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Opinions of Friday, 7 December 2007

Columnist: Amoyaw, Sandy

Atta-Mills: The Most Trusted Name In Politics


Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1762), a Swiss philosopher once remarked that "Those who desire to treat politics and morals separately will never understand anything of either”. Essentially, Rousseau is stating that the practice of politics not only can but must be reconciled with the imperatives of honesty.

But what is honesty in a politician? Is it possible for a politician to be honest at all? The answers to these questions are the focus of this vignette. In politics, honesty, effective governance and leadership skills are valued as much as, if not more than, strong cognitive abilities. Undoubtedly, 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 integrity, courage and dedication. A powerful trait rarely found in the realm of politics, courage is unique in its ability to unify and motivate people. Moreover, his integrity, humility and courage are balanced appropriately with professionalism, strong values and dedication to politics. 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 directions.

Pro Mills’ dedication to just causes is well recognized. .It takes a lot of courage, honesty, great sacrifice and passion to run a presidential campaign for a third time in these times of lies and hate that is why Ghanaians were proud and excited about Prof. Mills’ decision to run again as a presidential candidate. While keeping his head up, Prof. Mills is doing an amazing job with his campaign. Consequently, the whole country is behind him all the way. Pro Mills always keeps the focus on the facts - preserving the process of honest debate and allowing people, ultimately to make informed decisions. On the contrary, many have come to respond to rumors about the Prof. through sheer emotion, stereotyping and false beliefs as well as knee-jerk reactions. Needless to say, Ghanaians are now certain about Prof. Mills’ intention to become President and they co-sign the idea because they think he is the right person for the job, given his honesty and the trust they have for him. Hopefully, Ghanaians will never, ever succumb to the empty rhetoric and baseless perorations of the other presidential hopefuls. Why should we support Prof Mills’ sensible campaign? There are many good points to be mindful of when writing, speaking of and discussing this issue with others of why Prof. should be Ghana’s next President. But the most paramount is his honesty. Instead of gratitude for the legendary and hard working Prof. Mills who talks about the issues that affect the ordinary citizen and the country, it is sad to hear people repeat hoary falsehoods and unfounded obloquy about this great Statesman. They are either ignorant or forget that Prof. Mills once worked tirelessly in the most demanding job, as Vice-President, to insure that our children and future generations would not have to go through the opprobrium of poverty, unaffordable education and healthcare, hatred and hostility that they are experiencing now. Furthermore, as a Presidential candidate he ensured that peace and tranquility prevailed after the botched 2004 elections. The long history of contempt, hate, ego and the cultural incompetence seems to give some opponents the sense that their association with the current administration confers upon them impunity and permission to despise Prof Mills. Nonetheless, Ghanaians appreciate and thank Prof. Mills for his courage of standing up for all of our rights and fighting in face of hateful words to keep his campaign on track. Who can you trust these days? The whole Presidential campaign is getting caught in the credibility undertow for the elections in 2008, the lies that can send one of the numerous aspirants to the Flagstaff House, and other shovelfuls of crap that lined our domestic policy bins, election campaigns, and stooge hypocrisy. The million dollar question is which of these presidential hopefuls seem to be fairly trustworthy by today’s rigorous standards? What we need is a non-partisan consensus, an examination of who people actually trust and confide in, someone who commands trust from both sides of the fence. But the trick is to find someone who is actually alive, well and up to the task. Ghanaians are now politically savvy and they know that the choice is Prof. Mills.

Of course, you can’t trust politicians. But Ghanaians believe Prof Mills is the man to confide in. Now think about it a moment. With all these politicians masquerading around as the silver bullet owners, which of them have the know-how, humility and honesty like Prof. Mills? This icon is one of the most intelligent, thoughtful, talented men in Ghana and remarkably well-equipped to lead the nation. To majority of Ghanaians, Prof Mills deserves to win the 2008 general elections because he is an honest person, and he literally has the best interest of the people at heart. Getting the hidden message in politics is not the strong suit of many people, and further more, they don't even know what to believe and what to pass off as one party tries to slander the other. Many eligible voters are even not up to date on the issues because they can't seem to find a presidential hopeful who does not have his own agenda to progress.

Prof Mills is a genuinely kind man who really wants to make a difference in his country. Prof Mills is the NOBLIEST Ghanaian of them all (the presidential aspirants) and he has the best interest of the people. Prof. Mills is the “one-eyed man” among the blind presidential hopefuls who deserves to be elected president in December 2008. He has no hidden agendas, just honesty and doing what is right! It is very frustrating, rather than hearing some presidential candidates talking about the issues and what they hope to do, they spend more time either taking personal jabs at each other or just telling us what we want to hear. The question goes to the heart of democracy. When voters write off politicians as dishonest, anti-democratic movements thrive and this spawns tension and coup d’etats. If voted into power, Prof. Mills’ honesty will prevent this occurrence because he knows that universal truths tend to prevail over ambiguity and compromise. Prof Mills is the lesser of the numerous evils that we have on the presidential playing field. Ghanaians must choose the lesser evil because he always applies decent standards and righteousness in his modus operandi, but not cynicism and hypocrisy. Paradoxically, if all people were honest, politics would become redundant. This does not mean that we cannot identify honest politicians when we see them. Prof. Mills is an honest politician who regards politics as a tool for achieving the common good. He is not naive, and knows that patience, compromise, and a policy of small steps are often needed to achieve higher objectives Prof. Mills is an honest politician who pursues pragmatism that is built on principles. He always has the courage to say the politically correct stuff with a constructive attitude. Indeed, his responsible criticisms are characterized by his eagerness to expose and publicize a problem matched by his willingness to propose feasible solutions. And this is perhaps the most common form of honesty in politics. Actual governance is so often the best test of political honesty. Ghana has been a democratic country since 1992. Now that the voters feel the politicians who were critical of others while in opposition have proven to be ineffective when they got the chance to govern, we expect the voters to punish their dishonesty at the ballot box in December 2008. Prof Mills has passed the toughest test as an honest politician because he has defended ideas that are unpopular but right under the circumstances, for example his association (this association occurred by default in his position as Vice-President) with people that Prof Mills opponents resent Not everyone would pass such a test, particularly when elections are approaching. Prof Mills knows that a moral politician never succeeds single-handedly in ensuring the common good. He believes that only when politicians support one another's decency can they be confident that in critical moments for the country, they can rise above their political divisions. Pro Mills being an honest politician willingly shoulders his burden, always. Prof Atta Mill is for real and not just for power. And that’s what makes him ultimately more trustworthy than any of the current presidential aspirants At least he tells you what he’s doing. The other aspirants, however, tell you the diametrical opposite of what they intend to accomplish. They obviously have no use for trust. They’ll leave that to Prof Mills, someone you and I can count on. A good reference in tough times. Prof. Mills is the most trusted name in politics. I REST MY CASE.

S. Amoyaw

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