Feature Article of Saturday, 18 August 2012
Columnist: Manu, Yaw P. K.
A Deputy Minister for Information and member of the Government Communication Team, Hon. James Agyenim Boateng has explained circumstances under which Samuel Kofi Atta Mills, son of the late President John Atta Mills, was not allowed to read a tribute to his late Dad.
Speaking on Peace FM’s morning show programme, Kokrokoo, the Deputy Minister said there was not enough time to allow the Late President’s son to read a tribute as the programme already started way behind schedule.
He explained that the programme was largely a military funeral and as the military are very particular about their time schedules, they could not allow Sammy Mills to read his tribute, especially, as the programme had started one clear hour late. “President Mills’s funeral was a military one and you know how the military are with their time. Already people were beginning to complain of hunger and thirst and so we had to rush the tail end of the programme. Even the Ethiopian delegation had to leave before the close of the programme, because of the delay. In order to keep the programme within the time frame we had originally planned, we decided to cancel Sammy Mills’s tribute reading” he said.
Hon. Agyenim Boateng’s explanation seems to be in tandem with that given by the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the NDC, Mr. Ade Coker. According to him Sammy Mills was denied the honour and privilege to read a tribute to his late father because some Ghanaians and invited guests had started complaining of hunger and thirst, and were in a hurry to go home.
Asked by the host of the programme, Kwame Sefa Kayi, whether some few minutes could not have been spared to allow the young son to say some few words, Hon Agyenim Boateng who is also a member of the Funeral Planning Committee stated that the Military would not have allowed it.
He however admitted that the official programme had made provisions for Sammy Mills to read his tribute, insisting however, that in the light of the tight schedule they were on, Sammy Mills was the appropriate scape-goat to use, to save time.
It will be recalled that the only son of the late President, Sammy Kofi Atta Mills, was sidelined at the state funeral of his father last Friday August 10, 2012, resulting in his inability to lay a wreath on his father’s grave and even read a tribute.
In an apparent response to the blatant snub meted out to him by the President Mahama – led government at his late father’s funeral, Sammy Mills, on Saturday organized a ‘befitting’ funeral for his late father at his Roman Ridge official bungalow, a few meters away from Medlab in Accra. The many invitees were devoid of any government or NDC official but had such personalities as family members of his deceased father, mother and friends. Also in attendance were the chairman of the People’s National Convention (PNC) Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, who was a neighbour of Mills’ son’s grandfather at Abeka La Paz in Accra and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Adenta chairman, Nana Obiri Yeboah, an uncle to him.
BY YAW P. K. MANU