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Parliament Pays Tribute To Late President, Professor Mills

Parliament Pays Tribute To Late President, Professor Mills File Photo

Contributing to a statement made by the MP for North Tongu, Mr 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 the Minority Leader, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, who was one of the only two members of the Minority to contribute to the statement, cautioned against comments made to portray the former President as a saint.

“Let us not pretend that because of the accolade Asomdweehene, nothing untoward happened during his time in office,” he said, and drew attention to the political violence that occurred at Agbogbloshie in 2009, during which a sympathiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was killed and that Prof. Mills failed to concede defeat after the 2004 elections.

“Sometimes people say things about people after they have passed on as if they want to rewrite history. The impression should not be given that he was a saint who did nothing wrong,” he added.

Ablakwa’s statement

Mr Ablakwa described Prof. Mills as a man who had an amazing character and rare leadership qualities, adding that his legacy remained ever crucial to the nation’s forward march.

“President Mills taught us that great leaders choose great successors, just as Elijah chose Elisha and Moses chose Joshua,” he said.

Amid murmurings from the Minority, he said Prof. Mills left Ghana in the safe hands of President John Mahama to continue with his unfinished business.

He said Prof. Mills pursued peaceful and non-violent politicking and did not relent in that endeavour, although some sought to ridicule him for it.

“As we all came round to condemn the gruesome murder of the Upper East Regional Chairman of the NPP, Mr Adams Mahama, and the scenes of violence that characterised the Talensi bye-election a few weeks ago, we cannot help but admit that Prof. Mills’s style of politics is what is good for the health of our democracy and our nation,” he said.

Mr Ablakwa said Prof. Mills was gracious in defeat and taught politicians to put the unity and stability of the nation ahead of narrow political and personal interests when defeated in elections.

On losing the 2000 and 2004 elections, he said, Prof Mills did not hold the nation to ransom but resolved to “live and fight another day”.

He said Prof. Mills abhorred vindictiveness and did not pay back political opponents in their own coin but was selfless and modest.

He added that for many years, Prof. Mills molded and shaped the youth of the country in the classroom and, when he won power, appointed many young people into office, a pointer to the fact that he believed in the youth.

Mr Ablakwa said Prof. Mills was incorruptible and that he had no dubious secret bank accounts or property “dotted all over the world”.

Contributions

The MP for Effutu, Mr Alexander Afenyo-Markin, acknowledged that Prof. Mills was a peaceful man who preached that in spite of political differences, Ghanaians were of the same stock.

 

He recalled that the entire nation was in a state of shock when Prof. Mills passed away and added that his death and what he stood for should unite the nation.

The MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, described President Mills as a “public servant of uncommon grade” and advocated the naming of a public university, specifically the new one in the Brong Ahafo Region or the Volta Region, after him.

He said the University for Development Studies (UDS) and the University of Mines in Tarkwa should also be named after former Presidents J.J. Rawlings and J.A. Kufuor.

The Majority Leader, Mr Alban S.K. Bagbin, who said he was taught by Prof. Mills at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, described him as a man who was “too much”.

He said Prof. Mills was 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.

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