Professor John Evans Attah Mills, Flagbearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), said on Wednesday that if his party recaptured political power in the December 7, General Election, it would make national reconciliation and cohesion a foremost priority.
"Atta Mills would be the President of all Ghanaians and not a political party," was the general theme that permeated 25 minutes of his interaction with various social groups and stakeholders of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections at a live political platform provided by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra.
The Ghana Political Parties Programme, dubbed: An Evening Encounter with Professor Evans Atta Mills, provided the former Vice President the opportunity to answer questions that span his personal views on the Death Penalty and his health.
The programme was the second in a series to be organised by the IEA in collaboration with Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and Joy FM, an Accra radio station to enable the various presidential aspirants to educate the electorate on their visions and plans and how they intend to govern the country.
Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, Presidential Candidate of the Convention Peoples Party was the first to appear. Prof. Atta Mills would be followed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, Flagbearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Prof. Mills dedicated his lecture to Tsatsu Tsikata, former Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) who has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment for wilfully causing financial loss to the State and misapplying public property.
He noted that partisan politics had polarised the country, leading to a broken trust between elected officials and the governed.
Prof. Mills said political vindictiveness was stalling the development of the country, explaining that, Ghana was not short of the blueprints to facilitate accelerated development.
He said most often, political leaders developed cold feet to continue with the projects of their predecessors.
Prof. Mills said if he was voted into power, his Administration would develop a pragmatic approach that would include all political parties in vital decisions that would improve on the fortunes of the State.
He said the effectiveness of a good policy depended on public acceptance and not how much noise or propaganda politicians make about it, even at its inception.
Touching on the social vision of the NDC, he said the social democratic principle of the party would come to bear to better the lot of the under- privileged and marginalised in society.
"Those at the other side believe in the survival of the fittest. Fairness is being gradually lost in society."
Prof. Mills expressed dissatisfaction about the upsurge of violent crime, which, he said were related to the use of Ghana as transit point for drug trafficking.
He said the government of the NDC would bring experts from all the political shades to deal with the problem.
The NDC would also revive Regional initiatives to share intelligence to check the drug menace.
Prof. Mills said he would restore the moral of the Ghana Police Service and other agencies to fight the problem, which, he said, was denting the image of the country, which is signatory to the international convention on narcotics control.
He also elaborated on plans to expand the National School Feeding Programme and facilities for teaching and learning from the basic to the tertiary schools.
Focusing on economics, he said the NDC would initiate policies to ensure high economic growth through the promotion of domestic savings and the improvement of revenue generation.
Prof. Mills said the party would cut down on frivolous government expenditure in order to save money for needed development projects.
He said the various institutions established to check corruption must be given adequate budget and the teeth to bite.
Other projects he outlined included renaissance in the agricultural sector to reduce the cost of food.
He said the flagship would include the irrigation of 178,000 acres of farm lands at the Accra plains in line with the Volta River Project of the First President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
Fertiliser would also be manufactured locally in the Western Region.
The NDC would also impose tariffs and duties on imported poultry products to revive the local industry in line with the rules of the World Trade Organisation.
Prof. Mills said the NDC would provide three modern district hospitals for Koforidua, Wa and Bolgatanga.
The party would also improve on the energy stock of the country from 1,600 megawatts to 5,000 megawatts through innovations in gas and hydro-electric power in order to exploit bauxite and other mineral deposits.
Prof. Mills said an NDC government would establish an independent body that would include all the political parties to oversee the judicious use of revenue that would be generated from the oil find to develop Ghana.
During the interactive session, he said the Law on Causing Financial Loss to the State should be in the statutory books.
He however, said the mode by which the NPP was implementing it was leading to miscarriage of justice.
Prof. Mills said his cabinet would constitute 40 per cent women in order to tap the abundant human resources of the country.
His administration would revise the National Health Insurance Scheme and the Educational Reform Programme through broad consultations.
Commenting on his health, he said as far as he was concerned, he was fit to run for president and it was only God who can decide if he should die or live long.
"Nobody can sign a bond to be alive next week."
Prof. Mills said he personally had nothing against the death sentence remaining in the statutory books, although there was a worldwide agitation against it.
He admitted that he made some few mistakes as a Vice President, but hindsight had taught him that nobody was a repository of wisdom.
He said any political leader who thinks he or she knows it all is a charlatan.
Mr William Ampem Darko, Director General of GBC said personal attacks by politicians would not earn them votes and called for issue-centred politics.
Mrs Jean Mensah, Administrator of IEA observed that over the years Ghana had operated a colonial economy where raw materials are sent to the developed economies to process hence the need for change.