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Opinions of Saturday, 4 August 2012

Columnist: Amoah, Anthony Kwaku

Why Should This Happen To Ghana?

By Anthony Kwaku Amoah

This is the first time in Ghana’s history a sitting president has passed on. Though heavily molested, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia and Dr Hilla Limann did not die in office. They were only forced to exit power in military coups.

By God’s grace, ex-Presidents Jerry John Rawlings and John Agyekum Kufuor are still surviving happily with their wives and children. After years of strenuous stewardships, the two former leaders, I believe, are now enjoying the best of times with friends and relatives.

We would have been glad to have all our former heads of states around for them to provide guidance and mentorship to sitting leaders and citizens.
Experience, they say, is the best teacher. The higher the number of past leaders, the more effective sitting leaders would be in terms of performance since there would be some consultations in trying to find solutions to our developmental challenges.

President John Evans Atta Mills took over power from Mr. J.A Kufuor in a keenly contested general election against Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo of the NPP in 2008. President Mills was described by favorites as an affable, patriotic, peace-loving and God-fearing man.

Then candidate Mills appeared to have touched the hearts of many electorates with his “Better Ghana Agenda” pledge. He adopted a house-to-house campaign strategy to sell out his visions and aspirations to Ghanaians.
Fact has it that Flt. Lt. J.J Rawlings was the one who introduced Prof Mills to active partisan politics by lifting the university don from IRS as a commissioner to become his vice in 1997 till 2000 when the ruling NDC government lost power to Mr. J.A Kufuor of the NPP.

Ex-President Rawlings did back Prof Atta Mills to contest the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections which were unsuccessful, though, till he finally won the 2008 polls.
Few weeks into his administration, however, President Mills would not be spared of attacks at all, as prominent members of his own party, including Founder J.J Rawlings always described him as a slow, weak and visionless leader.
President Mills’ health issue became very topical though government communicators did all they could to tightly lock the lid on the real matter. Speculations were that the President was not having a clean bill of health. Some visual diagnosis was conducted on the President by some citizens with report that the President was really sick.
Some observers would say the President was looking weak due to his age. Actually, sickness has no respect for person or age. It happens to anyone at all, any time.
Some people started demanding the resignation of President Mills long ago on grounds of ill-health which, they said, was affecting his performance as a leader. But would this decision have been an easy one for him considering the difficulty he went through before ascending the throne?
Is politics an easy game for sick persons? Staging a political platform is just one issue and ruling a nation is also another. Can a sick leader have the stamina to read, comprehend and do effective analysis of complex, heavy contract documents before possibly giving approval?
Sympathy would have to be extended to very old, weak politicians. Our constitution should come up with a provision which can allow for investigation into people’s health conditions before giving them approval to contest political positions. The state cannot continue to be spending massively on the health of our leaders.
Tuesday, July 24 was really a bad day for Ghanaians. The news of President John Evans Atta Mills’ death came as a shock to us all. Economic activities in the country came to a standstill as citizens struggled to come into terms with the news.
Some of us actually picked the news after 4 P.M when friends and relatives called to confirm or deny the story. My mum also called from home wailing uncontrollably just to know the fact of the matter.
Truly, our President was declared dead by his doctors at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra around 2:15 P.M. The President who ‘died’ and ‘resurrected’ many times has failed to wake up this time around.
Late President Mills went to the USA recently for a “routine medical check-up.” He came back with an assurance that everything was okay and that he would face the December polls with vim.
To show his fitness, President Mills was compelled to trot at the Kotoka International Airport immediately he came out of his plane.
It is God who gives and takes life. Late President Mills, after a few days on his return from the USA, moved to commission and supervise some projects in the country. His death therefore shocks and saddens us all. In fact, we must know what really killed our leader!

In any case, we say President Mills, Baba Nawo! Hede Nyuie!! Damirifa Due!!!
E-mail: amoatec27@yahoo.com