Tolerance key in competitive democracy – Dr Gasu

Tolerance is the virtue upon which competitions thrive otherwise such contests degenerate into bestiality as no acceptable rules of the game exist to guide proceedings, a lecturer at the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS), Dr John Gasu, has opined.

He said in the academia, for instance, it was generally a contest of ideas in which the superior argument carried the day, and that it was these virtues of tolerance in the competition of sports and academia that the late President, J.E.A. Mills brought into political leadership.

According to him, Professor Mills’ extreme tolerance of political divergence and the contest of ideas was apparently not well understood by his opponents because “he brought into political leadership an attribute of stoic endurance to insults and rather focused in the wake of such negativity on national reconciliation and development.

Dr Gasu made this observation at a lecture organised by the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council as part of activities marking the first anniversary of the death of Professor J.E.A. Mills.

It was on the topic “leadership style of Professor Mills: From his academic to political life”.

Dr Gasu said notwithstanding the negativities associated with the political culture under the current political dispensation ,the Fourth Republic had offered Ghanaians the opportunity for national development.

He said political leaders were fully aware that it was mainly through the delivery of economic goods to the populace that votes could be assured with those “before Mills to beat in this regard and Mills carried further to higher levels”.

“In his short stay in office President Mills was able to achieve the longest period of single digit inflation, recorded the highest growth rate in Africa and also to implement the Single Spine Salary Structure for public servants. His conviction that education is the key to human resource development of the country saw him establishing two new universities in the Volta and Brong Ahafo regions. The school under trees phenomenon which has been with us over the years have been substantially reduced under Professor Mills and so have senior high schools received massive infrastructural development he added.

Dr Gasu was of the belief that Ghanaians had all come to the recognition that the departure of Professor Mills a year ago had created a vacuum that would be difficult to fill, and prayed that God would give him a peaceful rest in eternity.

In a brief remark the Regional Minister, Dr Ephraim Nsoh, extolled the good works of the late president and expressed the hope that his peaceful nature would be emulated by all politicians.

A member of the council of state, Naa Seidu Braimah, described Professor Mills as a man of many parts and called on Ghanaians to project him to generations yet unborn.

By George Folley

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