WO1 Joseph Ashitey Hammond, a Ghanaian soldier who fought in the Second World War, has described President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the second best President Ghana has ever had since independence.
He added that the first is Ghana’s First President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
In an interview granted to TV3 yesterday, WO1 Ashitey Hammond recalled that Dr Kwame Nkrumah built several factories and started industrializing the nation before his overthrow.
However, he said, all his projects were discontinued by successive governments.
WO1 Hammond is the only surviving officer out of 210 soldiers who went demanding for what was due them in terms of their pensions and what were promised them for fighting in the Second World War.
“If these projects had been sustained, Ghana would have turned into paradise at the moment,” he said of Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s industrialisation agenda.
He explained that President Akufo-Addo, since assuming power in 2017, has also demonstrated enough commitment towards industrialising the local economy, something just as was done by Dr Nkrumah.
“I have seen all the Presidents that have come. Number one is Kwame Nkrumah, number two is Akufo-Addo. I must be frank with you.
“Nkrumah built a lot of factories but because these people didn’t continue what Nkrumah did that is why we are now where we are. The country went back. If they had continued what Nkrumah did Ghana would have been paradise by now. President Akufo-Addo is the one making efforts now,” he said.
He placed the late President John Evans Atta Mills at third, adding that “as far as construction is concerned Nkrumah did a lot but the next person who also did construction is Mahama. Rawlings was a soldier, I am also a soldier and he is my man, but the truth is that there were a lot of bloodsheds. He was trying to stabilize everything but there were killings,” he said.
“When something happens and you are the head you are the one people will blame. As a soldier, I knew a lot of things that happened but I won’t say them,” he said.
WO1 Ashitey Hammond, 96 years, placed the late Professor John Evans Atta Mills at the third best position, followed by former President John Dramani Mahama at the fourth position.
Best in Africa
In 2019, a Canadian-based research organisation, Leaders of Tomorrow, named President Akufo-Addo as Africa’s best president following a poll it conducted.
Similar research conducted by US-based think tank, World Vision Forum, also placed President Akufo-Addo first on the list for Africa, and third on the list for world presidents with vision.
According to the Canadian research team, since winning the 2016 elections, President Akufo-Addo had proved himself a man of the people, with his positive policies, including free secondary education and his commitment to Ghana’s development.