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General News of Friday, 23 July 2021

Source: Osei Bonsu, Contributor

Mahama did not respect Atta Mills’ last wish – Stephen Adjei

Former President John Dramani Mahama Former President John Dramani Mahama

The leader of GPHA ex-workers and Executive member of the Tema East branch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr. Stephen Ashitey Adjei, has lamented that the last wish of late former President John Evans Atta Mills, was not fulfilled.

In a write-up, he accuses former President John Mahama of letting down Professor Mills in this regard, recalling that just days before his death president Mills had asked for ex-workers of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) to be paid.

“However, nine years after President Mills had issued a fiat ordering that the ex-workers be paid their severance package, they have remained unpaid. Why? Because John Mahama hurriedly sidelined the last wish of Prof. Mills,” Mr. Ashitey Adjei wrote.

Consequently, the man who is popularly called Moshake added that Mr. John Mahama’s scheduled participation in a memorial for Professor Mills, “is not a true gesture of respect to the memory of President Mills.”

The former President has been announced as a headline personality in the upcoming commemoration of the ninth anniversary of the passing of late President Mills by the NDC. Mr. John Mahama is expected to give a keynote address and lay a wreath.

But according to Moshake, “these are posthumous pretenses. If Mahama truly respected Mills, he would have carried out his last wish, which was to have the GPHA ex-workers who were retrenched in 2002, paid their entitlements.”

In 2002, a World Bank program had created the need for some 4,000 workers to be retrenched. However, after the workers had participated, their entitlements were not paid to them by the Kufuor government of the time.

The ex-workers has therefore begun a long battle with GPHA and the government for their entitlements. That battle was still ongoing when the Mills government was elected into office in 2009.

Somehow, the GPHA paid five out of the over 3,000 workers along the line and then blatantly ignored the rest of the ex-workers.

The ex-workers had initially been led by a different person but he died and the mantle fell to Moshake, who appealed to many state institutions including the Presidency.

President Mills, after receiving Moshake’s appeal in early July 2012, ordered the Transport Ministry to see to the resolution of the ex-workers ASAP.

However, Professor Mills would later die suddenly in office, leaving the issue of the GPHA ex-workers and their unpaid entitlements to John Mahama who until Mills’ death was Vice to President Mills.

“Mahama did not reply to even a single of the numerous letters we wrote to him. He simply put aside Mills’ fiat for us to be paid and ignored his own boss’ last wish,” Moshake lamented in the write-up.

He adds, “if you ignored the man’s last wish when you were in a place of authority to honour his memory, then what is the use of you honouring his memory, now that you are out of that place of authority? The wreath laying is only ceremonial, what would have truly proven your respect for the man is if you had carried out his last wish to see justice done to a group of people,” Moshake wrote.

He reiterated that, “because John Mahama refused to carry out Atta Mills’ last wish, many of our compatriots have died in poverty, and no amount of wreath-laying can bring those lives back. In this world that we are in, if you do good, goodness will follow you, and if you do bad, badness will follow you,” Moshake concluded.

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