TRIBUTE BY H.E. JOHN DRAMANI MAHAMA AT A WREATH LAYING CEREMONY TO COMMEMORATE THE 1ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE PASSING TO ETERNITY OF PROFESSOR JOHN EVANS ATTA MILLS, 3RD PRESIDENT OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC[Asomdwee Park, Marine Drive- July 24, 2013]
Wednesday 24 July 2013
The entire Atta Mills family
We have gathered here this afternoon in commemoration of the first anniversary of the passing to eternity of Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills- our President, my mentor, my comrade and my friend.
Here in the Asomdwee Park lie the mortal remains of a great crusader of social justice, peace, love and the politics of tolerance and inclusion.
A year ago, around this same time, the tragic news had just been received, and up there in my office at the Castle I recollect vividly, as if it were just yesterday, the emotional breakdown that I suffered upon hearing the news.
Our nation, Africa and the world were thrown into a state of mourning and grief. A grief so intense that it shook the very foundation of our land, cast a dark cloud over our country and set the hearts of every Ghanaian bleeding with shock and sorrow.
The nation felt a deep sense of remorse because his passing caused us to re-evaluate the harshness, scorn, cynicism and, yes, cowardice with which we often treated his attempts to recapture the fellow-feeling and ethical values that had kept us united for generations.
We were left humbled and speechless by a sudden insight of his quiet dignity and his unassuming willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
On the occasion of the first anniversary of his death, I stand before you, fellow Ghanaians, to rededicate myself to many of the things that the late Prof stood for.
Peace, Social Justice, Building a country of a united people, devoid of deep-seated partisan interests, being a father for all and developing Ghana into a country of equal opportunities without regard to partisan, tribal, religious or any other considerations.
President Mills was a leader who demonstrated that decency has a place in politics.
We miss Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
We miss him as a leader, a comrade, a devoted father, a compassionate elder brother, an outstanding scholar, an ardent believer, a refined mentor and an extraordinary President.
One of the most endearing images I have of Professor Mills was his vision of seeing Ghana as a beacon, lighting the path for the whole of Africa. And yet, paradoxically, Professor Mills was himself a beacon for Ghana, Africa and the rest of the world.
His light shines still, his legacy lives on, inspiring us, guiding us, prompting us to join hands in building this prized nation that he so selflessly dedicated himself to. We as a people must continue to build from where he left off.
I implore all Ghanaians especially the youth that we should continue to be inspired by this great man and resolve to be instruments of positive social change.
In everything we do, let’s ask ourselves what the impact of our actions or inactions would be on our nation and our fellow citizens. In doing so we shall honour the memory of our departed President Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
On behalf of the entire country that you served so ably and selflessly for so long, I pray that the good Lord continues to grant you a well-deserved rest.
President Professor John Evans Atta Mills- Asomdwehene, Man of Peace, Rest in Peace.
President Professor John Evans Atta Mills- You are Forever in our Hearts.