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General News of Friday, 19 July 2019


Leave Atta Mills’ memory to us to respect, uphold, if you can’t or won’t – Ablakwa to NPP

MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa play videoMP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

For a President to have served with all diligence and have his legacy treated with ‘disrespect’ and negligence, to say the least, is a national disgrace, Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said.

Mr Ablakwa, speaking to Ghanaweb on the sidelines of the 7th Memorial Lecture of the late President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills bemoaned how poorly the state has treated what was supposed to be a national monument; the late President’s tomb and a library in the Central Regional capital; Cape Coast.

He terms it a disgrace because according to him, an individual ceases to belong to a particular political party once he takes up the mantle and responsibility of a president.

For this reason, he deems it absolutely unacceptable that ‘petty politics and rivalry’ has made it such that a national figure who passed away is being disrespected and his legacy being trodden underfoot.

“Honestly, in all sincerity, it’s a national disgrace, what the state has done to the memory of Prof. Mills. The tomb is a national asset handed over to the state. When you become President, you are no longer just for a political party, you are a property of the state. The library project in Cape Coast, elsewhere, it is the duty of the state to provide presidential libraries, this had gone far as personal initiative, fundraising of friends and well-wishers of Prof. Mills but you expect the state to step in, sadly this is the kind of politics, the petty politics, the politics of acrimony and segregation and just petty rivalry that does not help, that is what is reflecting”.

He believes a simple statement from government, establishing their inability or disinterest in maintaining and protecting the memory of the late statesman will put things in perspective such that, it will be publicly recognized and family, friends, NDC members and well-wishers will take up the task of raising funds and honouring the memory of a role model.

“We have said if the state can no longer take care of the tomb, let us know and those of us who are his children, we see him as our icon, role model because I can’t just enter a state facility without authorization”, he said.

Adding, “If the state can do it, let it be done, if they cannot, just invite friends, family and well-wishers to come in and take over and we’ll give Prof. Mills the respect and the honour that his memory deserves and I do hope that will be the approach as well for the library”

“It’s just a matter of the state letting us know that they are not interested, they are backing off and they no longer see Professor Mills as someone who has been president, who has been leader of this republic and who is a property of the state, whose legacy the state must be concerned about, if they would not, we will move in and see how we help”.

Mr Ablakwa, however, acknowledged efforts by the government to give the late President’s tomb a facelift in recent times after there was public outcry about the deserted state of the place. He was however quick to maintain that it ought not to be the situation; but that there must be a continuous effort by the appropriate authorities to ensure that the legacy of Prof. Mills is not stained and or disrespected.

Fortunately, when I passed through the tomb recently, I noticed that after all the public furore and all the outcry, the state has moved in to do some facelift and tidy up the place but it ought to be sustained. It shouldn’t be that we abandon it and then when there’s public outrage, they move in.

The 7th John Evans Atta Mills commemorative lecture was held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) under the theme; “Inclusive Education for Sustainable Development”.