It is infamously widespread on the continent for African nations to have leaders, whose death does not mean much to the citizenry.
On that fateful Tuesday, which started as a normal day did not end well, as the sudden passing of President John Evans Atta Mills, shook the country.
Everybody from all walks of life, regardless of political affiliation shed a tear from the man, who came to be known as ‘Asomdwehene’.
After his passing, we witnessed the rush by various government agencies, especially Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies to name, schools, roads, etc after him.
I had course to write back then that, what will be left to name after former president Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor.
The Presidential Library system formally began in 1939, when President Franklin Roosevelt donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government. At the same time, Roosevelt pledged part of his estate at Hyde Park to the United States, and friends of the President formed a non-profit corporation to raise funds for the construction of the library and museum building.
Presidential Libraries and Museums promote understanding of the president, vast archives of documents, important Presidential artifacts, interesting educational and public programmes, and informative web sites.
President John Dramani Mahama inaugurated President John Evans Atta Mills’ library on July 24, 2016 to coincide with the anniversary of his passing. Sadly the library of one of Ghana’s God’s gift has been closed down for lack of funds.
During his life, president Mills, showed that it is possible to be a politician in Africa and be guileless and corrupt-free
He believed that everyone is exceptional and not created for the sole reason of being a member of a family; but everyone must have a voice. He always had a deep sense of commitment and desire to empower, improve and uplift people, especially the under-privileged and disadvantaged-he had a fellow feeling for people. He gave the youth the opportunity that was never witnessed in the history of this country.
He was a visionary any nation should be proud to have as its leader- his work ethic, attention to details and commitment to the nation’s development , justice and fairness, have made some consider him ‘rigid’.
president John Evans Atta Mills, embodied the very elevation of forthrightness as an end in and of itself, requiring no further pursuit or interpretation to validate it
Prof. John Evans Atta Mills was a detribalised Ghanaian, his acumen and resourcefulness had not only nurtured his personal vision and success, but contributed significantly towards building a better world for the nation’s citizens. He was probably the only president, whose kinsmen did not hijack his administration.
We are living witnesses to the number of family and friends in the Akufo-Addo administration, this country has abundant talent for any president to rely on his family and friends to govern.
President Mills, as I keep saying was a rare breed of politician, he assumed the office of president, a humble man and died a humble man.
He led his life believing that the very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.
He lived by example, he was time conscious and encouraged his appointees to do so, if there ever was any president in the history of this country, who was incorruptible, it was president Mills.
He had no property to his name, neither was he linked to any property, years after his death.
His library is the only living monument that, will remind future generations that, they once lived a great man, who dedicated his life to the service of his country.
We are all in a hurry to wish him away, we want to etch him out of our minds.
I am sad not because the Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, told the Daily Graphic in an interview on Wednesday that “this facility is purely a private enterprise to immortalise President Mills, so government cannot commit funds to its running.” I am sad, because the National Democratic Congress (NDC) a party he led and won a fiercely contested election for in 2008, has decided not to recognize the contribution of the man to the party.
Not too long ago, it took the intervention of some benevolent people to go and put his final resting place the ‘Asomdwe Park’ in a good shape. The place was abandoned and was taken over by weeds.
Eighty percent of the projects that the NDC, could claim to have built in the eight years that it was in office (2009-2016), were either initiated or started by president Mills.
Mention could be made of the Ridge Hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, The Circle Interchange, the Kasoa Interchange, the Kotokuraba Market in Cape Coast etc.
If the party cannot do anything for him, it is not maintaining his grave and his library.
Last week March 8, was the International Day For Women, curiously I did not read anywhere from the women caucus of the NDC, wishing the wife of the late president, Naadu Mills, happy women’s day. Even on mother’s day, nothing by way of a message goes to the widow of the late president.
Shame to all those who were appointed to be part of the committee to oversee the Atta Mills presidential library.
The John Evans Atta Mills Presidential Library has been closed down for lack of funds to run it.
The two-storey building, situated opposite the Cape Coast Castle, has been under lock and key few months after it was inaugurated and handed over to the University of Cape Coast (UCC) because there is no budget to fund the facility.
President Mills, did many good things for this country, as head of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), to Vice-president between 1996 to 2000 and ultimately to president in 2009, until his untimely passing.
As public servant, he defied expectations, because he was brilliant and curious and was not fooled by what most people define as success
As I continue to mourn the passing away of this remarkable leader and gentleman, I am consoled that his legacy of uncommon commitment to the ideals of nationhood, will endure and will be a reference point for many years to come and this is what his library was expected to achieve.
It is my view, however, that the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, should be immortalized.