Diasporian News of Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Source: Ghana High Commission
Ghanaians in the United Kingdom and Ireland, last Saturday celebrated the life of the Late President of Ghana, His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills with a memorial and thanksgiving service at the Westminster Central Hall followed by a traditional funeral rites at the office of the Ghana High Commission at Highgate in London.
In attendance were dignitaries from the Diplomatic Community which included His Excellency Eddie Turay, the Sierra Leone High Commissioner and also Dean of the African Diplomatic Corp, His Excellency Nkwelle Ekaney, High Commissioner of Cameroon, His Excellency, George Liswaniso, the Ambassador of Namibia and Her Excellency Joan Rwabyouere, the High Commissioner of Uganda.
Also present were Ambassadors from Ruwanda, Chile and Mr. Amitar Baneoji from the Commonwealth Secretariat and Dr. Jean-Marc Anga from the International Cocoa Organisation.
Former Ghanaian government officials and prominent Ghanaians in the United Kingdom were all at the service to celebrate the life of the late President and they include Mr. K. B. Asante, a former High Commissioner to the UK and a former Minister of Education, Mr. Francis Poku, a former National Security Co-ordinator and a former Minister in the NPP administration.
The Ghanaian political parties were not left out as all of them, shedding their political affiliations, turned out in their numbers to celebrate one of the great political leaders the country has ever known.
His Excellency, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, read the Biography of the late President.
Preaching the sermon, that catalogued the life and the nature of the late President, Dr. Shadrach Ofosuware of the Ghana Christian Council, United Kingdom said President John Evans Atta Mills distinguished himself as a true Ambassador of the Christian faith and never made secret his stands for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Everything the late President did while in office as President, he involved God and once when he was criticised for having Pastors come to pray at the Castle every day, he declared he wasn’t the President but God was.
“The late President was exceptionally noble, unselfish and a selfless statesman”, Dr. Ofosuware added.
He said the death of the late President came as a shock to all but to Christians and more so to Ghanaians, the Bible gives us hope as the scriptures said, “we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep or grieve like the rest of men who have no hope”.
The Christian Community, Dr Ofosuware said, believes Jesus died and rose again and so they believe God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in the Lord and therefore as Ghanaians we must encourage ourselves with these words that Ghanaians have hope in the Lord that the late President has done his bit and is gone, death although painful, to believers it is only a transition.
Speaking as someone who has had a few encounters with the late President, the preacher vouched for the character of Prof. Atta Mills saying “he was a peaceful character who refused to play vindictive politics”.
Dr. Ofosuware said the glow that surrounded the late President as he laid in state showed he was at peace with himself and left Ghanaians with a legacy of peace. The late President has done his bit and gone, as Ghanaians what are we also doing for the country, he asked.
Bringing his sermon to an end, Dr Ofosuware asked Ghanaians to live well by taking good care of themselves and said he has observed with concern the rate at which many Africans a dying from preventable illnesses.
He said a visit to the intensive care unit and one would see people who can’t talk to anybody and Doctors cannot reach them, machines pump their heart to keep them alive and one wonders why should men be like this and feel they are in-charge of everything around them?
The person you reject today, the preacher man said, might be the person you need tomorrow, the person you look down on today, might be the person who will save your life tomorrow, respect the people you meet on your way up because they are the same people you will meet on your way down, if someone does not have, it does not mean he is not in the plan of God for everyone born of God has equal access to Him, today might be your day but tomorrow might be for others.
It is in this light Dr Ofosuware said, that he is imploring Ghanaians to love one another, no matter where the person is coming from, we are all Ghanaians.
Concluding he said, “let us all be part of the solution of the problems confronting the country and not be part of problem.
Traditional funeral rites for the late President followed immediately after the Church service with thousands of Ghanaians from all walks of life in attendance.
There were cultural display by various ethnic groups accompanied by traditional Chiefs and Queen mothers.