Feature Article of Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Columnist: Tetteh, Andrew

The Gift Ghanaians Gave To Mills

The most high profile job any Ghanaian can have is President. Maybe being the Secretary General of the United Nations UN could be the one that can challenge this believe.

Presidents are referred to as the First Gentleman on the land and his entire family is branded as the First Family. All these and many other benefits like a gargantuan ex gratia, and protocol access to other influential Heads of States add up to making the job of a President very lucrative and sort after.

For three times over a period of eight years, the Late President Mills asked Ghanaians to do him the honor of giving him the job. Beaten on both the first and second times by John Kufour. On the third, Ghanaians gave him preference over Nana Addo, a move some analyst say Ghanaians were being sympathetic of the man who had his eyes on the Presidency after serving as Vice President. With the recent turn of events; his battle with the sickness only him and his entourage knows what, the eventually untimely death to which Rawlings say, though it is shocking but unsurprising death, have left people wondering whether the gift Ghanaians gave to Mills was bad for him. Most of the fallout from events preceding his death makes it possible to believe that the job of the President may have contributed to his death or differently put, he wouldn’t have died on the 24th of July, 2012 if was not our President or if Ghanaians hadn’t given him that job in January 2009.

People believe he had throat cancer for years an assertion Rawlings affirmed in his interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC, hours after the passing of the our dear President. According to Rawlings, Mills had cancer since he was his Vice President, he added that the cancer had spread to his eyes and ears which sometimes made the Late President unable to sit through meetings scheduled for more than three hours.

As with every painful and unacceptable death, the blame game all ways finds its way into the discourse of the bereaved. Political parties blame each other for having overdone something or having done nothing at all which then lead to the President’s death. Ghanaians are also blaming the people who were rumored to have urged the Late President on two different occasions not to resign from office though Mills himself had wanted to.

In the end all this blame game boils done to the gift Ghanaians gave Mills on that faithful Wednesday, 7th of January, 2009.

If we hadn’t given him that precious gift, he might have been alive by now, they say. The 24 million Ghanaians who loved him and some who disagreed with him politically are left contemplating on whether we should have or we shouldn’t have given Mills the black pearl.

By: Andrew Tetteh.

Ghana Institute of Journalism