Politics of Thursday, 26 July 2012
A fitting monument that would honour the late President John Evans Atta Mills is to move forward his desire to strengthen the institutions of state towards building a stronger and well developed nation.
Mr. George Smith-Graham, Chief Executive of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission who made this statement to the Ghana News Agency in a tribute to the late President John Evans Atta Mills, said he would remember the late President most for this legacy, which encouraged people to deal with institutions rather than seeking the interference of powerful personalities to deal with difficulties.
He said despite the several industrial crises that confronted the implementation of the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), the late President Mills never used his office to interfere in the process.
Mr. Smith-Graham explained that in one such crisis, when a union was on strike with the attendant criticisms of himself and the Commission, he received a call that President Mills wanted to meet with him and naturally expected that the President would ask questions about the crisis on hand.
“However, after offering me with my small delegation a seat, he said: “I did not invite you here to ask you questions about the implementation of the SSSS, but to encourage you and urge you to be steadfast and to do the right thing. “I expect a task like yours to come with challenges and I am confident that you will surmount them and succeed.”
Mr. Smith-Graham said the President then stated that everyone applauded when President Barrack Obama on his visit to Ghana, advised Ghana to build strong institutions of state, however any time there were challenges while dealing with these institutions people would hurriedly call for the intervention of the President rather than allowing the institutions to use due process to find solutions.
He said the President’s reaction shocked him and gave him goose pimples, and that the same feeling returned when he heard about the demise of President Mills on Tuesday afternoon.
"When you get that kind of a vote of confidence, you know that you have the highest backing to execute your task but you also realize that you are being watched and that keeps you on your toes," he said.
On the importance of building stronger national institutions, he explained that it was critical for promoting fair play, justice, discipline and national progress, saying, that principle helped to propel the success of the Western world.
However, when the national leadership or powerful officials interfere in the work of state institutions, the stakeholders that deal with them lose respect for the institutions and they become very weak, Mr. Smith-Graham added.
When that happened, he said, more people would resort to national leadership to circumvent the process in their favour, thereby overburdening the leadership with requests.
Mr. Smith-Graham, who said he became acquainted with the late President just before he assumed office, took a lot of inspiration from his leadership style, demeanor, commitment to God and open confession in his belief in Jesus Christ.
“This was a leader you could easily point out to your children as a role model and I believe he is resting safely in the bosom of the Lord,” he said.
“Damirifa due to his family, the Cabinet, the Party he led and the entire nation.”**