Ghana’s new president Professor John Evans Atta-Mills has been sworn-in and he calls on all Ghanaians to unite for a prosperous future. He said the dawn of a new era has come for a new direction. “We are changing to move forward,” the new president assured the teeming crowd amidst thunderous applause.
Prof. Atta-Mills said in his inaugural speck that he is not going to use most of his time to engage in political witch-hunting and blame game. “We shall give due recognition to our compatriot from other parites. I’ll be president for all. I’ll heal wounds to ensure unity of our country,” he promised.
There would be no room for political vendetta, blame game but I must say we would respect the legal process and the rule of law. We want equity and fairness to prevail.”
The then opposition leader said he would consult his two predecessors and use them as references.
Prof. Atta-Mills told Ghanaians his government would make internal security a top most priority. “No Ghanaian should live in fear of armed robbery. Improvement of internal security would be of top priority. We shall listen and address the concerns of the people.”
He called on all Ghanaians to put the election acrimonies behind them and look into the future with hope. He promised Ghanaians of jobs, investment in people, expansion in infrastructure and an open government.
Prof. Atta-Mills said his government would work and put in more efforts towards regional security as well as support the United Nations for global security.
From John to John to another John
Ghana’s new president takes over from former presidents John A Kufuor who stepped down voluntarily after a two-term office. Kufuor took over from Jerry John Rawlings who handed over power to him in 2000 after beating Atta-Mills in a second round of election.
Among the international dignitaries who graced the occasion were the Heads of State of Nigeria, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Togo and Benin. Representatives from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, South Africa, Italy, UK and Guinea were also present. Also in attendance were the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Prime Minister of Japan and officials from ECOWAS.
Born on 21 July 1944 at Tarkwa in western Ghana, “The Prof”, as Mr Atta Mills is known, has pursued a long academic career.
He graduated in law at the University of Ghana in 1967 before pursuing his legal studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Mr Atta Mills then won a Fulbright scholarship at Stanford Law School in the US.
He later returned to his alma mater the University of Ghana, where he taught for nearly 25 years. Mr Atta Mills was national tax commissioner under Mr Rawlings before being promoted to the vice-presidency.
He is a keen hockey player, at one time a member of the national team, and also enjoys swimming. He is married to Ernestina Naadu Mills, a director of education and trained marriage counsellor.
The former second lady-turned-first lady is also a dog-lover who has kept cross-bred Alsatians. The couple have one son, Sam Kofi Atta Mills.