A former Director of the Kenya School of Law, Prof. Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, has said Africa had not made enough strides as a continent due to the fact that “most African leaders are arrogant and dishonest”.
He said that the pomposity of such leaders on the continent partly accounted for the prevailing economic challenges in their respective countries.
Prof. Lumumba said this in his keynote address at the 10th anniversary commemorative lecture of former President John Evans Atta Mills at the Business School of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology ( KNUST) in Kumasi, yesterday.
It was the fifth in a series of lectures to climax the yearly commemoration put together by the J.E.A. Mills Memorial Heritage to immortalise his persona and also capitalise on his “outstanding ideals and values” as one of Ghana’s most reputable leaders.
Prof. Lumumba said that the former President was well known for his transparency.
“J.E.A Mills reminded African leaders that it is not how long you serve, but how well you served,” adding that one’s longevity in office did not guarantee his or her quality of service.
Present at the fully-packed auditorium included former President John Dramani Mahama, some former Ministers of State, the rank and file of the National Democratic Congress, some traditional leaders and students.
They included the Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and the 2020 running mate of John Mahama, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang.
A representative of the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asakyirihene Nana Mensah Bonsu, chaired the function.
Atta Mills’ legacy
Former President Mahama also said that the late Prof. Mills’ amiable demeanor was unprecedented, and a breath of fresh air on the nation’s political scene.
He said his personality stood out in a very combative political scene which was seen a welcome change that re-imaged the “Ghanaian politician”.
“Prof. Mills had a strong sense of compassion, and his kindness was unmatched.
Though the President of Ghana, he never lost touch of humanity.
“He was bestowed the title ‘Asomdwehene’ (King of Peace) for his calm nature, and for always looking to create an atmosphere conducive for all to peacefully co-exist,” former President Mahama added.
For her part, the Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee of the lecture series, Betty Mould Iddrisu, said the traits of former President Mills would always be remembered not only by the NDC but the good people of the country and beyond.
She said as the first female Attorney-General, the former President gave opportunities to women to excel in all facets of their career
“He saw the welfare of women, and gave them leadership roles in all facets of life,” Mrs Iddrisu added.
Other speakers were Prof. Kwaku Danso-Boafo, a former minister of state, who also outlined the good works of the former President.
A book titled: “It is all about Atta Mills” was launched and auctioned at the event.