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Feature Article of Saturday, 11 August 2012

Columnist: Mensema, Akadu N.

Mills, The Last Ewe King: Farewell “TRIBALISM”

*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, PhD

As we continue to mourn the shocking passing away of President John Atta Mills, we ought to rethink his presidency. We should grasp Mills’ failed presidency by
celebrating truth and speaking it to power so that we can learn lessons from that historic watershed of paradoxes. Indeed, we should have the courage, fearlessness, and non-partisan and non-“tribalist” leanings to revisit old questions and also ask new ones. This will enable us to address the problems, exemplified by the Mills regime, that imperil our emergent democratic polity.

The presidency of Mills was a seedbed of paradoxes. President Mills was a peaceful man and the so-named Asomdwehene, but never uttered a word against the violence and mayhem perpetrated by NDC foot-soldiers and operatives. He was a humble and genial man, but encircled himself with uncouth, arrogant, and hostile appointees. He was open and welcoming, but his presidency was distant, shrouded in secrecy. He was very ill, but did jog like a cunning lizard on the walls of the Osu slave Castle. And he was an upright and conscientious man, but surrendered himself with weathered political prostitutes and hardened pen-armed robbers.

We should, all ethnic groups, ask why all the officials around Mills were Ewes. This
ethnocentric policy should never occur again in the future. We should ask who
appointed all the Ewes who entombed Mills. I know that people like the benighted
“Terribly Specific” and “KOLA OF LONDON” would scream their usual clueless
one-liners of well the NPP did it! Here are four simplified answers to their
partisan question: (1) I was not writing when the NPP was in power; (2) the fact
that the NPP engaged in “tribalism” does not mean that we must recycle that policy
forever; (3) democracy is a dynamic process and it is only successful when we
recognize bad policies and don’t repeat them; (4) and I will hold the present Mahama
regime and future governments, no matter their political persuasion, to the same
standards of inclusion and excellence.

JJ Rawlings, who from the look of things in the aftermath of the death of Mills,
knew whatever happened in the Castle on daily basis, including the type of medicine
that Mills took at night, had blamed Kofi Awonoor, the seasoned “tribalist,” for
appointing Ewes to work with Mills. Rawlings used the rapist Stan Dogbe, who is one
of the thousands of Aides, as an example of Awonoor’s brainchild of cronyism and Ewe
hegemony. The sad thing is that Mills didn’t even know when and how such Ewes were
appointed to serve on his government. Remember Mills said that he had no knowledge
that Dogbe had been appointed to work with him.

Considering all the poisoning criticisms that Rawlings poured on Mills, never once
did Rawlings question why Mills’ Aides, Spokespersons, Drivers, Doctors, Cooks,
Deputies, Chief of Staff, Heads of Communication, etc. were all Ewes. The irony of
it all is that some of the Ewe appointees had never held major jobs in their life,
yet were planted in sensitive positions to work with and for Mills. This contributed
to the incompetency that characterized the Mills regime and which was capitalized
upon by Rawlings to demonize Mills as a Konongo Kaya. Never again shall we allow
this to happen! Next time, we shall use the courts and mass revolts to empower
benighted and marginalized Ghanaians.

Ghanaians should boldly speak to the “tribalistic” engineering that characterized
the Mills regime. We can only hope that President John Mahama has enough courage and
a sense of national duty to dismantle the Ewe hegemony carefully nursed under Mills,
not to forget the overwhelming presence of Fantes and “Northerners” in key
positions. In my considered opinion, stars of all our ethnic groups should brighten
the horizons of our government. Yes, I want to see Gas, Buems, Denkyiras, Nzemas,
Ahantas, Gomoas, Agonas, Akuapems, Akwamus, Bonos, Asantes, Akyems, Dwabens, Krobos,
Adas, Kwahus, Krakyes, all other Voltarian and “Northern” groups, and all
marginalized and disempowered groups carry Ghana to the heights of inclusive culture
of excellence. Please, add to the list of ethnic groups.

Yes, as we shall continue to mourn President Mills, the last Ewe King of the slave
Castle, where he was imprisoned to his death. Every Ghanaian, irrespective of
ethnicity and party affiliation, should say NEVER AGAIN shall we allow a few ethnic
groups, sadly the minorities, to dominate multiethnic Ghana. And NEVER AGAIN shall
we allow JJ Rawlings to pour Ridge-kerosene on any President of Ghana, and this will
be the subject of my next poem.

Prez Mills
Safe journey
Beyond the Volta
Your adopted home
Where you set your sun
Safe journey the last Ewe King
Safe journey beyond the Volta
Where you poised JJ’s Prophesy
The prophetic Adze Pa Wo Fie
Where you bore Adze Pa Wo Fie
Where you bore Ewe hegemony
On your weak back
On your weak shoulders
Ah! Ah! About these
JJ never screamed, foamed
JJ never insulted you
JJ never called you names
For being entombed by Ewes
Unseasoned Keta School Boys
Boys who lack salt of the earth
Boys who struggled ashore
Like fish gasping for political air
Boys who made you unpopular
You carried Ewe hegemony
On your weak shoulders
On your weak back
Ah! About these
JJ never spoke
Never called you KONONGO KAYA
Never called you ATTA MORTUARY

Mills, the last Ewe King
Your PRINCES below
Your PRINCESSES below
Bid you farewell
Farewell, KING ATTA MILLS

A ROLL CALL OF SOME OF KING MILLS’ PRINCES/SSES
1. Chairman of Council of State – Kofi Awonoor
2. Head of Government Business –Ewe
3. Dr. Kofi Wampah 1st Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana - Ewe
4. Another Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana - Ewe
5. Mr Alex Segbefia Deputy Chief of Staff -Ewe
6. Head Of Military –Ewe
7. National Security Coordinator -Ewe
8. 2 of Deputy Finance Ministers-Ewes
9. Koku Anyidoho Head of Communication-Ewe
10. Chief of State Protocol -Ewe
11. Head of Civil Service -Ewe
12. Mrs Juliana Mensah Azumah Minister of Tourism -Ewe
13. Justice Amegshie DVLA Head-Ewe
14. Ms Akua Dansua Minister of Women & Children Affairs - Ewe
15. Head of Appointments Committee -Ewe
16. Chairman of P/NDC -Ewe
17. Castle Chief Cook- Ewe
18. Mr Joe Gidisu Minister of Roads & Highways –Ewe
19. Kofi Portophy, Head of NADMO - Ewe
20. Professor J. B. Aheto, Chair, National Media Commission - Ewe
21. Major General J. N. Adinkra is Chief of the Army Staff- Ewe
22. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Deputy Minister for Information –Ewe
23. Togbui Afede Asogli, Head of Castle Finance Committee- Ewe
24. Air-Vice Marshall Samson Oje, Air Force Commander, -Ewe
25. Stan Dogbe, Castle Aide
26. Mr. Ludwig Hlordze, Minister of State/Office of the President, Castle –Ewe
27. Mr Chris Kpodo, deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs – Ewe
28. Victor Gbeho, Chief Advisor to Atta Mills - Ewe
29. Madam Dzifa Aku Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport – Ewe
30. Captain Beatrice Vormawor, New Head of Maritime Safety Division – Ewe
31. Brig Gen Wallace Gbedemah (rtd), Special Assistant to the President, -Ewe
**Add to the list for posterity

*Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained
oral historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania
with her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In
her pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”
poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com My poems and essays on Ghanaweb
and elsewhere must not be reproduced in full or in part for any academic or
scholarly work without my written permission.Top of Form

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