Feature Article of Friday, 17 August 2012
Columnist: Kobbie, J. Ato
When on the afternoon of 24th July, 2012 you, President John Evans
Atta Mills, took a bow from the stage of life and the curtains were
lowered before you, many Ghanaians were left dumbfounded.
They could not believe the news because, to borrow from your diction,
it was an ‘unprecedented’ event in the life of our nation for a Head
of State to pass away at a time when he has whetted his country's
appetite with ‘unprecedented achievements’ and with attributes that
are rare to mortals in our world.
The tons of unsolicited testimonies of your humility, tolerance and
peaceful nature that the nation unanimously bear of you is evidence
enough that Ghanaians valued and cherished those attributes that you
amply demonstrated on assuming office in an unprecedented electoral
It will surely inspire more people who bear similar attributes to
enter our political arena to enrich it and make the turf not solely
ceded to persons who claim politics as their calling, although many
are without scruples.
The evidence is clear that many of us mere mortals would not feel
worthy enough to judge you given the power to do so. Yet for the sake
of shameless political opportunism, unscrupulous persons who appeared
hungry for power insulted and despised you - and that included people
from your own party that you led.
Even for proclaiming your maker as Lord of your life, you were
insulted. With all the powers of the state vested in you, you allowed
your godly nature to reign over your earthly passion.
After all, how do we mortals exercise the little powers we wield in
our homes, offices or even churches?
Your colleagues at the United Nations have testified to how effective
your exercise of ‘soft power’ has benefitted not just Ghana but the
sub-region as a whole.
You were one of a kind. You remained steadfast on higher grounds even
when your opponents, traitors and enemies alike sought to drag you
into the gutters in which they swam.
For someone who attained your Ph.D. in law at the age 27, during which
period you also started to serve Ghana as a national hockey team
player, with additional over 20-years of public service, the least we
could do was reward you with the highest office of the land - the
True to form, you have raised the bar of leadership and demonstrated
that politics is not dirty, but dirty people make it appear so.
You have taught Ghanaians the spirit of selflessness and yours was a
worthy sacrifice for the nation.
The country mourns in distress at your exit from this land of sorrows
and tears; but the Good Lord forewarned us and the songwriter captured
it as well that ‘the heirs of salvation are not immune from want or
distress; temptation or pain; or tribulations’.
You did not lord it over your people, but pursued your duties
diligently as 'father-for-all', making yourself accessible to
everybody who wanted to reach you without discrimination.
To journalists, who had unfairly attacked you, you set the records straight by talking to them in a fatherly manner, to the extent of even inviting some to ‘touch your ribs’ or even into your bedroom to show them evidence that you were who you were.
I thank God that I had the opportunity to meet someone of your caliber
and nature before and during your presidency, and will forever cherish
every moment of that. On all those occasions, you were humility personified.
You served your nation to the best of your abilities, leaving Ghana with
unprecedented economic achievements.
Some bore testimony during your 2008 election campaigns that you were
the ‘Better Man’ and the President the country could ‘Trust.’
A tribute by the Suame Magazine Industrial Development Organisation
[SMIDO] on your demise amply attests to this also.
Whilst your numerous achievements are better told by officialdom, I can’t help but recall the loan to an unprecedented amount of $3billion, which you brokered during your visit to China in 2010, to accelerate the upgrading of Ghana’s infrastructure.
You have raised the bar of leadership, not just for Ghanaians but for the entire continent and the world.
I can only say, ‘Thank you,’ to God who lent you in blessing to our nation, Ghana.
Egya Atta, Father for All. You were one of a kind.
With one accord, the people of Ghana say:
‘Asomdweehene, Rest in Peace!’
By J. Ato Kobbie
Managing Editor, The Business Analyst