MEMBERS of the Ghanaian community in the United Kingdom (UK) and Ireland cast their political differences and ethnicity aside at the weekend to celebrate the life and times of their late inspirational and brilliant President, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster.
They were joined at the event to make it a continental celebration by the High Commissioners of Sierra Leone, India, Rwanda, Chile, Cameroun, Namibia, Uganda and Sri Lanka, Ghanaian members of the opposition parties. They unanimously described the late international tax expert, who died on July 24, 2012 as a noble and exceptionally humble African leader, who never played “vindictive politics” like many of his continental peers.
Leading the tributes was a representative of Ghana Union, who described the late Mills as an “esteemed man in a number of ways,” and one who ensued “due process was embedded in the fabric of our society.”
Mills, he noted, also “endeared himself to the citizens of Ghana with his modesty and humility” and also “united our country.”
The Class of 1961, Atta’s schoolmates at Achimota School, where he completed his Advance Certificate in 1963, rendered two melodious moving Ghanaian tunes much to the delight of the packed congregation.
In their tribute, the UK and Ireland chapter of Atta’s ruling party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the news of the death came as a “massive shock,” prompting them to question God for taking away such a humble and caring leader without allowing him to finish his tenure in office. NDC’s representative said the party’s consolation is that “God doesn’t make mistakes.” He was quick to add that, “his vacuum will be difficult to fill.”
Mills, who would have made history as the first ever Fulbright Society scholar to be honoured at the society’s special event in New York last Saturday, was also described by the NDC as a “man of peace, agent of change and embodiment of peace. He was not a typical African leader,” in that “he did things differently” and also “brought decency to politics in Ghana and Africa in general.”
Ghana, the NDC noted, “has just lost a great son” and “a gentleman,” who “fought for social and economic prosperity of Ghana.” Apart from reaching out to the less privileged, Atta Mills also “ made Ghana a beacon of hope,” the party added.
The Convention Peoples Party (CPP) eulogised the late President, crediting him for living “behind an enduring legacy of the rule of law.” Atta Mills, CPP said, showed that “politics doesn’t have to be of continued conflict and contention.”
According to the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP), Atta Mills didn’t just make history as the first man from the central region of Ghana to ascend to the country’s topmost post, he was a scholar and international tax expert, who also distinguished his political career with his gentleness. The PPP said that the late President had a habit of answering “his critics without confrontation.”
In his inspirational sermon, the Vice-Chairman of Ghanaian Christian Council (GCC), Dr. Shadrach Ofosuware, described the late President as an “exceptionally noble and selfless man, who distinguished himself as a true ambassador of the Christian faith.” Mills, he added, “used his personal money to fund the education of less privileged children” and also “didn’t play vindictive politics.”
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