July 24, 2012.
The members made moving tributes when contributing to a statement read by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister for Education on the floor of Parliament, to mark the first anniversary of the passing of President John Evans Atta Mills, which falls on Thursday July 24, 2013.
Mr Ablakwa described him as a world class scholar with remarkable intellectual contributions to development, after lecturing at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana for 30 years and authored numerous publications.
He said Parliament and all Ghanaians ought to be commended for the smooth transition which has been hailed globally, especially, as “we were in unchartered waters”.
He said the late President Mills reverence for Parliament was exceedingly significant as he attended his constitutional obligations with deep commitment, and that, his decision to offer it its first female speaker for consideration was lauded not only by gender activists across the divide but by all political watchers, who were impressed with his contribution to Parliamentary democracy.
Mr Ablakwa noted that former President Mills had unshakable belief in the Ghanaian youth, adding that, on the international stage, he made all Africans proud, and that , the international community could not resist his democratic credentials and his remarkable wisdom on world affairs.
He said a more permanent evidence of “this humble Pan-Africanists” clout amongst his peers is that well-deserved giant golden statue of his mentor and idol- Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, which now stands at the forecourt of the new African Union Building in Addis Ababa, bearing the inscription “donated by the government of Ghana and unveiled by Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea and Chairperson of the Africa Union.
“History and time will properly tell the story of this selfless African icon who dedicated his entire life to bettering the lot of Ghanaians, as his achievements cannot all be listed,” adding that, many streets have been named after him.
The late President Mills also received the highest award of Fritz Redlich Alumni, as a posthumous award from the International Institute of Education in New York and also the 2012 Lifetime Africa Achievement prize laureate on democratic and development in Africa, in recognition of his exemplary leadership and gentle disposition, virtues, devotion and commitment to the enhancement of democratic governance and development in Ghana and Africa.
He said his most enduring legacy would be his exceptional style of tolerance, modesty, sincerity, humility, decency, sacrifice and non-vindictiveness by which he plied his trade of politics, adding that, he was a true statesman and a man with deep respect for people he served no matter their views or persuasions,
“Though he may go down in history as the most vilified and taunted President both from within and without his party, yet he was one to smile to all, to embrace all, to love all and to bear grudge towards none.”
Mr Edward Doe Adjaho, Speaker, recounted how he was informed about the death of the former President, adding that, the late Mills was a great listener, teacher unifier, modest man and a man of peace.
He however noted that politicians needed to come together to correct the perception that all politicians were thieves otherwise the future would suffer as no single person would like to enter politics.
Mr Benjamin Kunbuor, Leader of government business, observed that as Ghanaians celebrate the anniversary they would be engraving the eternal memory of his loss.
He gave a word of caution about the destructive path that politics in Ghana was taking, but noted that there were honest and decent people who have served the nation with integrity and suggested that the best way to remember former leaders were to revere them as assets of Ghana.
Mr Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, Minority Leader, said former President Mills was the most vilified and that there were moments that the minority disagreed with his core policies but that forms part of the beauty of democracy.
He said all late former Presidents needs to be recognized to keep the unity of the nation.
Dr Anthony Akoto Osei, member for Old Tafo, could not keep his tears after recounting the good deeds of the late President, especially to himself and his family.
Mr Joe Ghartey, Second Deputy Speaker said all late former Presidents should be respected and libraries established in their memory.
Prof George Gyan-Baffour, member for Wenchi, described the late President as a simple, honest, unassuming and selfless man, and that, even in death he would wish that Ghanaians celebrate his anniversary in peace, as the “battle of pink sheets is over,” saying that, the late Mills died on the throne and should be immortalized, for he was a man of peace.