Here are some memorable quotes during the period of his reign January 2009 to July 2012:
“There is only one Ghana, and that Ghana must work in the interest of every Ghanaian”.
“This is the dawn of a new era of change for a better Ghana. It is not change for change sake. It is a change in a new direction to enable us move forward with unity of purpose. Ours will be consensus driven agenda, and in building that consensus we will recognize the contribution of our compatriots in other political parties”.
“Ghanaians have charged this Government to judiciously utilize Ghana’s precious human and material resources (including the recently discovered oil and gas resources) to develop a diversified economy based on increasing agricultural productivity, investments in productive infrastructure, education and skills development to improve the competitiveness of Ghana in the global economy”.
“Polarized or not; aligned or not; biased or not; the Ghanaian media has a responsibility to work to preserve Ghana’s democracy”.
“I've never considered myself to be working for a living; I've enjoyed myself for a living instead”.
“As far as this Administration is concerned, education is the key to giving the youth the skills they need to make the most of their lives.
Investing in the right education and addressing youth unemployment are two sides of the same coin”.
“In all honesty, the phenomenon of “dumsor, dumsor” is not as bad as it used to be at the time we took over the management of the affairs of state and it is our determination to continue to work to make the situation much better than it is currently”.
“Our politics will not focus on power and privilege. On the contrary we will not forget the concerns of the Ghanaian people who want to see an improvement in their living conditions. Willingness to put personal advantage aside will therefore be one of the key demands on those who will serve in the Atta Mills government. Honesty, fairness, compassion and sincerity will be the hallmark of my administration. I have no wish to carry out political vendetta of any kind”.
“As a nation, we have no other option but to “sustain the peace” we are enjoying in order to broaden the frontiers of our democracy and development. At no point in time should we take the peace we are enjoying for granted”.
“Our fallen heroes and Founding Fathers toiled to give us this dear nation and we dare not destroy what they have toiled to build. Standing here every 6th March as President since 2009, and watching our youth partake actively in this celebration, there is no doubt in my mind that they are filled with dreams; big dreams of taking over from us and becoming responsible adults…We must not destroy their dreams”.
“Ghana is a country with an impressive track record on fostering international peace and we will stay on that path. This administration will conduct our foreign relations on the basis of national respect and good neighbourliness. We believe in using the tools of diplomacy and existing bilateral and multilateral structures in resolving questions of boundary disputes”.
“I have always said that I will be President for all Ghanaians whether they voted for me or not, and without consideration for which part of the country they come from. It will be my duty as President to heal wounds and unite our dear nation. I intend to pursue relentlessly all avenues for entrenching peace and unity in all parts of the country as I am enjoined by the constitution to do.”
“Our common yearning to see Ghana moving forward binds us as one people”.
“As we approach the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections, it is my prayer and hope that we shall continue to preserve and maintain the peace, remain united and focused as people with one destiny. We can hardly achieve meaningful development if the citizenry on whose behalf we are managing the country do not support and cooperate with us.”
“My solemn pledge to the youth of Ghana is that Atta Mills and his government will do everything possible to make sure that Ghana remains a haven of peace and unity. The rich talents and rich human qualities given to us by God will enable us overcome the challenges posed by the global economic downturn and our inadequacies in the management of the nation’s economy”.
“This Government is intent on continuing with the pace of development right until the election period. It is true that we will have to campaign at some point in time but I promise you this will not be at the expense of pushing the Better Ghana Agenda. We will also not sacrifice the gains we have made on the economic front on the altar of election year politics. Ghana must grow; and Ghana will only grow if we take bold and courageous decisions”.
“This administration does not intent to parade scapegoats or seek refuge in excuses. We will focus on the things that matter and which will enable the economy recover some degree of stability. We will do this in collaboration with organized labour, the business community and with industry”.
“Our world is becoming increasingly vulnerable to transnational crime especially drug trafficking and money laundering, which has eroded the concept of sovereignty while globalization has facilitated the easy movement of international criminals from one jurisdiction to another”.
“I will not condone actions that will pitch one citizen against the other as a way of settling political scores. That is unacceptable and will not be the Ghanaian way of doing things. The Ghanaian way should be that, under the Rule of Law, and with the benchmark of due process, any violations of the laws of Ghana will be addressed in the manner that is fair, balanced, and right in the sight of God”.
“As a people, our greatest achievements have come when we have lived up to the ideals that unite rather than divide us and have attached ourselves to a common sense purpose. Let this day not just see us enjoying just the holiday part of it; let us find time to reflect on the way forward as we strive to build a Better Ghana. We must reflect on the legacies that our forebears bequeathed to us; consider what we have added to that legacy, and commit ourselves to leaving a solid legacy for the generations after us”.
“Let me state here and now that I remain undaunted by attempts to thwart the fight against corruption by legal and technical means… I do not care whose ox is gored when it comes to the fight against corruption. And neither will I be off-tracked by all the sideline comments that are being made to befuddle the hardcore issues”.
“As a nation, we consider a strong and effective Arms Trade Treaty an indispensable step in preventing the flow of conventional arms to destinations where they are likely to wreak havoc and mayhem by either fuelling conflict and undermining both national and regional peace, security and development or exacerbating tensions that in many instances could likely create the conditions that necessitate the deployment of international peacekeepers in the first place”.
“...On a lighter note, before I came here, I knew I would be heckled because it is the routine, but I didn’t expect the heckling to be this gargantuan.”