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Feature Article of Sunday, 29 July 2012

Columnist: Kyei-Mensah-Osei, Kofi

To Our Former President: An Ode

To Our Former President: H.E Prof John Evans Atta-Mills; An Ode

H.E Professor John Evans Atta-Mills: born in 1944 on the 21st day July
Called to eternal rest in 2012 on the 24th day of July
Humble, genuine with a pleasant mien
You were the gentleman’s gentleman

Our eyes weep and our hearts bleed
Our President, dear Lord, let your angels lead.
Sorrow abounds
And our despair knows no bounds.

Our smile has been replaced with frown
For death has stolen our crown
Our hearts have been savagely pierced
Ghana’s gaping wound has been callously bruised

An academician par excellence
A beacon of hope and an example to those who dream of academic excellence
You were kind-hearted, selfless, humble and affable
Your academic achievements were unmatchable

You were a dedicated a father and husband
A man of principle and a proud family man
Why couldn’t the good Professor wait a little bit longer?
Should our President be in such haste to go up yonder?

You served your country with distinction
Now that you are gone, your kind is sadly in extinction.
Whence cometh another of the Professor’s kind?
Oh God, hear Ghana’s prayer and be so kind!

A learned Professor, you served the academia selflessly
You were fair, without prejudice and dealt with issues diligently.
You cut across tribal lines, gender and religion
And were loved by the young and old in every region.

Yeah, your standards were so high
Foes and detractors could not get nigh.
So now you’ve gone up on high
Why wouldn’t Ghanaians sigh?

You were extremely patriotic
And a worthy compatriot
You served your country conscientiously
And discharged your responsibilities judiciously!

Your loyalty to your beloved country was unquestionable
Dedication and commitment to Mother Ghana’s democracy was undeniable.
If “the world is a stage”, you played your part flawlessly
And so deserve to ascend to your maker effortlessly.

People of Otuam will miss you bitterly
But every tribe in the country, north to the south; east to west will miss you sorely.
It’s true your departure has created a vacuum in your family
But the chasm is even bigger politically.

No doubt Mrs Naadu Mills and Fiifi Juniour loved you
Yes the National Democratic Congress cherished you
But to Ghanaians of every political divide, you were a jewel and treasure
You contributed beyond measure.

Prof, we would’ve wished you stayed a little bit longer
Human and mortal as we are, we thought we loved you better.
Nay, God Almighty loves you best
And so long may you rest.

You faced your illness squarely
And fought death courageously
Alas, a true patriot is gone
Oh how I wish a million words could compose you a song.

Your departure has left us an immense hurt
So you’ll forever remain in our hearts
Our loss is the heavens gain
In your absence, we’ll keep nursing our pain

So fare thee well the meek one
Go home for a deserved rest; Ghana’s faithful son
You gave us service of quality
So may you find eternal rest in the bosom of the ALMIGHTY!

Da Yie, H.E Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta-Mills!!
Onyame mfa wo nko fie!!!


NB: Sections of this poem reflected in one I did for the late Major Retired Courage Quashigah in 2010.

Kofi Kyei-Mensah-Osei

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