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General News
Atta Mills makes nostalgic visit to Osu Castle 1/25/2007
Former Vice President John Evans Atta Mills, made a historic return to the Osu castle on Wednesday when he joined President Kufuor to formally welcome Busumuru Kofi Annan, immediate past UN Secretary-General back home.

And Professor Mills, now presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress broke into a spontaneous laughter at a suggestion by Joy News Editor Matilda Asante, if he felt nostalgic about the Castle on his first return to the seat of Government since packing out at the beginning of 2001 after his party lost power in the 2000 Elections.

“Let me say that this is my first time of going to the Castle after leaving office in January, 2001. Well I had no feeling. You know I was not thinking about anything except seeing Mr. Kofi Annan and doing him the honours. That was what preoccupied my mind. I had no feeling of nostalgia or anything. I had gone there for a purpose and I must say that that was one thing that was uppermost in my mind. But I’m happy that I played my role. I’m coming back, happy in the knowledge that I have participated in honouring a great son of this soil”, Professor Mills said amidst laughter.

Busumuru Kofi Annan arrived in the country Tuesday night to a rousing welcome after a distinguished career at the United Nations spanning almost four decades. In a brief speech to the large crowd of Ghanaians who thronged the Kotoka International Airport to meet him, he expressed his profound gratitude to all Ghanaians for standing behind him during his tenure.

The Castle meeting represented a unique move in the long standing political rivalry between the NDC and the ruling NPP. But in an interview with Joy News, Prof. Mills downplayed the reconciliatory significance of the meeting.

He said the meeting went very fine but he did not see it as a political gathering.

“It was a gathering of sons and daughters of Ghana who had met to honour a heroic son of this nation and I think that that was the lead that I picked to go and say well done to somebody who has brought us honour, glory and distinction.”

Asked if his meeting with President Kufuor was of no symbolic significance, Professor Mills said Kofi Annan deserved everything.

“President Kufuor and I are both Ghanaians and therefore if we meet Mr. Kofi Annan it is not strange and the occasion demanded that and Mr. Kofi Annan deserves that if coming together to honour him is something unique. Mr. Kofi Annan is a unique person, what he has done is unequalled, it is exceptional and therefore his treatment must be exceptional.”

Prof. Mills who said he spoke with President Kufuor, Kofi Annan and other political leaders at the meeting, said every event or occasion called for their own unique solutions.

“If people of this country are going to be united, they have to be united around a cause and it must be a genuine cause. Mr. Kofi Annan’s coming back and the fact that we have decided to honour him, it is something that should cut across all political lines. Ghanaians are proud of him and I believe that every Ghanaian, irrespective of political affiliation should bath in the reflected glory.”

Also present at the Castle for the ceremony were Ministers of State and aides of Professor Mills.

Mr. Annan will be delivering a lecture on Thursday as part of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary.

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