Parliament on Tuesday remembered the death of Ghana’s former late President John Evans Atta Mills, exactly six years ago, and condoled with the nation as it prepares to observe the burial of late Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and the one week rites of late former Senior Minister, Mr J H Mensah.
“May the Good Lord continue to grant the soul of or dearly beloved President Mills eternal rest, and may the comforting peace of the Almighty be with his family, especially his widow, Dr Ernestina Naadu Mills, his son Sam Kofi Mills, the National Democratic Congress and the entire nation,” Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, MP for North Tongu, and former Deputy Minister for Information in the Mills Administration said.
In a commemorative statement on the floor of the House, the MP, who is also the Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs, also prayed that the Good Lord would strengthen Ghanaians this week,” being the week that we undertake the State burial of our eminent former Vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and observe the formal one week of the late venerable JH Mensah.”
“God bless our homeland Ghana and continue to endow us with such great men,” the MP added.
As he remembered the late President’s sense of appreciation, M Ablakwa recalled President Mills’ lessons to him on showing gratitude, and saluted, with commendation, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s “generous financial support” and that of the State towards the organisation of this year’s, Sixth Atta Mills Memorial Lectures.
Mr Ablakwa invited fellow lawmakers to the lecture, on the theme “Ethicality, Democracy and National Development: the Legacy of President Atta Mills” to be delivered by Prof Kwesi Botchwey, former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Monday, 30th July, 2018 at 1430 hours, at the Main Auditorium of the University of Cape Coast.
Born on 21 July 1944, at Tarkwa in the Western Region, the late President hailed from Ekumfi Otuam in the Mfantsiman East Constituency in the Central Region. At age 27, he was awarded his PHD after successfully defending his doctoral thesis in the area of taxation.
He lectured at the Faculty of Law and the Business School, both of the University of Ghana for over two decades, and author of a number of publications.
He was also a visiting professor at Temple Law School (Philadelphia, USA), Leiden University in the Netherlands and at the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
He was a member of the Ghana Stock Exchange, and became Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service of Ghana, and named the National Tax Commissioner in September 1993.
The late President was also a distinguished sportsman and sports administrator, as he played hockey and was a member of Ghana’s National Hockey Team and later the Veterans Hockey Team. He was also a reputable swimmer as well.
On the political scene the late President Mills was chosen as the running mate by former President Jerry John Rawlings, who was seeking re-election for a second term in office. They overwhelmingly won the 1996 election and the Professor became Vice President of Ghana from January 7, 1997 to January 6, 2001.
Between 2001 and 2008, Prof Mills became the de facto opposition leader, and earned a reputation of decent politicking. He later became known as Asomdwehene, to wit, King of Peace.
On January 7, 2009, the late Prof Mills was sworn-in as Ghana’s third President of the Fourth Republic.
He was until his untimely death the presidential candidate for the NDC for the 2012 presidential election, after winning a challenged presidential primary by a remarkable 96.7 per cent.
Prof Mills is the first sitting leader in the history of the country to die in office.
He died on July 24, 2012, three days after his 68th birthday.