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General News of Monday, 25 July 2016

Source: Class FM

Mills was press freedom bastion - Joyce Banda


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Media practitioners in Ghana are very free to practice their profession without fear and intimidation because President John Evans Atta Mills resolved to ensure press freedom when he was the president of Ghana, Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi has said.

Ghana at the moment is marking the fourth anniversary of the passing of Professor Mills in 2012. He was the first president of Ghana to have died on the seat. As part of the anniversary, a library known as the John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library has been built in his honour and inaugurated at the Chapel Square in Cape Coast in the Central region.

During a public lecture at the University of Cape Coast on Monday July 25, Mrs Banda, articulating some of the successes chalked by Professor Mills, highlighted that: “His ability to forgive … and how he allowed press freedom in this country, the media in Ghana is indeed very free and any leader with a weak mind cannot withstand. I know so many countries on the continent of Africa where our sons and daughters, who are in the media, are being abused every single day for expressing [their views] or informing the nation, for being honest. People are being thrown in jail.”

“[In] a country where people are not free, that country doesn’t prosper…” she said. In the case of the late President Evans Atta Mills, this event [fourth commemoration] accords us a rare opportunity to celebrate a life meaningfully lived and a life well shared.

Yes, a life committed to serving humankind. … It was in the year 2008 that president John Evans Atta Mills won the elections in Ghana. I watched him on television when he attended a church at the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) in Nigeria to thank God for the opportunity he had been given to serve his people. I watched the testimony that he gave. This is the first time I saw the man we are honouring today, standing before God with humility.”

She added: “I have seen how people in power behave …I have seen how they feel so important, even larger than God, and by the way, I have been in power myself, [but] what I learned from this great distinguished son of Africa was his love and faithfulness to God.”

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