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Opinions of Sunday, 20 August 2017

Columnist: Akyena Brantuo Benjamin

5-years of John Evans Atta Mills passing; Moral leadership remembered

The unfading echoes from the Asomdwe park will forever remain one and everlasting. ‘Here lies a man who stood for moral leadership.’ A kind of leadership based on a healthy conscience and humane principles.

One that asserts the common good over selfish and transient gratification of the individual or the clique. But that certainly comes with a price! Living a life which is largely abhorred by the majority in the society or a leader trying to anchor the rest of the unwilling society on the path of morality can cost as much as one’s own life.

Many have argued that perhaps, that took Professor Mills to his grave, his early grave. Either dying from isolation of standing for what nobody else supported or worse, crushing under the weight of a system bent on having its way.

Indeed, three years after his death, JJ Rawlings, the man who sponsored the 1979 and 1981 coups in Ghana, remarked that the death of professor Mills gave his NDC political party victory in the 2012 elections. Certainly, having stood in the way of corruption, vindictive politics, and decline of public morality for three years, his death truly marked victory for political vampires, sycophants and parasites.

Yet, it was three years of progress while it lasted. Ghana under the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills recorded GDP growth rate of 13.6%. It was the highest in the nation’s history at the time.

He achieved the longest sustained single-digit inflation of less than 8.6%, highest ever gross international reserves of $4.98bn at the time, established two new public Universities, started a process to review the 1992 constitution and increased electricity coverage from 54% to 74% which connected 1,700 communities to the national grid.

Today the 24th of July 2017, we remember a national hero, Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills; the man who birthed and died with moral leadership. How I wish reincarnation was possible. It would have been a flicker of hope for the hopelessness of our nation.

Rest In Peace, Uncle Atta.