I was a harsh critic of John Mahama but I slept soundly under his regime – Kwesi Aning

Professor Kwesi Aning, the Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research Director at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), has eulogized the tolerance of former President John Dramani Mahama.

John Mahama

He said under the former administration of Mahama, critics of the government were not hounded.

Speaking at the John Evans Atta Mills Memorial Lecture for Central and Western Regions, Prof Aning said: “I want to celebrate and salute former President John Mahama. I criticised him and he knows it. I never spared him. But I also slept soundly”.

“I criticised the former president so much that every time he came to the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre, he said, ‘Let me see if Kwesi is there so that I can recognise him, so he doesn’t criticise me’. So, thank you very much”, Prof Aning added.

According to Prof Aning, tolerance of criticisms and divergent views are key security ingredients.


In his view, “true security is for the farmer to wake up at 4 am and go to the farm without fear”.

“Proper security is about our mothers leaving at about 2:30 am, travelling 300 kilometres to go and shop, knowing they will get to that market and return home”.

“True security is about ensuring that you can walk up to a police officer and say: ‘I am lost’, and he will not say, ‘how much would you want to pay’”.

He said: “As democracy is distinct from autocracy, governance should be society-centred, including the private sector and, more critically, civil society.”


Professor Aning continued by arguing that transparent, participatory governance is essential for the public to engage with, question, and hold elected officials accountable.

Prof. Aning urged the J.E.A. Mills Memorial Heritage board to begin compiling every piece of information about Professor Mills.

He explained that to make these writings accessible, a presidential connection must be established.

“It is essential and crucial that these writings serve as the foundation for knowledge creation and dissemination, as doing so will be the best way to protect his legacy from encroachment.


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