Jul 31, 2012 at 10:25am
Tragic Death Of President Atta Mills
NEWS COMMENTARY ON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF PRESIDENT ATTA MILLS
The doors of death are always open, so the saying goes.
But little did Ghanaians expect Professor John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills to enter that door of no return three and half years into his presidency and two days after his 68th birthday.
True, his body had been rented by ill health.
And on occasions without number, his health status fueled rumours about his death.
But on all such occasions, he came out strongly and displayed some incredible energy budget which quenched the fire of rumours and gave rays of hope of his ability to move on and complete his tenure.
But at exactly 2.15pm yesterday, President Mills bowed to the inevitable at the 37 Military Hospital.
More appropriately, he answered the heavenly call.
His death ignites a tragedy of staggering magnitude and grief of unprecedented proportions.
It is the first time a Ghanaian President has died in office.
As a result many, many Ghanaians have been reduced to an emotional brittle with tears flowing from their eyes and glistening on their faces.
Significantly, Ghanaians of political stripes are united in mourning our President who wore the tag of father of all.
His distinguished paternal disposition was indeed evident in the humane way he dealt with the people and the non-discriminatory manner he accommodated his opponents.
Elements within his own ruling National Democratic Congress, NDC, often jumped on him like a dog on a bone and verbally chewed him up without mercy.
His political opponents too did not spare him verbal stones which came flying from all directions.
In the face of all this, President Mills never kept any score card of insults nor responded under provocation.
It is natural for most politicians to pass comments which are accusatory in nature, inflammatory in tone and retaliatory in consequence.
But when compared with such politicians, a remarkable distinction emerges – a man of peace or Asomdwehene.
Like Augsburger, President Mills believed that retaliation is the most useless weapon on earth because it ignites an endless cycle of brutal reprisals.
His principled stand on peace and non-violence sought to redefine our political discourse which is characterized by insult and incitement to violence.
And even when faced with unrelenting stream of tough times and buffeted by mounting pressures from all sides, President Mills remained unshakably unflappable, emotionally tough and incredibly stoical.
In international relations, his principles were also in full glow, especially in his foreign behavior towards Cote d’Ivoire and gay for aid policy by the West.
Indeed he courageously bold and instrumentally rational in his calculations to reject the use of force in Cote d’ Ivoire and the coercive diplomacy by the West who had no sense of shame to trespass the margin of moral authority and state sovereignty to impose their gay for aid policy on us.
At home he will be remembered for his goal oriented tenacity encapsulated in his ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ which has chalked up some successes but still fraught with monumental challenges.
Human as he was, President Mills had his weaknesses.
But his high sense of humility, simplicity, civility and gentility projected an incredible level of strength which cannot be matched with macho rhetoric.
His greatest strength is the God factor which catapulted him to the pinnacle of his political career under dramatic circumstances and sustained him till five months to end his first term.
While we mourn his tragic death, we take note of the fact that the success of a man is not to be measured by his duration but by his contribution to humanity.
Professor Mills will go down in history as a unique specimen of humanity who was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and proclaimed it everywhere as a true believer.
The death of such a believer is not a termination but a transition to eternity.
Indeed, his place in eternity is assured for being loyal to his nation, true to his values and faithful to his convictions as a law professor, tax commissioner, Vice President and President.
President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mill - Da Yie.
BY: AFFAIL MONNEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF GJA.