Today the 24th of July 2018, we remember a national hero, Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills; a man who remains one of the most illustrious presidents in the history of Ghana. Six years after his demise, it appears memories of the late ex-President still reign in the minds of Ghanaians.
Professor John Evans Fifii Atta Mills was a Fanti from Ekumfi Otuam in the Central Region of Ghana.
He was born in Tarkwa on 21 July 1944, located in the Western Region of Ghana.
He was educated at Achimota School, where he completed the Advanced-Level Certificate in 1963, and the University of Ghana, Legon, where he received “Black man of the month” several times.
In 1968, Mills studied at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and received a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
John Evans Fifii Atta Mills ‘ first formal teaching assignment was as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana Legon. He spent close to twenty five years teaching at Legon and other institutions of higher learning, and rose in position from lecturer to senior lecturer to associate professor, and served on numerous boards and committees.
Additionally, he traveled worldwide as a visiting lecturer and professor at educational institutions such as the LSE, and presented research papers at symposiums and conferences. In 1971, he was selected for the Fulbright Scholar program at Stanford Law School in the United States of America.
At the age of 27, he was awarded his PhD after successfully defending his doctoral thesis in the area of taxation and economic development. He returned to Ghana that year, becoming a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ghana.
He became a visiting professor of Temple Law School (Philadelphia, USA), with two stints from 1978 to 1979, and 1986 to 1987, and was a visiting professor at Leiden University (Holland) from 1985 to 1986. During this period, he authored several publications relating to taxation during the 1970s & 1980s.
Outside of his academic pursuits, Professor Mills was the Acting Commissioner of Ghana’s Internal Revenue Service from 1986 to 1993, and the substantive Commissioner from 1993 to 1996.By 1992, he had become an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Ghana. Mills was also a Fulbright scholar at Stanford Law School.
President John Evans Fifii Atta Mills was the third President of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
He was inaugurated on 7 January 2009, after winning the 2008 election.
He emerged victorious in the election after defeating the New Patriotic Party’s candidate and current President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in a run-off.
John Evans Fifii Atta Mills was Vice-President from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry John Rawlings, and stood unsuccessfully in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The 68-year-old died a few hours after being taken ill at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra.
Tragedy struck on July 24, 2012, when Atta Mills died at the 37 Military Hospital aged 68.
He had reportedly been battling a protracted medical condition, and in the days leading up to his death, had been in the US for some medical attention.
He was named Asomdwe Hene because of his peaceful communications and was buried at the Asomdwe Park in Accra.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding his demise of which some have suspected foul play but his official autopsy report is yet to be made public.
Under Mr Atta Mills’ leadership, Ghana joined the ranks of the world’s large-scale
The late president was married to Ernestina Naadu Mills, an educator and had a son, Sam Kofi Atta Mills, with Ruby Addo.