Feature Article of Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Columnist: Daily Democrat



‘Se Asa!’ ‘Anya asa!’ ‘It is finished!’ ‘Finito!’ were the words used to explain the demise of the late President Mills during his funeral last week Friday in Accra.
One wonders how such an honest and humble man could be hounded to his grave by greedy and self-centered politicians.
He is no more for people to insult and vilify. No more alive for people to orchestrate his pre-mature death and jubilate when he is not dead.
These represent the pain and anger of people when thousands of mourners thronged the Independence Square last Friday to pay their last respect and to have a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mourn the late president after he was laid in state for two days at the State House.
The mortal remains of the late President John Evans Atta Mills was finally laid to rest in Accra at the Asomdwee Park near the Osu Castle, the seat of government and along the Marine Drive, after three days of national mourning.
The Funeral Planning Committee gave Ghanaians the opportunity to pay their last respect to the man of peace and humility at the State House before the final funeral rites at the Independence Square.
Ghana witnessed one of the longest queues in the history of the nation as people from near and far across the country thronged the state house to pay their tribute to undeniably, a great man before the final journey.
Thousands of well wishers filled the funeral ground and surrounding areas like the Accra Sports Stadium, High Street, Castle Road, Children’s Park and any available space within the funeral radius to bid their farewell.
While alive, political opponents battered his soul, attacked his body, disgraced his image, destroyed his reputation and vilified his personality, yet he tolerated them for the sake of social development, national unity and cohesion and preached peace and unity to them till the end.
His demise has seen men and women of stature across the social divide praising him to high heavens and touting his virtues to the whole world as a man of peace and humility, a development oriented person determined to fight for his people.
Admittedly, people who could have protected and defended him from the vicious vilification kept mute for the late president to be virtually battered and lynched before rising up to defend his corpse as a good man Ghana has lost.
The death of President Atta Mills on the 24th July, 2012 was a shocker.
President Mills was pronounced dead at the ‘37 Military Hospital’ after a short illness, according to a statement signed at the castle by the Chief of Staff, John Martey Newman.
“It is with a heavy heart and sorrow that I announced the sudden death of the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency, Professor John Evans Atta Mills,” the statement read.
A cross section of Ghanaians who spoke to this paper expressed shock at his death, which they argued was as a big blow to the nation and urged each other to take it calm since it is God who gives and takes.
The Ghanaian populace wished he was alive to continue his good works and also contest the upcoming general elections after declaring his preparedness to do so.
It is really a dark day in the history of Ghana as the whole nation is saddened at the President’s death.
Not too long ago, in fact a few weeks before his death, there were rumors manufactured by stalwarts of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the President had passed away.
This diabolic orchestration compelled him to come out publicly to deny the rumor and show himself to all Ghanaians that he was alive and kicking.
Now that President Atta Mills has truly passed away, the million dollar question on the lips of millions of Ghanaians for the NPP is, what campaign massage are they carrying to the people?
It also beats the imagination of many how somebody’s ill health could make political opponents happy just for their selfish and parochial political interests to the extent of praying for the person’s death.
As Ghanaians we have been thrown into a sudden state of mourning, the NPP must bear in mind that the NDC is a well structured party, and there are capable people to take over the reins of government and win a second term.