President Akufo-Addo has stated that the late former President of the Republic, whom he describes as his contemporary, friend and as “the man from Ekumfi Otuom”, will not be forgotten by the government and people of Ghana, having died while serving in office as President of the country in 2012.
Addressing attendees of the 10th anniversary memorial thanksgiving service of the late former President John Evans Atta-Mills, as well as the unveiling of the tombstone and commissioning of Asomdwee Park where his mortal remains are buried, President Akufo-Addo, said the late President deserves every necessary honour that the nation can possibly bestow on him.
“We were contemporaries in the University of Ghana, members of the same hall, the premiere hall of the University, the hall of gentleman, Legon hall. We played in the same University football team and as fate will have it, we ended up belong to and leading different political organizations” President Akufo-Addo said.
We contested the Presidency in 2008 and even though some will say it does not count, I won the first round and he won the second round, the round that really mattered. I was looking forward to the third round in 2012, when the Almighty called him home on 24 July 2012” Akufo-Addo added.
Concerning the Asomdwee park, President Akufo-Addo noted that “sometime after becoming, President, he “became aware of the sad state of the Asomdwee park and in 2020”, he “received a request from the late President’s energetic communications director, Koku Anyidoho, who runs the institute named after the President for the assistance of government for the rehabilitation of the facility”.|
“I agreed and subsequently, I instructed the Coastal Development Authority to undertake a thorough rehabilitation of the park with close collaboration of the institute. It was not right that the park had been allowed to deteriorate considerably over the years since his burial in 2012” the President said.
“I am happy that it was under the Presidency of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, allegedly, his fiercest critic, that the Asomdwee park has been elevated to a status befitting the final resting place of a President of the Republic of Ghana” he added.
On divisions in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) concerning the construction of a befitting resting place for former President Atta-Mills, President Akufo-Addo says he “did so (the rehabilitation of the Asomdwee park) with the sole objective of honouring the memory of Atta-Mills and nothing else.
“I did so with that objective solely in mind and not to exploit or take advantage of any so called division in the political party to which he belonged. Those alleged divisions are not of my making and do not in any way inure to my benefit” President Akufo-Addo said.
There has according to President Akufo-Addo, “been unfortunate allegations levelled against government about the supposed desecration of the tomb of the late President in the process of rehabilitating the park”.
In 1996, John Evans Atta-Mills was chosen by President Jerry John Rawlings, as running mate on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the resultant victory allowed Professor Atta-Mills to take office on Tuesday, January 07, 1997, as the second Vice President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
In the build-up to the 2000 general elections, Vice President Atta-Mills emerged the Flagbearer for NDC but the scale flipped in favour of the New Patriotic Party’s John Agyekum Kufuor who became the second President of the Fourth Republic on, Sunday, January 07, 2001.
Professor John Evans Atta-Mills loved God and manifested it in several ways most evidently, as President of the Republic of Ghana, he instituted a National Day for Prayer and Thanksgiving – which took place at the Independence Square in, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012.
For the records, at the time he was President, he was the only Fulbright Scholar worldwide to have been elected President of any Country, and the Fulbright Association duly decorated him at a ceremony in New York. President John Evans Atta-Mills was married to Mrs. Ernestina Naadu Mills and left behind a son, Kofi Atta-Mills.