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Atta Mills’s principles, values must be documented for posterity - Prof. Kwesi Aning

BY: Shirley Aseidu-Addo
Prof Aning delivering his lecture
Prof Aning delivering his lecture

The ideals, principles and values of the late President John Evans Atta Mills must properly be documented to guide governance and posterity, the Director of the Faculty of Academic Affairs at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), Professor Kwesi Aning, has said.

He said it was also important to avoid misrepresentation and misinterpretation of Prof. Mills’s works and legacy, adding that the former President embodied excellent values and principles as an academic, bureacrat and politician, culminating in his being elected to the highest office of the land.

According to the director, those attributes of the former President, including the title ‘Asomdwehene’, ‘King of peace’, manifested in all he did.

Prof. Anning was speaking at the Prof. John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Lecture for the Central and the Western regions in Cape Coast last Wednesday.

It was organised by the J.E.A. Mills Memorial Heritage to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the passing of the former President.

The anniversary cloth and a literary compilation of the launch of the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Heritage, ‘The Great Launch’, were also unveiled at the event.

The J.E.A. Mills Memorial Heritage is an all-inclusive, non-partisan company limited by a guarantee that seeks to replicate the late President’s noble.

In attendance were some leaders of the National Democratic Congress, including former President John Mahama; the Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; the General-Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia; parliamentarians, traditional rulers, members of academia and members of the public.

Documentation

Prof. Aning urged the J.E.A. Mills Memorial Heritage Board to begin the compilation of Prof. Mills’s works, including his presidency, and make them accessible.

“It is essential and crucial that these writings serve as the foundation for knowledge creation and dissemination, as doing so will be the best way to protect his legacy from encroachment,” he said.

On security, Prof Aning said there was the need to restore the fundamental values of security institutions and ensure their sustenance through autonomous watchdog institutions, while orienting and resourcing them.

“True security is for the farmer to wake up at 4 a.m. and go to the farm without fear. Proper security is about our mothers leaving home about 2:30 a.m., travelling 300 kilometres to shop, knowing they will get to that market and return home.

“True security is about ensuring that you can walk up to a policeman and say: ‘I am lost’, and he will not ask you: ‘How much would you want to pay?’,” he added.

The director further said the government must be tolerant of diversity, criticisms and alternative viewpoints, adding that there was also the need for transparency and participatory democracy for growth.

Commendation

The NDC’s presidential running mate in the last election, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, commended former President Mills for his contributions to the educational sector in the country and the Central and the Western regions in particular and expressed the hope those contributions would not be lost to posterity.

Another speaker at the lecture, Prof. Akua Britwum, called for an assessment of the junior high school system, saying it was where critical minds were developed.

Prof. George Adjei of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) also praised Prof. Mills for his commitment to preserve the environment.

The Board Chairman of the J.E.A. Mills Memorial Heritage, Alex Segbefia, said the heritage sought to immortalise Prof. Mills’s personality and legacy as one of the nation’s most reputable Presidents.

The Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II, urged the people to appreciate the values of respect, humility and inclusiveness to help build the nation.