Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament Mourns Atta Mills

The speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu described the death of former Ghanaian president John Atta Mills as shocking and grievous.

The Speaker, who also doubles as the Deputy President of the Nigerian Senate, said Atta Mills’ death came to the Community Parliament as a rude shock, extolling the late President as a true son of Africa who gave his very best towards democracy and development in the continent.

Senator Ekweremadu said “The West African sub-region and indeed Africa has lost a Pan-African and visionary who championed the course of democracy, good governance, peace, stability, integration, and development in the West African sub-region, particularly Africa in general.

“The ECOWAS Parliament in particular will remember him as one of its pillars of support and a strong proponent of the enhancement of the powers of the Community Parliament”.

He added that “The pages of history will be very kind to the late President for his remarkable roles in the defence and restoration of democratic rule in several parts of the sub-region and for upholding Ghana as one of the shining lights of democracy on the African continent”

The Speaker condoled with the Government and people of Ghana, urging them to “work hard to sustain the laudable principles, visions, and legacies bequeathed by the late President.

He prayed for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed President.

Obama says Ghana is ‘good-news story’ from Africa

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Ghana's President John Evans Atta Mills in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

President Barack Obama praised the African state of Ghana on Thursday as a model of democracy and growth in a continent that many Americans associate with poverty and violence.

“There’s sometimes a tendency to focus on the challenges that exist in Africa – and rightfully so,” said Mr Obama, who sat beside Ghana’s president, John Atta Mills, in the Oval Office.

“But I think it’s important for us to also focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa, and I think Ghana continues to be a good-news story,” he said, warmly thanking Mills for the hospitality shown the U.S. first family when the Obamas visited the country in 2009.

Ghana, the world’s second biggest cocoa producer, posted double-digit growth in 2011 and is one of the more stable countries in West Africa.

The U.S. president commended Mills for his action on human rights and governance, voicing Washington’s approval of the stability that Ghana provides in a fragile region of Africa.

Its neighbour, Cote d’Ivoire, suffered months of violence last year after a disputed election, and other near-neighbours Liberia and Sierra Leone experienced years of brutal conflict.

“Ghana has proven, I think, to be a model for Africa in terms of its democratic practices,” said Obama, noting that both leaders faced re-election in 2012.

Mills told Obama, “We are going to ensure that there is peace before, during, after the election, because when there is no peace, it’s not the elitists who will suffer, it’s the ordinary people who have elected us into office.”