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Opinions of Sunday, 19 August 2007

Columnist: Amoyaw, Sandy

Atta-Mills: A Presidential Benchmark

A good leader is someone who

• Balances sensitivity with responsibility.

• Has earned the confidence of others through integrity.

• Facilitates development in others through being a servant.

• Takes more than his share of the blame and less than his share of the credit.

• Keeps hope alive in others, and

• Who is willing to learn from those who are not ready to learn

And these are the qualities of Professor John Evans Atta-Mills

Fisher once said that “the height that great men reached and kept was not attained by sudden flights, but they while their companions slept kept toiling upwards in the night’. Years ago Ghanaians were asking legacy questions regarding the capabilities of Prof. Atta-Mills to be the President of Ghana without any interference from his former boss, Jerry Rawlings. His handling of the controversial voting irregularities of the 2004 general elections have given us the comfort of familiarity and the deep trust that only those who have been through both good and bad times with him know .While the nation’s hopes and dreams may be more realistic, he is still excited about what lies ahead. He is the one whose wise and wonderful ways will always take our breath away.

Prof. Atta-Mills is a man of many sides. He is energetic, tough, tenderhearted, and stoic to firm. He has always had an independent side. And there is a quiet, thoughtful side in little things he does, a side that is quite astute.

During his time in office as Vice-President, Ghanaians came to know Professor Atta-Mills as a man of complete integrity who served his country with common sense and kind instincts. Ghanaians will always admire his unflinching performance of duty and the honorable conduct of his administration and the great rectitude of the man himself.

Prof. Atta-Mills is a great man who devoted the best years of his life in serving Ghana. He is a true gentleman who reflects the best in Ghana’s character. Before the world knew his name he was a Law Professor at University of Ghana, Legon and later served with distinction at the Internal Revenue Service. As Vice¬-President he commanded the respect and earned the goodwill of all who had the privilege of knowing him. For a nation that needed healing, and for an office that needed a calm and steady hand, Prof. John Atta-Mills came along when the country needed him most.

He has shown in his exemplary management of the Internal Revenue Service and his tenure as Vice-President that he has the strength, judgment and experience to make a great President. He wants to drive development of the country forward to meet the challenges of the world. He has demonstrated his ability to take on the top job by visiting disaster stricken areas, and embarking on a tour de force effective retail campaigning, he visited Akosombo dam, the source of our energy crisis, to boost the moral of the workers and also to show concern about the current energy plight. He has shown that he has the new ideas, the vision and experience to earn the trust of Ghanaians. He is an extraordinary and rare talent and a brilliant mind.

He believes putting the country first does not mean doing the right thing according to conventional wisdom, or the prevailing consensus, or the latest snapshot of opinion, it means doing what he genuinely believes to be right, that his duty as a leader is to act according to his convictions. He did what he thought was right for our country by conceding the 2004 hocus pocus elections. Tony Blair once remarked that “Sometimes the only way you conquer the pull of power is to set down.”

Prof. Attah-Mills believes a government can be as good as the people. He has faith that democracy, built on sacred values of family, freedom and fairness, can afford every Ghanaian, without exception, the opportunity to achieve their God-given potential. He believes a democratic government exists to help us achieve as a community and nation what we cannot achieve as individuals, and that it must not serve only a powerful few, and that Ghana is made more secure by moral, ethical, economic, and competent diplomatic leadership that uses the assets of a free nation to avoid unnecessary military coup d’etats.

Prof. Mills is of the opinion that public policy priorities should be based on the beliefs and values that guide our daily lives, because how we resolve critical issues impacts the daily lives of Ghanaians. Consequently, if voted to office, his administration will address the priorities of the people.

In politics, honesty, effective governance and leadership skills are valued as much as, if not more than, strong cognitive abilities. Needless to say, these characteristics, at times, are mutually exclusive. Ghanaians, however, are fortunate to have Prof. Mills, NDC’s Presidential candidate, as a potential President of Ghana. As Vice-President, he demonstrated a superior combination of leadership, humility and integrity.

Prof. Atta Mills is a true leader who exhibits courage and dedication. A powerful trait rarely found in the realm of politics, Moreover, his courage is balanced appropriately with professionalism, strong values, and humility. He is sensitive to others’ feelings and recognizes that different people require different types of direction and treatment. Although he often works with diverse and difficult groups, he always seems able to reach consensus and create a shared vision and purpose .Furthermore, he excels at establishing priorities and proactively setting direction. A big proponent of the philosophy that, with determination and strong religious faith , anything is possible.

As an effective leader, Prof Atta Mills also is able to translate his broad direction into discrete, tangible tasks. In addition, he exercises the appropriate level of supervision. His achievements are clear to Ghanaians. They are found in the peace and spirit of our nation. He became Vice President when our country needed confidence and tension was real. His resolve brought strength to the citizens of Ghana. He never tried to seize credit-one of the traits we have always admired most about him- but Ghanaians know where the credit belongs. Ghanaians know that his insatiable quest to become President is to effect a paradigm shift for the benefit of the country. Ghanaians know the good heart that always guided him, the unbending principles that always defined him. The kindness, courage and the inner sublime grace make him the man that he is.

Professor John Atta-Mills, for all of the aforementioned traits, your country thanks you. Your country honors you. Your country loves you. And your country needs you in 2008.

God bless Prof. John Atta Mills.

Long live Ghana!!!!!

Sandy Amoyaw, New York


Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.