John Evans Atta Mills....Leadership and Legacy in Africa
Few will disagree that Professor John Atta Mills the late president of the republic of Ghana represented humility, peace, selflessness, reverence for God, hardwork, respect for human rights and democracy.
He ruled Ghana for 3 years and 7months (2009 - 2012); but his impact in Ghana, Africa and across the world will be celebrated for generations to come.
Ghanaians called him....Asomdwehene (The king of Peace). President Mills' calm, cautious and gentle approach won him many admirers and well as critics. A man who rarely spoke rashly to anyone nor used hate speech or insulting language anywhere. His dedication, commitment and sacrifice to national development was simply admirable. A passionate sports lover; very interested in the development of young people. Those who personally knew him spoke of his commitment to keep promises he made.
John Mills challenging health condition for the past four years raised some concern among Ghanaians. Its alleged he suffered from cancer of the throat which in latter months leading to his passing give him some difficulty in speech, vision and probably hearing. The question some are asking today is why didn't he just step down and relieved himself of the stress associated with leadership and governnce and concentrate on his health?
Well, he didn't. President Mills worked hard continuously, went on several missions abroad, addressed many pertinent developmental issues in Ghana and Africa.
The day he died,(24th July, 2012) the 68 year old commander in chief was not resting at home; he was working at the presidency and due to travel to Nigeria later that day. Dr. Mills collapse in his office(some alleged cardiac arrest) and later give up at Accra's 37 military hospital.
He died in the line of duty. Some say he sacrificed his life and health for the sake of his mother land. This is the true definition of selfless leadership in Africa. How many of our leaders would give up leisure and comfort at the expense of their lives?
Not to talk of the pressure he had to deal with from within his own party and from everywhere else. The doctor of law was a fighter, a resilient character and a man with a good heart for everyone.
Leadership is about capacity and character. Capacity is having the knowledge, skills, training, technical know-how and experience that makes a person take the lead in his given field. Charater talks about the priceless virtues that makes a person special such as honesty, intergrity, selflessness, humility, patience and inner strength.
Prof Mills possessed capacity and character. He was astute and brilliant as well as peaceful and a man of intergrity.
He did his best in 3 years interms of achieving high economic growth and stability of the Ghanaian economy. Mills worked tirelessly in terms of improving social infrastructure in Ghana. Much more can be said. Much more was achieved. Much more is yet to be achieved.
Several challenges still persist but the good professor's true legacy was not merely block and mortal...but PEACE, HUMILITY,MODESTY, RESPECT, THE FEAR OF GOD, HARD WORK, RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHS, the RULE OF LAW and a good SENCE OF HUMOUR.
What have we learned from his life? That leadership is humility, respect for your fellowmen, peacefulness, having the fear of God in you and hardwork.
Ghana is proud of you President Mills. Africa is Pleased with your LEADERSHIP. The world recognizes your contributions. You could have achieved more but the cold hand of death took you away untimely. Your exempliary leadership and legacy will remain in our hearts and be told to generations yet unborn.
Rest in Peace.......Asomdwehene