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Feature Article of Sunday, 29 July 2012

Columnist: Asiedu-Young, Bellinia

An Ode To John Evans Atta Mills (Asomdwehene)

Bellinia: An Ode To John Evans Atta Mills (Asomdwehene)

When our heads are bowed with woe
When our bitter tears overflow
When we mourn the lost, the dear
Jesus, son of Mary, hear............................... (Methodist hymn)

Ghana has been shortchanged, robbed of a gem, through sickness and then by death. I never met President Atta Mills in person, but I feel I know him based on countless testimonies from many people. From his many accolades, it’s obvious he was a good, kind, gentlemanly, honest, Christian. He was after all, Ghana's Statesman, our President.

Just about 2 weeks ago, I asked a friend in Ghana how Atta Mills was faring. He had not been seen nor heard from much in a while since his return from the last visit to the US, ostensibly for medical check-up. "He has gone off the radar again", I stated regrettably. I honestly felt sad Ghana my beloved country had become a big ship drifting around in the mighty ocean with no captain to steer it on course. My listener, if she grasped the gist of what I was trying to relay did not give any opinion.

Such is the demise of Ghana. Ghana has lost a great leader, and subsequent to his final demise, we must have lost out on a lot more than we will ever know. Even though most of us could foresee this unfortunate turn of events, we risked not saying it lest we be accused of being vicious and spreading malicious information about a good man. If the health care system in Ghana was at least decent, maybe Ghanaians would not have to travel to places like South Africa and US when they get sick. They could receive medical treatment close to home in familiar surroundings.

Such is the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, the Good Man, Christian, Husband, Sportsman, Teacher and President. I cannot think back on this demise and what might have been without the urge to shed a tear. Maybe I should let the bitter tears overflow, and then I can mourn President J. E. Atta Mills; Our Dear President. I can foresee the late Asomdwehene trying desperately to make politics a good profession; politics denoting: blood sucking activity, impressing on his colleagues and fellow political mates to be of good behaviour and make the profession honourable; begging Machomen that violence in politics does not pay; that must have earned him his name. As a sportsman, it must have been difficult for him to know when to put down the hockey stick. He had to hang in there with the bunch of his blood sucking elites till the end, while they sucked his blood dry, till he had no more blood left in his veins to give. Did he? In the end, Ghana was shortchanged of a bright son, and upwards of about 51 million dollars and more, enough to build state-of-the-art hospitals in each region. How is he to explain this injustice to us now? Did he really know about the judgement debts issues or was he too sick to know? In the end, it was his family and all of Ghana that have been left destitute. Madam Atta Mills, you will survive this! Ghana, you will rise again!

On Monday July 23rd¬¬, Naadu Mills led a government delegation to open the International Youth Fellowship World Camp in Tema amidst great performances from youth coming from many countries. There was no sign of Atta Mills then, the following day, he was dead. Such a stately humble man; complemented by an elegant, genteel fair lady, Madam Naadu Mills. It seems he tried, but he was too sickly, most of his efforts did not make a big difference. In the end, he missed out on a great opportunity. Atta Mills would have been the one person to show Ghana’s politicians when to resign. Such a loss!

Damirifa Due! Damirifa Due! Damirifa Due! May his soul rest in perfect peace!

Bellinia Asiedu-Young
Richmond Hill, Ontario

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