General News of Sunday, 18 March 2018
The Deputy General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho has described late Former President, Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills as a principled and disciplined man who never hesitated to correct him (Anyidoho) whenever he flawed.
In an interview with Kwabena Kyenkyenhene Boateng on GhanaWeb’s ’21 Minutes with KKB’, Mr. Anyidoho recounted a moment where he angered the Late Former President for refusing to adhere to orders he was given.
He said out of the anger Late Prof. Mills threatened to take him of the 2008 campaign team prior to the 2008 elections, an action he suggested said taught him to put other people’s feelings into consideration when taking any action.
“President Mills was a disciplinarian. He disciplined me several times. A typical example is this, and this was before he became President, during the campaign for the 2008 elections. He gave me strict instructions that he did not want his son, Kofi to become an issue for discussion in the media and Kofi had then come down from the UK to participate in the campaign to support his dad, “he narrated.
He explained that, ” Specifically we were in Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam constituency, but I, as a communications expert and a politician, thought that Kofi’s coming down should be made public because the NPP and the opposition at the time were passing all kinds of vile comments about the then candidate; He didn’t have a son, he was this and that, and so I thought that it was a fine opportunity to let the whole world know that the man had a son and that he was a father.”
“So I defied orders and I put it in my paper, the Ghanaian Lens at the time. He was actually mad and said he was going to cut me off of the team in his moment of anger. It took a while, maybe days for him to understand that I meant well, I meant no harm. And to be frank putting out that picture stopped the ‘nonsense’ that was coming from the opposition and the opposition press. We had a beautiful relationship but he didn’t allow me to just run roughshod over people,” he fondly recalled.
Being a disciplinarian was not the only thing many may have identified him with as throughout the nation, the former President was known as the ‘Man of Peace’ or the Asomdwe Hene ( King of Peace), traits that have made him one of the great leaders the nation has ever had.
Late Prof Mills who died on July 24, 2012, at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, was the first sitting president in Ghanaian history to have died in office.