Feature Article of Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Columnist: Manya, Estorme

In Memoriam: Fare-Thee-Well, President J.E.A Mills.

Our dearly departed President Mills,
Here is my version of Psalm 23 for You to take along your eternal journey:
The Lord is Your Shepard. You are no longer in want.
He makes You lie down in green pastures.
He leads You besides still waters, as your soul is restored.
He leads You in paths of righteousness, for His name's sake.
Thou You walk through the valley of the shadow of death, have no fears.
He is with You; His rod and staff comfort You.
He prepares a table before You, even in the presence of your enemies.
He anoints Your head with oil. Your cup overflows.
Surely, goodness and mercy follow You all the days of your eternal life
And You will dwell in the House of the Lord Forever!

Our peaceful President, thou you were vilified, scoffed and persecuted in life, rest in perfect peace knowing that our Messiah suffered a much grievous fate for the redemption of mankind. God had a destiny for You and You walked in it with your head held high, a pleasant countenance and you laid your spirit down in it like a Champion and a Soldier of Christ! Your destiny may have been delayed, but it was never denied you. President Mills, “the stone that was rejected, is now the chief cornerstone", isn't that true? You will look on from on high even as friends and foes alike come to mourn You; they have no choice, for that is your fate now. Your sudden passing into Glory has humiliated your enemies most; they are now "lip singing" your praises as a loving champion of the Ghanaian people, for whom you died and sacrificed your life in their service. Yes, a humble steward of the people you were; that is why you were not appreciated in your mortal body. Your crown is waiting for you at the Judgment Seat. Even with a "thorn in your flesh", you "fought a good fight"; for you knew that "your light afflictions worked towards a far, far greater glory".

Yes, your enemies will look on as You champion another first in the course of your final destiny. You were the first Ghanaian president to die in active duty at the High Office; and they will accord you unprecedented honor in celebration of your life and legacy. It will be a grand send off I am sure, in a gargantuan style that is all things Ghanaian, in honoring the dearly departed. Your comrade representatives of states, former students, friends, and farewell wishers from near and far, will come to hail your honor and mourn your untimely home going. Oh, it will be a great and unprecedented day for Ghana and her beloved Son. Then, they will know who You truly were Prof- an Elect, Anointed, Messenger of peace; one who loved and prayed for his enemies, instead of answering their vituperation!

Oh Ghanaians, is it now customary for you to HATE the living and LOVE the dead? Papa Mills, please forgive them, "for they know not what they had done". They declared you dead on numerous occasions, the last time having reportedly witnessed your enemies and entire region(s) jubilation and ululating at what they thought was their wish fulfilled- BUT it would not come to pass as they wished, until the Lord called you quietly away. Like a gently Dove, with wings of an Eagle, you flew away and you did not look back! On the day of your untimely demise, even sunny skies had become gloomy; your family sang “hosanna” as your spirit leaped towards the call of your Maker, on your journey to that place “on that beautiful shore”. A “great tree had fallen"; a humble servant had given up his ghost as it were. A noisy nation had become "DEAD" silent for once. HABA! Your enemies had been “DEAD” silenced for once. HABA!

"OH DEATH WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" President Mills, you have the ultimate victory now; victory over your enemies; victory over suffering and death itself! Indeed, does not our Heavenly Father have a fantastic sense of humor? Your prophetic passing may have just worked to close old gates and opened new ones; may have brought crooked roads to end and opened straight and narrow ones! President Mills, he who laughs last, laughs forever, isn't that true?

Papa Mills, I hope you knew that your "children" truly loved you and wanted you to finish the course strong like a gentle "turtle" always does. We thank God for your life of service and selfless sacrifice to Ghana and the Kingdom. That your marital home remains too humble to befit a president, yet you took nothing from the State to renovate it; that you took no per diems for your travels; and you cut down unnecessary expenses and ran a "tight" ship like the principled man that you were. Your "Better Ghana" agenda was well under way. What more could you have done? What did you do so wrong? Was Rome built overnight? HABA! Professor Mills, You brought humility, selflessness, a God fearing spirit and moderation to the High Office- and these are the greatest of the inheritances you have left behind for Ghanaian youths, both home and abroad. As the Bible states, "a good man leaves an inheritance for his children, and children's children". You had only one natural son, but you have left an unprecedented legacy that is yet to be realized for generations to come!

FARE-THEE-WELL, His Excellency President John Evans Attah Mills... We will not weep for You any longer, for you are in a much better place, isn't that true? Rest in perfect peace...Hede nyie le nutifafa me! Amen!

By Estorme Manya