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President Mahama back from Congo, eulogises late President Mills

BY: Isaac Yeboah

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur welcoming President Mahama homePresident John Dramani Mahama has returned home from Congo Brazzaville.

President Mahama who returned Tuesday night, was in Brazzaville to hold discussions with Congolese leader, Daniel Sassou N'guesso, and also address a forum on infrastructure financing and the development of the African Middle Class.

Meanwhile the president who is expected to join in activities marking the first anniversary of the passing of his immediate predecessor, President JEA Mills, has been eulogising his late boss.

In a tribute during an encounter with the Press Corps at the Flagstaff House last Monday, President Mahama said not only was President Mills' death shocking, it also brought the whole nation together to mourn especially so as it was the first time a sitting president of Ghana had died in office.

Below is the full text of President Mahama’s tribute to late President Mills. You can also view photos of President Mahama's return at this link.

Let me welcome all of you and thank you for giving me this opportunity to express my sentiment on the first anniversary on the passing away of our dear, Late President Professor John Atta Mills.

I am sure you are all aware that 24th July marked the day when our late President Professor John Atta Mills passed away. Indeed, that day was a day of shock to all Ghanaians and indeed to all people the world over. Even though we had known he was ailing, of course, nobody expected that the kind of tragedy that befell us was going to occur and so it came as a shock to all of us.

Also considering that it was the first time in the history of our country that a sitting president had died in office, the whole nation came together and united in mourning the passing of our late president. We came together and gave him a fitting farewell. The international community solidarised with us, and several heads of state came here to join us in the funeral.

It is said that when a person has passed away what is left is the legacy and the attributes the person left and I think that for Professor Mills, love him or hate him, the whole nation accepts that this was a man of peace indeed. We named him Asomdwehene meaning ‘man of peace’ and that was the main attribute that he promoted.

Indeed peace is the brand that Ghana has to offer. The fact that Ghana is peaceful, safe and secure is one of the brands that give us a comparative advantage in a competitive sub-region and that is why investors are preferring to put in their investment here in Ghana above other West African countries because we are an oasis of peace and security. And so with Prof’s passing away this became more relevant ever than before.

We miss him and as you are aware the committee that is responsible for the first anniversary has started a series of activities and I have had the opportunity to participate in the first one, which was a beautiful choral concert yesterday. The activities will continue until the weekend climaxing with some functions that will take place in Cape Coast, a thanksgiving ceremony in Cape Coast.

We remember Prof not only because it is the first anniversary but also that after his passing we went on to have a peaceful election which was acclaimed by the international community and everybody as probably one of the most peaceful elections held in the country.

Unfortunately after the elections, we have had a dispute with regards to the elections, which the Supreme Court is adjudicating and so it means that Professor Mills’ message of peace is still relevant now than ever before.

I am happy that organisations like the Peace council, the NCCE, traditional rulers, civil society and all have wade in are holding several events to let our people understand that the adjudication by the Supreme Court is a part of our democratic governance. And that whatever verdict the court comes up with we should be prepared as a nation to accept.

Probably God made it such that the first anniversary of Prof’s death is coinciding with virtually the final stages of the tussle that have been going on in the Supreme Court.

On this occasion we should all remind each other that this country is bigger than all of us and that this country will continue to exist long after we have all gone.

Government will do everything possible to ensure that the safety and security of Ghana is guaranteed.

Thank you.