General News of Tuesday, 7 August 2012
By Rowland Phillips –Addo
A highly respected traditional ruler Nana Otuo Barimah II has sounded a note of caution over security arrangements at the funeral of late president John Mills.
In an interview with The Al-Hajj, Nana Otuo Barimah II said the massive turn out of people from all walks of life and the nook and cranny of the country at the one week anniversary celebration of the late President J.E.A. Mills should inform security apparatuses that strong arrangements should be put in place during the funeral ceremony slated for the 8th through the 10th of August.
He told The Al-Hajj that the difficulty presented the police, military, and other security personnel on duty by the relatively small number of mourners and sympathizers at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park during the one week celebration of the late president’s death gives a clear indication that security personnel would have to be increased, be more vigilant and resolute in the control of the mammoth crowd expected to pay their last respects to the late president without necessarily resorting to violence or brute force.
Nana Otuo Barimah II drew attention to the fact that the late President, while he lived was a man of peace who detested violence while placing premium on the maintenance of peace, preached peace at any given opportunity and lived a dignified life and that all will expect that on that historic occasion nothing violent or unruly should be made to happen to mar the anticipated grueling funeral celebration.
He said the demise of President Mills has among other things come to unify the people of Ghana and the NDC as a party adding that due to the fact that dignitaries from all over the world are expected at his funeral ceremony, nothing would be most appropriate than to bury him in dignity and honour him with a funeral devoid of violent acts and unruly behavior.
He urged the youth both of the NDC and the nation at large not to engage in acts of violence but rather exhibit a disciplined behavior and respect for the soul of the departed president, a phenomenon that the people of Ghana are associated with respect for the dead.
He called on Ghanaians, irrespective of religious, cultural, ethnic and political background and social status to give their unconditional support to the late President’s Funeral Planning Committee to enable it do a good job to merit the democrat, academic, patriot and statesman Prof. Mills was.
He called for forgiveness on the part of all Ghanaians in these critical times and also tolerance both within government circles and in the NDC and other political parties occasioned by harsh utterances and vilification, adding that the Peace-loving Professor had to pay the price with his premature death.
He urged Ghanaians to rally behind the relatively younger President John Dramani Mahama to carry on with the work initiated by the departed president Mills so as to prove to the rest of the world that Democracy in Ghana has come to stay and enable the country maintain its identity as a bastion of true democracy in Africa.
He concluded by urging all Ghanaians to mourn in an honourable and dignified way and humbly requested that the government and people of Ghana erect a fitting memorial in remembrance of the late president since he was a living testimony of what peace can achieve for humankind in a world plagued on a daily basis with conflict and other atrocities.