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Kwesi Pratt reveals how Atta Mills turned down a house gift


Former President John Evans Atta Mills turned down a chance to add to his two houses, veteran journalist, Kwesi Pratt has said.

During his time as president, Mills discouraged people from flooding him and his ministers with gifts and it appears, the man called ‘asomdwe hene’ stayed true to his words.

Kwesi Pratt who was a close friend of the late politician disclosed to that in one of his numerous conversations with Atta Mills, he (Mills) told him about how he rejected a magnificent house offered as a gift by another friend.

Pratt recounts that Mills rejected the gift on grounds that he already had two houses and hence was not interested in acquiring more properties.

Kwesi Pratt explains that instead of accepting the gift, Mills encouraged the man to give it to the homeless people.

“He had two houses, the one on the Spintex Road and one in Oyarifa. One day in a conversation with him when he was president, he said one of his friends came to him offering him keys to a house because he wanted him to live in a decent house”.

“He looked at the person in the face and asked him that when you were coming to me, didn’t you see those beggars in the street. Didn’t you see the homeless. They are the ones who deserve houses not me. I already have two houses and every year I have to look for painters to paint them. Now he is coming to add another one to make it more difficult for me rehabilitated,” Pratt said.

He was discussing the legacy of Atta Mills, eight years on after his painful demise.

He paid glowing tribute to his ‘good friend’ whom he describes as an extraordinary man.

“The late John Evans Atta Mills was an extraordinary human being. I recall seeing him on the playing field where he was either playing hockey or football or some other game or just simply being in the stands. He was intensely involved in sports that it was amazing. For a professor of his standing to be that actively involved in sports was something to behold. It was extraordinary.”

“Professor Mills was not your ordinary politician. He brought something to the table which was no other politician has been able to do. It was just his simplicity, honesty, and his absolute lack of craving for public attention. He was so ordinary that it was very difficult to say as a head of state even when he had been elected as president,” he said.

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