President Mills: We are not going to be swayed by personal sentiments
President John Evans Atta Mills on Friday called on political detractors and opponents to allow the Government to stay focused and execute it plans for the benefit of the people.
He decried the infusion of personal issues into the governance process and reassured Ghanaians of Government’s commitment to keep to its word of ensuring that the right things were done to improve the lives of the people.
“What is right is right,” President Mills said, at Town Hall meeting with Ghanaians in the catchment area of Washington DC, in the United States of America (USA) to where he is making an official visit.
The President, who had met with US President Barack Obama at the White House and had been holding discussions with other government Secretaries on areas of mutual interest, said Government was ready to sit down with Ghanaians in the Diaspora to note their concerns and seek ways to address them.
Issues that have often surfaced from Ghanaians abroad have been, among others, the high import duties, voting rights for Ghanaians resident abroad and concerns for Government to make this year’s general elections peaceful.
President Mills said despite the difficulties and challenges the Government inherited at the time of assuming power in 2009, Government remains undaunted adding that “we are happy and proud that we have come this far, the Good Lord has given us bountiful blessings”.
He said people had a right to hold diverse political views and belong different political groups, but there was the need for tolerance and understanding of one another with the one objective of seeking the interest of the nation saying “whatever differences we have ….we should embark on what will inure to our benefit as a nation”.
On the suggestion to make education a top priority issue, the President, reiterated Government’s commitment to an excellent education system and human resource development adding that “if I don’t attach importance to education, I have no business being in the Castle”.
Under his Administration, Government is working on the elimination of “school under trees”, giving free school uniforms, extension of teacher–pupil contact hours and an improved pay structure for teachers in the public sector, among others.
President Mills reassured Ghanaians that “there will be peace before, during and after the elections” adding that elections are about choices and Ghanaians must have the free choice of who should be their leaders.
He reminded his audience on the number of the conflicts on the African Continent which arose from electoral disputes, saying Government was doing the best it could to achieve a better life for all Ghanaians.
Earlier, President Mills and the ministerial delegation accompanying him had held bilateral discussions with some Secretaries of the US State Department on issues of common interests ranging from justice and crime prevention, finance, energy, transport and aid.
The discussions included Mr Timothy Gethner, Secretary of US Treasury; Mr Eric Holder Jnr, US Attorney General; Mr Steve Chu, Secretary of Energy; Mr Ray Lahood, Secretary of Transport; and Dr Rajiv Shah, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development.
On the side of the Ghana Government were Mr James Bebaako-Menssah, Secretary to the President , Rev Dr Amo Darko, Member of the Council of State; Dr Kwabena Dufuor, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Alhaji Mohamed Mumuni, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Trade and Industry; and Dr Joe Oteng Adjei, Minister for Energy.
Others were Mr Seth Terkper, Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning; Ms Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Minister for Transport; and Mr Daniel Ohene Agyapong, Ghana’s Ambassador to the US and in attendance was Mr Donald Tetelbaum, US Ambassador to Ghana.